The Castlegar Rebels celebrate after scoring a goal which turned out to be the game winner

Rebels win Kootenay Conference, off to KIJHL final

The Castlegar Rebels have won the Kootenay Conference final with a 5-2 victory over the Fernie Ghostriders at the Castlegar Community Complex on Tuesday night.

It took 15 years, but the Castlegar Rebels are back in the KIJHL finals.

Ryan Aynsley scored a pair of goals late in the second period to break a 2-2 draw, as the Rebels eliminated the Fernie Ghostriders 5-2 in front of 790 fans at the Castlegar Complex Tuesday.

Aynsley fired two power-play markers past former Rebels goaltender Andrew Walton for his team-leading 13th and 14th goals of the playoffs, as Castlegar struck four times while a man up en route to a six-game victory over the vaunted Ghostriders.

Tyler Robinson finished off a pretty passing play to give Castlegar a lead just over five minutes into the game, but Fernie’s Johnny Park levelled the score minutes later.

After taking a high-stick in the face from Cale Wright, the Rebels’ Spencer Brodt put Castlegar up 2-1 early in the second period on a power-play, but again the Ghostriders equalized on a short-handed marker from defensive specialist Mike Anderson.

Cue Aynsley’s heroics.

With time winding down on a two-man advantage, the 20-year-old from Kelowna fired a slapshot past Walton, only to do the same on a subsequent power-play minutes later.

Fellow Okanagan product Erik Wentzel rounded out the scoring 12 seconds into the third period.

Castlegar will now meet the Osoyoos Coyotes for the KIJHL title beginning Saturday in the South Okanagan.

The Rebels last played in the championship series in 1996, when a club coached by former NHLer Pat Price defeated the Sicamous Eagles for the third championship in franchise history.

More photos from the game at:

Just Posted

Choir leader’s selfless work wins her Castlegar Citizen of the Year

Christina Nolan has grown the community choir into a strong and vibrant asset for the city

Water main maintenance ongoing in South Castlegar and Blueberry

Project will take two weeks — city says there should not be any service disruptions

Downtown businesses want you to love them this weekend

Third annual event encourages people to shop in their own community.

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

Most Read