The Castlegar Rebels won game one of their quest for the 2013 Cyclone Taylor Cup tonight, as the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League champions beat the Comox Valley Glacier Kings 3 – 1 at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.
At 14:18 Bryan Lubin backhanded a shot past Comox Valley Glacier Kings goaltender Michael Hails on a feed from Travis Wellman and Stuart Walton to give the Rebels the early lead.
Exactly the same players made it onto the scoresheet again just a few minutes later: Lubin from Wellman and Walton at 16:54 to extend the lead to two.
Each team had chances on the power play in the first but neither side could produce a goal with the man advantage.
Shots were 13 – 10 in favour of the Rebels after 20 minutes.
At the end of the opening period, Rebels defenceman Brett Leidl was helped off the ice with what appeared to be a right leg injury.
Connor Beauchamp started in net for the Rebels and was solid through 20 minutes, turning aside all 10 shots he faced.
Both Beauchamp and Hails were sharp in the second, each facing slightly less shots than in the first as both teams adopted a tough defensive stance.
Forward Jeremy McGregor made it a 3 – 0 lead after intercepting a pass and walking in on Hails at 12:59. Darren Medeiros picked up an assist on the play.
The first goal for the Glacier Kings came on the power play as Matt Reed was off for slashing.
With just seven seconds left on the clock in the second, a shot from Rylan Ball hit Steven Garcia in front of the Rebels net, and the puck somehow found its was past Beauchamp. Garrett Halls got the second assist on the play.
In the third, the Rebels protected the lead well and the final score was 3 -1.
The Rebels outshot the Kings 34 – 24 on the night.
The Rebels next face the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League champs, the Victoria Cougars, Friday, April 12 at 3:30 p.m.
The Cougars lost their first game against the Pacific International Junior Hockey League victors, the Richmond Sockeyes, by a score of 5 – 2 on Thursday.
The Rebels will be playing Richmond on Saturday, April 13 at 3:30 p.m.
The runner-up game in the round-robin is scheduled for Sunday, April 14 at 10:30 a.m. with the championship game starting at 2:30 p.m.
The winner of the Cyclone Taylor Cup moves on to compete for the Western Canada “B” Crown, the Keystone Cup, against teams from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan, April 18 – 21 in St. Malo, Manitoba.
The Castlegar News will be following the games and will provide regular updates at www.facebook.com/CastlegarNews, Twitter (@CastlegarNews) and CastlegarNews.com.