Rebels take two points from Braves

The month of January has been kind to Tyler Jones.

The Rebels defenceman scored his third goal of the month, and fourth since the Christmas break, to lift Castlegar over the Spokane Braves 4-1 in KIJHL action Friday night.

Jones’ power-play goal broke a 1-1 tie with 4:18 remaining in the second period, a lead that was increased with two third-period goals 31 seconds apart by Stuart Walton and Anthony DeLong.

Diego Bartlett also scored for Castlegar while Braves All-Star Rance Hughes had the only reply for the home side, scoring on a breakaway late in the opening frame.

Alex Ross made 28 saves in his return to action after being rested for Tuesday night’s win over Grand Forks, while Braves goaltender Garrett Barr stopped 31 shots at the other end.

Friday’s tight-checking game was a polar opposite to the Rebels’ last visit to Washington state: last month the two clubs ended the pre-holiday portion of their respective schedules in an 8-7 shootout.

There’s also a strong possibility the two teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Castlegar has a strong hold on first place in the Neil Murdoch division, leading Beaver Valley by 11 points, while Spokane sits seven points back of third-place Nelson.

Castlegar will look to maintain their current momentum at home Saturday when they welcome the Kelowna Chiefs.