First division title since 1996

The Castlegar Rebels got through a busy weekend with flying colours, winning four straight games and clinching their first division title since 1996.

TOP: The Rebels celebrate after a goal against Princeton on Saturday night.

The Castlegar Rebels got through a busy weekend with flying colours, winning four straight games and clinching their first division title since 1996.

They needed 50 shots, but the Rebels found a way to solve 16-year-old Jeremy Muosseau and the Kimberley Dynamiters Friday night.

Anthony DeLong’s go-ahead power-play goal midway through the second period lifted Castlegar out of a 2-2 tie as they fired their way to a 5-3 victory at the Kimberley Civic Centre.

DeLong enjoyed a multi-point night, as did defenceman Tyler Jones and forward Ryan Aynsley.

Muosseau, a 16-year-old callup making only his fourth appearance of the season for his hometown team, stymied Rebel shooters all evening long, and was named the game’s first star.

The Rebels returned home Saturday to post a 4-0 shutout over the Princeton Posse.

Princeton, who entered play with 21 fewer victories than the Rebels this season, proved a difficult challenge despite having leading scorer Spencer Kristensen on the sidelines.

DeLong provided the only scoring through the game’s first two periods, tucking a backhand shot underneath Posse goaltender Brett Patchett 3:37 into the second period.

Erik Wentzel, Stuart Walton and Spencer Brodt provided insurance markers in short order late in the third period, Brodt’s coming on a breakaway after a pretty pass from rookie Diego Bartlett sent him in alone.

Alex Ross made 27 saves to garner his third shut-out of the KIJHL season, in the process improving his league-leading goals-against average to a stingy 1.92.

In what amounted to a spirited playoff preview, Castlegar took their seventh victory of the season from the Spokane Braves with a 4-2 win Sunday afternoon at Eagles Ice-A-Rena, clinching the division in the process.

Castlegar opened the scoring just four minutes into the game thanks to Curtis Pereverzoff, but fell behind by the intermission after the Braves tallied twice in 1:56.

A.J. King pounced on a loose puck in front of Rebels goaltender Buckley to tie the score, then agitator Tanner Slarks snapped a wrist shot into the top corner of the net to give the home side a 2-1 advantage.

The Rebels took control in the second stanza.

Bartlett tied the score on a nifty cross-ice pass from captain Taylor Anderson five-and-a-half minutes into the middle frame.

The scoreline would stay the same until Aynsley snuck a wrister past Spokane netminder Garrett Barr for his 30th goal of the season.

Jones’ seeing-eye point shot fooled Barr 1:29 after Aynsley put Castlegar ahead, rounding out the scoring.

After the game head coach Steve Junker downplayed the division title.

“I don’t think that was a specific goal,” he noted, “having a successful season, a winning team, and carrying that into the playoffs would be considered a success for me personally.”

Even though they were down four regular players and playing their fourth game in five days, Castlegar’s KIJHL team rallied from an early deficit to post a comprehensive 5-1 win over Beaver Valley Tuesday at the Complex.

After South Slocan’s Ryon Sookro opened the scoring by lifting a backhand past Rebels goaltender Alex Ross, the home side exploded for four goals in a 4:23 timespan.

Anderson tied the score with a persistent effort in front of the net, then moments later Bartlett converted a two-on-one pass from Brodt to give the home side a 2-1 lead. Jones and Anderson would then score 19 seconds apart to give the Rebels a 4-1 advantage after 20 minutes.

DeLong, who Tuesday was named the Rebels’ player of the month for January, rounded out the scoring late in the second period, powering a solo effort past Beaver Valley goalie Zach Perehudoff for his 30th goal of the season.

Ross made 23 saves in goal for the Rebels, while Perehudoff stopped 30 of 35 Rebel shots.

The Rebels dressed only five regular defenceman Tuesday, but alternate captain Darren Tarasoff said the extra ice-time was a bonus.

“It gave the guys an opportunity to step up,” Tarasoff said, “we had an AP [Joren Johnson] come up and he played a very good game.”

The 1996 Rebels, coached by former NHL defenceman Pat Price, were the last local club to win a KIJHL title when they defeated the Sicamous Eagles in the final.

They advanced to the Cyclone Taylor Cup, BC’s Junior B championship, which was won by the Pacific International Junior League’s Ridge Meadows Flames.

Castlegar is now only two points shy of the Fernie Ghostriders for the top seed in the Kootenay Conference.

They’ll be back in action Friday in Nelson when they open up a home-and-home series against the Leafs.

Chris Wahl is a news reporter at Mountain FM who’s covering the Rebels for the Castlegar News this season.

He’s also the play-by-play voice of the Rebels webcasts on KIJHL.ca. For more on the Rebels, check out

Chris’ blog at: off-the-wahl.blogspot.com

Just Posted

Help clean Castlegar during Pitch-in week

Volunteers across the country will be tidying up April 22-29.

Merry Creek Trail to see improvements

Columbia Basin Trust supplies $484,000 for 29 trail projects around the Basin.

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Castlegar Realtor honoured for achievements

Re/Max recognized Castlegar and Grand Forks realtor Lorene MacGregor

Castlegar gymnasts vault into competition

Selkirk Challengers Gymnastics Club attended the BC Artistic Compulsory Gymnastics Championships.

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

GORD TURNER: Accidental treasure hunt for books pays rewards

You never know what treasures you might discover on a book shelf

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read