GRAND FORKS — The Castlegar Rebels find themselves at a new level following a 9-3 blasting of the Grand Forks Border Bruins Wednesday night.
Castlegar’s KIJHL entry set a new franchise record for victories in a season with 41, breaking an old mark of 40 set in 2001.
The Rebels did it in workmanlike fashion, pumping four goals past rookie netminder Nathan Nicolson in the first 8:13 of play.
But the plucky Bruins, whose winless streak was extended to 16 games, were tenacious all night, outshooting the Neil Murdoch division leaders 38-27.
Penticton’s Cole Buckley stopped all but three of the 38 shots he faced on the evening, while Ryan Ryman made 15 saves in relief for the Border Bruins.
A trio of Rebels had three-point nights: captain Taylor Anderson, Jamie Vlanich and Texan Kwinn Mazzilli each scored once and added a pair of assists.
In fact, Castlegar’s scoring was so spread out, only five of the 18 skaters who took part were held off the scoresheet.
The Rebels also garnered a sweep of the season series with Grand Forks winning all eight matchups, and scoring seven or more goals against the Border Bruins three times.
Castlegar concludes the regular season with a weekend set against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
The home-and-home series begins Friday night at the Complex.
The 2011 KIJHL playoffs begin Monday, with the Rebels hosting the fourth-place Spokane Braves.