The Castlegar Rebels 2012-2013 season has come to an end, but not before adding one more thing to their impressive list of achievements: a gritty come-from-behind 5 – 4 win over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings to secure bronze medal status at the Cyclone Taylor Cup on Sunday, April 14 in Comox,B.C.
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League champions were down three goals before even seven minutes had ticked by but this team has proven all year they have no quit.
Glacier Kings forward Sheldon Brett struck first just under a minute into the game, with assists going to Jack Kennelly and Nick Tupper.
The same assist-duo decided to spread the wealth and next fed Tyson Rennie who snapped it past Rebels goaltender Connor Beauchamp.
Reeling, the Rebels saw a third goal go through the pipes at 6:22 on Nick Tupper’s third scoring play of the game, from Michael Scoble and Patrick Croome.
At 7:21 though, some familiar Rebels names started to take the intensity up.
Captain Erik Alden dished to Jamie Vlanich to get the Rebels on the board and this would prove to be the spark that would send the Rebels on to another four straight.
Before that would happen, though, Rebels Matt Reed and Glacier Kings Calvin Hadley decided to try a different spark and both were handed game misconducts and 5-minute majors for fighting.
For two teams without much of a history, they played like it was the Stanley Cup on the line.
Kody Disher pulled the Rebels within one at 15:26 of the first with assists to Aaron Petten and Diego Bartlett.
In the second, Vlanich took the initiative again, scoring unassisted at 5:01. Two more goals followed, power play markers from Erik Alden (Vlanich with the assist) and Travis Wellman (from Stuart Walton) and the Rebels had reversed the fortunes of the Sockeyes for good.
The power play goals came on the heels of a slew of penalties from the host Comox team.
There were six penalties to the Glacier Kings in the second period alone.
Once the Rebels had the lead they refused to let it go.
The Glacier Kings showed why they belonged at the tournament though, adding a fourth goal courtesy of defenceman Rylan Ball from John Gosbee at 11:54 of the final frame to pull within one.
It wouldn’t be a Castlegar Rebels game without an exciting finish and Comox pulled goaltender Michael Halls, outstanding throughout the tournament, to put an extra attacker out but Beauchamp kept his net puck-free.
The Rebels finished the Cyclone Taylor Cup with a 2 – 2 record after taking both games against the host team but dropping two one-goal contests to the VIJHL Victoria Cougars (1-0) and PJHL Richmond Sockeyes (3-2).
The Sockeyes and Cougars advanced to the gold medal game, with Richmond banging home four straight goals in the second period for their fifth Cyclone Taylor Cup title and fourth for the PJHL since 2008.
* PHOTOS in this Thursday’s paper.