Rebels starting goalie, Logan Sawka was the Home Star on Friday, Feb. 12 at the Castlegar Complex as the Rebels shutout the Leafs 4-0.The Leafs laid 30 shots upon Sawka, but the little black puck could not cross the goal line. The Rebels defence created a safety shieldaround Sawka. Meanwhile the Rebels offensive lines plugged away at Nelson goalie Patrick Ostermann.
In previous match-ups, Ostermann had made the net impenetrable. But that was not the case this night as Rebels players found the holes inOstermann’s defence of the net.
The Leafs tried to play the Rebels style of physical hockey. But their attempts to borrow the Rebels techniques only led them to a series ofpenalties that would cost them dearly. Of the Rebels four goals, three were scored on power plays.
The Rebels scored twice in the first period in the last seven minutes of play to set the tone for the game. Mike Bhatoa scored at 6:40assisted by linemates Tayden Woods and Chris Breese. Then Darren Medeiros scored at 5:19 on the clock from a perfect setup from EdLindsey and Morgan Scriber.
The Leafs out-shot the Rebels 14-7 in the first period. The Rebels turned the shots situation around in the second period out-shooting theLeafs 9-6. The Rebels Nick Headrick took an extremely hard body check to the boards, knocking him down and on all fours for a fewseconds as he recovered and recomposed himself. But he came back with more determination than ever to outmanoeuvre the Nelson teamand score at 13:30 on the clock. Headrick’s jersey number is 13 so it all makes perfect sense! Perhaps this coincidence of numerology hasits roots in the discovery of gravitational waves this past week, but we’re not sure.
The third period saw the continuation of the Rebels dominance of the game. The Leafs tried unsuccessfully to recapture the game forthemselves. Rebels defenceman Vince Bitonti scored on a power play opportunity with a measly 12 seconds left in the game assisted byTayden Woods and Mike Bhatoa.
Darren Medeiros added some perspective on his goal of the night: “Yeah, I was sitting in the high slot there waiting patiently. Ed(Lindsey)and Scriber gave me a pass out front, so I captured it. Thanks for the pass buddy and I just tapped her in.”
Medeiros would score again the following night as the Rebels beat the Leafs in Nelson 6-3. The Rebels have a busy schedule ahead. Theyhave three road games this week and their final game of the regular season is on home ice this Sunday, Feb. 21 with the Spokane Braves.Puck drop is at 2 p.m. following an award presentation to Darren Medeiros for his milestones in achievement.
Playoffs begin on Tuesday, Feb. 23 and Wednesday, Feb. 24 against, tentatively, Grand Forks.
There is a special presentation on Feb. 24 to Stuart Walton who played for the Castlegar Rebels from 2009-2013. He was the all time pointshighest scorer in Rebels hockey history with 86 goals and 143 assists for a total of 229 points. His No. 7 jersey will be retired after thisseason.
The Castlegar Rebels are also holding a bottle drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sandman Hotel this Saturday, Feb. 20. Anyone wishing tohelp support the Rebels should bring their empties down for the Rebels to recycle for you!