In an effort to add depth to their roster for the stretch run. for a KIJHL Championship, the Castlegar Rebels added two new players at the January 10th deadline.
The Rebels, who are currently tied with the Nelson Leafs for the KIJHL Murdoch Division lead, made their first move with the addition of 6’1” 201 lb. defenseman JR Krolik. In order to shore up a depleted defense, with the departure of Tanner Johnson to the Langley Riverman of the BCJHL, Rebel coach Steve Junker was able to obtain Krolik from the Penticton Lakers. “The addition of Krolik, adds much needed size, toughness and experience to our lineup. Although we will miss Tanner; JR is a big gritty defenseman who is a great skater for a big man.” A Penticton native Krolik has some Jr. A. experience with Manitoba’s Dauphin Kings and the BCJHL Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The Rebels second move was to obtain forward Travis Wellman from the Alberta Jr. A. Bonneville Pontiacs. “Wellman is a skilled quick forward, with nearly two years of Alberta Junior A experience. He had 30 points in Bonneville last season and will be a top six forward on our team. He adds to our team speed, and gives us more options on our penalty kill and power play.”
The Rebels currently are coming off an 8 game win streak and have only lost 10 times in 44 games this season. “We are in a tough race with local rivals Beaver Valley and Nelson for the Neil Murdoch Divisional championship. These three teams are probably 3 of the top 4 teams in the KIJHL this year and are separated by only 4 points in the battle for first place in the division. The whole season may come down to the final home and home games we have against these two teams, says Junker.”
The Rebels have only 3 home games remaining prior to the playoffs. The Rebels host Beaver Valley at the Complex Friday Feb 8, Grand Forks at the Complex on Sunday Feb 10, and Nelson at the Complex on Friday Feb 15.