The Rebels will play 30 games in the upcoming season. Photo: Castlegar Rebels

The Rebels will play 30 games in the upcoming season. Photo: Castlegar Rebels

Rebels continue building off last season, speed a focus

Submitted by KIJHL

The Castlegar Rebels qualified for the KIJHL playoffs last season with 14 wins in 49 games, beating out Grand Forks for the final playoff spot by three points. They lost in the opening round in four games to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

Rebels coach-general manager Carter Duffin says following last season, they were very excited to where they got themselves on and off the ice.

“We are able to continue to build our team with high character players that made substantial impacts in our room and on the ice,” says Duffin, who is entering his third season with the Rebels. “From there it wasn’t so much areas of weakness we were focusing on, but areas of importance that we were going to continue to build from.”

The Rebels had an early camp and plan to use the extra time prior to the regular season to get dialed in. As Duffins says, they can’t simply come to the rink and practice everyday without games — it would get mundane for the players.

“Our coaching staff has built a structure to make use of the time, from Sept. 18 to Nov 13, to come to the rink with a plan to keep the guys engaged and pushing themselves,“ says Duffin. “This includes breaking down the preparation time to start with a lot of high speed and comfort drills, to get everyone into the groove. Then adding a 3-v-3 tournament for a few days to have some fun, and then using the days in the week to provide different aspects of the game to work on (compete, skills days, system structure days).”

While Nov. 13 is weeks away, the Rebels are excited to make use of the time to keep players engaged. Duffin has also ensured they have the right group committed to using the time to better themselves. Duffin says the structure their staff has in place throughout the development stage should allow the players to keep focus on developing individual skills along with team structure in a new and different way than normal.

Incoming rookies

The Rebels made three commitments before camp they are excited about.

Colton Aikens, Prairie Hockey Academy (CSSHL U17 Prep): Aikens, Briercrest, Sask., is an offensively gifted defenceman and was the leading point getter in the CSSHL U17 Prep last season potting 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 points in 24 games.

Zach Ashworth, Prairie Hockey Academy (CSSHL U17 Prep): Ashworth, Estevan, Sask, is a strong two-way forward that added six goals and 18 assists for 24 points in 23 games.

Nathan McNeely, SCAHL U18AA, Olds, Alta., is a big power forward and is able to contribute offensively.

“He played in the SCAHL U18 AA and added 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points in 34 game,” says Duffin. ”All three of these young men check all the boxes that we require, both on and off ice to be Rebels.”

Key returnees

“We have a strong group of returning players this season,” says Duffin. “This comes from the culture we have been building over the past two seasons.”

Four of the five 20-year-olds are entering their third season with Castlegar. Duffin says they understand the expectations, are key members that help guide their culture and are excited about what they have been building leading up to this season.

Josh Wiens of Virden, Man., returns as captain along with Colby Winia of Grande Prairie, Alta., and Jordan Adams of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., and Erik Nystrom of Nelson will be relied on heavily to continue to lead the Rebels in the right direction.

“I am very excited about the speed that we will be playing with this season,” says Duffin. “That is one of the biggest factors for our players coming into this season. We want to go fast. Every shift. We want to execute our team structure faster than our opponents are able to react to.”

Castlegar Rebels

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Image: Castleview Care Centre’s Safety Den presentation
Castlegar’s Castleview Care Centre wins safety innovation competition

The Dragon’s Den-style competition was sponsored by Safecare BC

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system also takes Indigenous children from their families, communities and nations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Most Read