The Castlegar Rebels kept pace with the Victoria Cougars throughout a hard-fought game on Friday afternoon but fell 1 – 0 in regulation to the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League champions in their second game of the 2013 Cyclone Taylor Cup.
A goal from Cougars forward Brandon Egli at 5:47 of the second period handed the Rebels their first loss of the tournament. Wade Johnson and Mark Walton got the assists on the play.
The Rebels are now 1 – 1 in the round-robin after opening the tournament with a 3 – 1 win against the host Comox Valley Glacier Kings team on Thursday.
“Really, both games came down to not finishing goal-scoring chances,” said Rebels coach Steve Junker who was reached by telephone after the loss. “In game one, we didn’t play our best hockey and gave up a number of opportunities that the Glacier Kings weren’t able to capitalize on. Connor Beauchamp played great [in game one] and eventually we capitalized and got stronger as that game went on.
“Tonight, again, we gave up a number of opportunities. Jordan Gluck played and was outstanding. It was really similar to what happened with the other team last night. We had some open nets that we just couldn’t find the back of the net on.”
The Selkirk Saints had a representative live-tweeting from the game and said the goalies were the two best players on the ice.
Rebels goaltender Jordan Gluck was pulled for the extra attacker in the dying moments of the third but the Rebels were unable to get the equalizer against Cougars goaltender Evan Roch.
Roch sent back all 27 shots the Rebels threw at him, earning a shutout just one day after playing only 40 minutes of a 5 – 2 loss against the PIJHL Richmond Sockeyes, who the Rebels will take on tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.
“We’re used to Jordan Gluck stealing a few games and their goalie played extremely well,” said Junker. “We just couldn’t find a way to score one.”
The Rebels had three chances on the power play (one being cut short by a too many men call) but Junker said he wasn’t going to try and do much different with the man advantage.
“It’s tough — at this late a stage in the game — to reinvent something,” he said. “It’s something we work on all along and we had our chances tonight, for sure. We’re playing amongst the best and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”
Junker added the ice is good, the facilities are nice and said they were being treated well.
“The guys are upbeat and obviously we have to win one tomorrow,” he said.
He added it has been a good tournament, with “unbelievable” support from family and friends that made the trip to the Comox Valley.