The Castlegar Rebels took on the visiting Spokane Braves for a third time this season, looking to go 3 – 0 against the US KIJHL team on Sunday in Castlegar.
The Rebels #3-Hunter Jenerou opened the scoring at 8:26 when he found the net on a pass from #17-Darren Medeiros. At 3:05, #21-Chase Reddin put a tip past Spokane’s Ben Simpson on the power play and the Rebels went up by two. Assists on the second goal went to Jenerou and #7-Seth Schmidt.
It was a somewhat scrambling opening period from the Braves, who were unable to connect on a lot of passes, but managed to test Rebels starter Nate Rabbitt 14 times. The Rebels offence got off 16 scoring chances through 20 minutes.
Unlike the whistle-plagued game against the Rockies the night before, only one minor was called against each team in the opening frame. The hard-hitting overtime game against the Rockies seemed to have taken a toll on some Rebels and both teams seemed to lack energy.
Spokane got on the board at 18:22 of the second on a goal from Justin Bonanno but Rebels #23-Mike Bhatoa took a feed from Schmidt and re-instated the two goal lead just over two minutes later.
Rabbitt looked solid in net, shutting the door on a number of chances in deep and out a big jolt of confidence into the bench helping kill off a 5 on 3 after Matt Reed and Travis Wilkie took consecutive slashing calls.
The Braves pulled within one at 5:36 of the second on a goal from Matt Thurston.
Just 1:54 into the third, #14-Matt Reed connected with Quinn Klimchuk who roofed one over the left shoulder of Simpson to extend the lead to two again.
Penalties cost the Rebels dearly in the third, with Jonny Marzec and Justin Loepker getting the next two goals while with the man advantage, at 14:35 and 11:44 respectively, to square things up.
Rebels #12-Diego Bartlett never seems to lack energy, however, and went end-to-end (unassisted) to give the Rebels the lead with 4:34 on the clock.
Rookie defenceman Carson Wornig appeared livid with himself after putting a clearing attempt over the glass in his own end with only 2:03 to play but the Braves gambled on an empty net and lost when Chase Reddin scored to give the Rebels a two-goal lead with just over a minute to play.
Still on the power play, the Braves weren’t quite finished and Loepker picked up his second of the game from the side of the net 12 seconds later to make it a 6 – 5 game.
Bartlett. though, took control again with 30 seconds left on the clock finding the still empty Braves net for his second of the night, giving the Rebels a 7 – 5 win.
– The Rebels were 1 for 5 on the power play, while giving up 3 of 9 to Spokane.
– The Rebels out-shot the visiting team 46 – 37.
– Rebels staff said to be on the lookout for ads soon regarding their New Year’s Eve party at the complex. Another great way to support the home team.
– Diego Bartlett now leads the Rebels goals scored stat (six) while Darren Medeiros leads in total points (12) with three goals and nine assists.
– Michigan transplant Nate Rabbitt has three wins and four losses while in net this year and has a .878 SV percentage.