Anthony DeLong scored twice and added an assist as the Castlegar Rebels returned home with a convincing 5-1 win over Grand Forks Tuesday night.
After enjoying a 10-day layoff thanks to the KIJHL All-Star break, Castlegar began the regular season’s stretch drive with their seventh victory in as many tries over the Border Bruins, and in the process increased their lead atop the Neil Murdoch division to nine points over second-place Beaver Valley.
No fewer than four Rebels were slapped with game misconducts, three of them for fighting in a game that was not short on physicality.
“I thought me moved the puck pretty well,” DeLong noted after the game, “and we got fired up from all the hitting and the fights.”
DeLong converted a Tyler Robinson one-timer 17 seconds into the middle frame to give the Rebels a 1-0 edge.
Bruins sniper Zach Thompson added a power-play goal at the 10:22 mark, before DeLong’s 23rd tally of the season gave the Rebels a lead they would not relinquish.
Kwinn Mazzilli would snap a wrister past Grand Forks goaltender Ryan Ryman before the second period expired: Robinson and Stuart Walton added singles in the third.
Fifteen-year-old affiliate goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn, who skates with the major midget Kootenay Ice, picked up his second win in as many outings with the Rebels.
“The players are stronger, shots are harder, speed is faster, that’s for sure,” Schamerhorn said, “but I saw all the pucks.”
The Rebels now prepare for a pair of games this weekend.
They visit the Spokane Braves Friday night before returning home Saturday with their lone encounter of the season against the Kelowna Chiefs.
The club will be without sniper Ryan Aynsley for Friday’s game.
The 20-year-old was given a checking from behind major late in the third period after a hit on Bruins defenceman Derek Grimm, and under the KIJHL’s misconduct rule must serve a mandatory one-game suspension.
Chris Wahl is a news reporter at Mountain FM who’s covering the Rebels for the Castlegar News this season. He’s also the play-by-play voice of the Rebels webcasts on KIJHL.ca.
For more on the Rebels, check out Chris’ blog at: off-the-wahl.blogspot.com