Castlegar Rebels have chance to clinch KIJHL title on the road tonight

Castlegar team looking for ninth straight playoff win tonight in Armstrong

Knights' forward Derek Andrews (left) ties up Castlegar's Erik Alden (middle) while linemate Steve Pantazopoulos rushes in for support in Game 3 of the KIJHL final Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.

Castlegar Rebels goaltender Jordan Gluck captured a 2 – 0 shutout in game three of the KIJHL championship series in Armstrong, Friday, March 29 against the North Okanagan Knights.

Gluck faced 24 shots, while Knights goaltender Dustin Nikkel successfully turned aside 30 of 32.

Stuart Walton opened the scoring with just 15 seconds left on the clock in the first. Assists on the power play goal went to Travis Wellman and Jamie Vlanich.

Walton leads the Rebels postseason points race at 24 (6 goals and 18 assists).

Castlegar’s Diego Bartlett got into a fight with Owen Barker with about five minutes to play in the second; the two let things simmer but only until about the halfway mark of the third, when the pair was handed game misconducts after continuing their feud.

Vlanich chalked up his second assist of the night on a Brenden Heinrich goal at 4:49 of the second period.

The Rebels now have a 3 – 0 lead in the final KIJHL series.

A win tonight (Saturday, March 30 at 7 p.m) in Armstrong would be the ninth straight for the Kootenay team. The Rebels have not lost since game six of their division final against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks on March 11.

A KIJHL championship tomorrow would also mean the Castlegar squad would punch their ticket to the Cyclone Taylor Cup, the B.C. provincial title.

Whoever the eventual winner of the KIJHL championship is, competes with the champions of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League — this year the Richmond Sockeyes — and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

The Comox Valley Glacier Kings and Victoria Cougars are still playing for the VIJHL title. Victoria leads that series 3 – 0 and game four is also set for Saturday night (7:30 p.m.) at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.

The Cyclone Taylor Cup is a round-robin format and will be held April 11 – 14, hosted by Comox.

The winner of the Cyclone Taylor Cup then moves on again, competing for the Western Canada “B” Crown, the Keystone Cup, against teams from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The Keystone Cup games are April 18 – 21 in St. Malo, Manitoba.

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