The Castlegar Rebels claimed a 3 -1 win on the road in Golden tonight, and will take a commanding 3 – 0 series lead over the Rockets into game four of the KIJHL Kootenay Conference Final, which will also be played in Golden tomorrow (7:30 MST).
Despite being outshot 35 – 30, going 0 for 5 on the power play, and scoring no goals in the first period, the Rebels are now in position to sweep the series.
The Rebels have outscored the Golden team 14 – 2 to this point in the series but those numbers are not really indicative of strong performances from the Rockets goaltenders, Cody Boeckman and James Leonard.
After a penalty-filled game two that saw two fights and a number of game misconducts handed out to both sides, the penalty box on Monday was busy but nothing out of the ordinary.
The Rebels opened the scoring at 5:53 of the second. Matt Reed got his second of the playoffs on passes from Kody Disher and Dylan Bowerman.
At 10:29 of the third, speedy Rebels’ forward Travis Wellman put Castlegar up 2 – 0, with assists going to Stuart Walton and Bryan Lubin.
The Rockets got within one at 8:49 of the third on a power play marker off the stick of Shane Rutherford from Carter Cochrane and Blake Roney, but that was all the charge they could muster.
Team-leading goal-scorer for the Rebels, forward Jamie Vlanich, added an empty-netter on a dish from Brenden Heinrich with just 47 seconds left to play. Vlanich now has 9 goals and 9 assists in the 15 playoff games decided so far.
Stuart Walton also has 18 points (4 goals and 14 assists).
Connor Beauchamp got the win in net for the Rebels; his second of four in the post-season. Beauchamp has allowed just four goals on 114 shots.
In other Monday night action, the North Okanagan Knights dominated the Osoyoos Coyotes in a 5 – 0 shutout for goaltender Dustin Nikkel in Osoyoos. The Knights have a 2 -1 lead in the Okanagan-Shuswap Conference Final and have outscored the Osoyoos squad 12 – 7.