Rebels drop heartbreaker and gloves versus Columbia Valley

After storming back late in the third, the Columbia Valley Rockies edged the Castlegar Rebels in overtime on Saturday night.

Castlegar Rebels #2-Aaron Brewer and Columbia Valley Rockies #18-Logan Kerner fight during a KIJHL game in Castlegar on Saturday

Castlegar Rebels #2-Aaron Brewer and Columbia Valley Rockies #18-Logan Kerner fight during a KIJHL game in Castlegar on Saturday

In one of eight games on the KIHL docket on Saturday, Oct. 5 the Castlegar Rebels took on the Columbia Valley Rockies in an exciting game with end-to-end action that ended in a 5-4 overtime loss for the Rebels in front of their home-town fans.

Under five minutes in, the Rebels #27-Quinn Klimchuk took issue with Nigel Swab and both were called for roughing after the whistle. That somewhat brief conflict resulted only in off-setting minors but seemed to set the tone for the night.

With Castlegar’s #12-Diego Bartlett in the box on a slashing call near the 14 minute mark, teammate #21-Chase Reddin got a good short-handed shot off on Rockies net-minder Brody Nelson but failed to find the net.

But just under five minutes later, the Rebels power play unit started to click and #15-Ed Lindsey found a rebound while battling in front, and he made no mistake burying his third of the season at 11:34 to open the scoring.

Penalties were numerous the whole game, with a total of 24 being handed out, and factored into the Rebels second goal when Dustin Boone went off after taking an interference call at 8:29 and Jerome Thorne joining him for delay of game 28 seconds later. During the resulting 5 on 3, Bartlett was the trigger-man on a patient passing play from Reddin and #3-Hunter Jenerou, snapping a quick shot home from the left side that Nelson got no piece of, giving the Rebels a 2 – 0 lead.

Trips to the box were limited to two minutes for both sides until the Rockies’ Logan Kerner jawed and shoved with #10-Derek Georgopoulos long after a whistle at the 3:40 mark. The two were trying to head to their respective benches but the referee had seen enough and handed out 10 minute misconducts.

Jerome Thorne got the Rockies back into it with an unassisted, short-handed buzzer-beater as 0:01 was showing on the clock.

When the second got underway, the intensity level went from hot to scalding.

Castlegar Rookie Bowen Alcock, for example, took a stick to the throat… while on the bench. To be fair, it was a skirmish that involved both sides and no penalties were called but it was indicative of the fact that no one with skates on was safe anywhere.

Columbia Valley levelled the game at 14:14 when  Kyle Pouncy hit from the right side of a sprawling Patrick Zubick and set off a scoring flurry from Columbia Valley. They added two more from Kerner and Damon Raven, at 9:05 and 6:45 respectively, to carry a 4 – 2 lead into the third but not before the main event.

Aaron Brewer and Logan Kerner dropped the mitts in front of the Rebels net and the two threw some heavy blows before both players hit the ice. Kerner, not shy of the spotlight, encouraged the cheers from the crowd and his teammates while going off, but appeared to get the worst of it.

In the third, Columbia Valley controlled the play during the first half but then the Rebels cranked it up, scoring twice with under seven minutes to play to send the game to overtime.

#17-Darren Medeiros struck at 5:35 with 26 seconds left on the power play with a feed from Seth Schmidt to pull the Rebs within one. Then Bartlett fired a wrister from the slot, finishing a tic-tac-toe play at 4:44 from #16-Aaron Petten and Jenerou that set up extra time.

Racey Red Crow was the hero for the Rockies getting his second of the season just 48 seconds into overtime.

The Rebels next play the Spokane Braves Sunday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. and will be looking for a third win against the struggling Braves who are 2-8-0 on the season. The Rebels outscored the Braves 11 – 4 in two September games.

Game Notes:

– This was the third OTL for the Rebels in just nine games of the 2013-14 KIJHL season and are now 3-3-0-3.

– Rebels forward Georgopoulos took a vicious slash to the arm and was seen receiving medical treatment.

– The Rebels power play was 3 for 13 while the Rockies were 0 for 11.

– It pays to be a Rebels fan: lucky puck-toss winner Michael Spagnol landed his puck within the blue face-off circle and walked away with $701.