The Castlegar Rebels’ 14-game winning streak came to an end with two weekend losses.
The Spokane Braves brought the Rebels’ streak to an end on Friday in an away game that ended 3-1.
The Braves scored their first goal in the first, and the period ended with Spokane up one.
Chris Breese scored for the Rebels in the second, assisted by Vince Bitonti and John Moeller, and the period ended with the teams tied 1-1.
Then in the third, Spokane’s Paxton Malone put the Braves back in the lead, assisted by Trail Thompson and Cooper Schroder, with less than seven minutes to go.
As the clock ticked down, the Rebels pulled Doyle to try to tie things up, but Malone scored on the empty net, ending the game 3-1 for the Braves.
“That’s the team we were obviously supposed to beat and we just didn’t play our best game, I don’t think from the forward to the D,” said Parker Hickey, assistant general manager for the Rebels. “Everyone was just off from the moment we got on the bus to the moment we got down there. That’s what happens when you’re not ready I guess.”
Curt Doyle was in net for the Rebels and blocked 28 out of 30 shots, for a save percentage of 0.933.
“Doyle played a pretty good game,” said Hickey. “… I just don’t think we played tight enough. They had a lot of wide open chances.”
Hickey also complimented the Braves’ goalie, Ben Waslaski, for playing a good game.
The Rebels are now 5-1 against the Braves for the season after sweeping the series against them last year.
Castlegar suffered a second defeat against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks at home on Saturday, but it was a much closer game.
Things started out well for the Rebels with Moeller scoring the first goal of the game about midway through the first, assisted by Edward Lindsey.
But the Nitehawks’ Jake Yuris, assisted by Bradley Ross and Morgan Peace, quickly tied things up less than a minute later, and from there the game became a kind of call and response.
Shaw Campbell, assisted by Breese, put the Rebels back in the lead with 6:48 on the clock and shortly after Ross, assisted by Peace and Yuris, tied things up for the Nitehawks.
The Rebels appeared to regain control in the second. Lindsey, assisted by Andrew Petten and Reid Wilson, scored the only goal of the period.
But by the time the Rebels were filing into the change room to prepare for the third, they were looking a tad winded.
The Nitehawks’ Dylan Kent, assisted by Nolan Percival and Evan Gorman, was able to tie things up 3-3 in the third and the game headed into overtime.
The Rebels fought through the first five-minute overtime but were unable to score and about midway through the second overtime period the Nitehawks’ Dylan Heppler scored the game-winning goal, assisted by Kevan McBean.
Tanner Douglas was in net for the game and saved 24 out of 28 shots for a save percentage of .857.
“I think we played mostly a pretty good game. Didn’t play a very good third,” said Hickey.
Asked if fatigue is a problem at this point in the season, the assistant general manager said, “I don’t think so. I mean we do a lot to help injuries and stuff. We do yoga every week. We have a strength and conditioning coach who works with the players to not get hurt.”
Everett Hicks and Brandon Costa are out with injuries.
“So those are two of probably our top guys out right now, but Brandon should be back next week and Everett will be back in playoffs,” said Hickey.
The Rebels are 3-3 against the Nitehawks and will face them again on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Fruitvale.
The Rebels are tied with the Leafs at 53 points in the Neil Murdoch Division, but the Leafs have played 34 games to the Rebels’ 36.