The Castlegar Rebels pulled even in their KIJHL series with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks after a solid 4 – 2 second-round win in game two playoff action Tues. Mar. 5 in Castlegar.
Rebels goalie Jordan Gluck had to be sharp early after Stuart Walton took an early interference penalty just 1:01 into the game.
Gluck turned aside several dangerous shots before Beaver Valley’s Archie McKinnon went to the box for tripping about four minutes later, taking some of the pressure off the penalty kill.
Gluck corralled a lobbed puck that bounced dangerously at his skates with just under thirteen minutes to play in the first, keeping the scoreboard clean.
At 8:47, Rebels forward Travis Wellman put the first goal up with a quick wrist shot from the slot.
Darren Medeiros tested Beaver Valley goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn with a high shot moments later, nearly making it a two-goal lead.
Castlegar carried most of the play thorugh 15 minutes, with Dylan Bowerman, Jeremy McGregor, Braydon Horcoff and Jamie Vlanich each having excellent chances to extend the lead.
Somehow Schamerhorn kept his composure and his team rallied behind him to even the shot clock at nine apiece after the opening 20 minutes, if not the numbers on the scoring side.
After a somewhat cautious start to the second, the Rebels put themselves two men down and Beaver Valley’s Danny Vlanich tied the game at 14:10 on the power play.
The score remained deadlocked at one apiece through 40 minutes, despite the Rebels taking three more consecutive minor penalties.
Bryan Lubin, who had been in the box for holding, broke free on a heads-up play stepping out of the box and rattled one off the post. He picked up the puck seconds later and had a second shot gloved down by Schamerhorn.
The third period saw a resurgence in offence by the Rebels as Diego Bartlett made it a 2 – 1 lead at 17:01, and Aaron Brewer pushed it to 3 – 1 less than two minutes later.
Brenden Heinrich and Erik Alden got assists on Bartlett’s goal, while Travis Wellman and Stuart Walton added to their point totals for the night on Brewer’s goal.
As has happened often with these two teams, no one backed off. Beaver Valley pulled within one when defenceman Nick Perez scored at 14:44 assisted by Connor Brown-Maloski and Ryan Edwards.
But a huge home-town roar would go up just 11 seconds later when the Rebels got their fourth of the night from forward Jamie Vlanich to extend the lead to two.
Shots at the half-way mark of the third were almost even with Castlegar having a slight two-shot edge at 24.
With more than five minutes to play, it was perhaps a bit cheeky for the rink announcer to announce the date and time of game five, as Beaver Valley certainly has the firepower to have potentially come back to win but this was not to be.
The Nitehawks took a timeout with 1:08 to play in regulation, but didn’t have an opportunity to pull Schamerhorn until only 32 seconds remained on the clock, and the final score was 4 – 2 in favour of the Rebels.
Games three and four are in Fruitvale Thurs. Mar. 7 (7:00 p.m) and Fri. Mar. 8 (7:30 p.m.).
Game five will be back at the Castlegar Complex Sun. Mar.10.