Not as convincing as the shots on goal might suggest.
The Castlegar Rebels fired 43 shots at Beaver Valley goaltender Mike Vlanich, but needed five unanswered goals over the final 40 minutes to prevail 6-3 in Game 3 of the Neil Murdoch division final in Fruitvale Monday night.
Spencer Brodt’s goal 1:26 into the third period would prove to be the game-winner, as the Nitehawks got goals from Daniel Bishop, Keanan Patershuk and Taylor Love on three of their four first-period shots to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
Rookie Castlegar defenceman Aaron Brewer scored his second goal of the contest (and second of his KIJHL career) on a heat-seeking one-timer 1:36 into period two, before Trail product Jamie Vlanich leveled the score midway through the middle frame.
Cue the diminutive Alaskan’s match-winner.
Brodt capitalized after a Ryan Aynsley shot rebounded onto his stick, as he pushed the puck past an outstretched Vlanich to give the Rebels their first lead of the game.
Tyler Robinson would score a similar goal later in the frame before defenceman Ryan Reid added an insurance marker when his dump-in took a wacky bounce off the Beaver Valley Arena glass.
Alex Ross stopped 11 shots to register his first victory since a wild 7-6 overtime win in Game 2 against Spokane on Feb. 15.
With the victory, the Rebels now enjoy a 2-1 series lead heading into Tuesday’s Game 4 in Fruitvale (7 p.m., Beaver Valley Arena).
The series will shift back to the Castlegar Complex for Game 5 on Thursday night.