Daniel Bishop scored with just under three minutes remaining as the Beaver Valley Nitehawks spoiled Castlegar’s celebration with a 5-3 victory in front of 172 raucous fans at the Castlegar Complex Friday night.
While on a late power-play, Bishop steered home a Taylor Love centering pass through Rebels goaltender Alex Ross, after the Rebels battled back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to level the score midway through the third period.
Castlegar opened the night by raising their 2010-11 Neil Murdoch division championship banner to the Complex rafters, but fell behind after 20 minutes thanks to a lucky point shot from Austin Sture and a cold-blooded finish from Justin Niminiken.
Tyler Jones brought the home side to within one with a seeing-eye wrist shot of his own, then Love and Diego Bartlett exchanged goals as the Nitehawks held a 3-2 lead through two periods.
Tyler Robinson would level the score midway through the third, beating ‘Hawks goaltender Mike Vlanich from close range on a Castlegar power-play.
Keanan Patershuk would round out the scoring after Bishop’s game-winner, beating a Rebel defenseman to a loose puck and touching it into the open cage in the game’s final seconds.
The Rebels sat forwards Ryan Aynsley and Spencer Brodt in anticipation of next week’s playoff series against Spokane.
Defenceman Mike Wiest also missed his sixth straight game.
Castlegar and Beaver Valley wind up the KIJHL regular season Saturday in Fruitvale, before the Rebels open the playoffs against the Braves at the Complex on Monday.