Rebels overcome slow start to edge Nelson Leafs
By The Nelson Daily Sports
Northern Michigan University prospect Ryan Aynsley had three points to allow the Castlegar Rebels to continue its season dominance of the Nelson Leafs, edging the West Kootenay rival 5-3 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play Saturday in the Sunflower City.
The Rebels won all but one game against the Green and White this season, including a 4-3 decision Friday in Nelson.
Castlegar, winners of the Murdoch Division regular season crown in convincing fashion, overcame a slow start to out score the Leafs 4-1 during the final 40 minutes.
Nelson had the best start it could want when Marcus Dahl and Braeden Hikichi each scored power play goals less than three minutes apart in the first period.
But Arthur Andrews, before the first period ended, and Tyler Robinson, Aynsley and Erik Wentzel, in the second gave the Rebels the lead for good. The second period markers came in a span of five minutes.
Taylor Anderson added an empty net marker in the third to conclude the Castlegar scoring. Connor Enright also scored for Nelson.
Castlegar out shot the Leafs for the second straight night 31-30.
Cole Buckley registered the win in goal for Castlegar, which opens the playoffs against Spokane Braves.
Marcus Beesley, playing his 11th consecutive game as starter Darren Hogg continues to sit on the shelf nursing a leg injury, took the loss in goal for Nelson.
ICE CHIPS: Nelson concludes the season with a two-game series against Creston Valley Thunder Cats. The series was to have been played in Whitehorse but local organizers decided to switch gears when the WHL accepted an offer to be part of the weekend. Now Vancouver Giants will play the Kamloops Blazers on Hockey Day in Canada. . . .Gavin Currie, out of the lineup with a shoulder injury since the New Year’s Eve game against Spokane, is expected to see some time against Creston. . . .The Leafs open the post season Tuesday, February 15 in Fruitvale against the Nitehawks. Game two is Wednesday with the series switching to the NDCC Arena Friday and Saturday. . . .Castlegar opens against Spokane Monday, Feb. 14 in the Sunflower City. . . .The Rebels meet Grand Forks Wednesday in the Boundary City before concluding the regular season with a home-and-home set against Beaver Valley, Friday in Castlegar and Saturday in Fruitvale.