KIJHL – Kootenay Conference final deadlocked at 1-1

Series shifts to Castlegar for Game 3 tonight

Local hockey fans thirsting for more junior playoff action will have to head to Castlegar tonight.

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Kootenay Conference final continues tonight when the Fernie Ghostriders face the Castlegar Rebels at 7 p.m. at the Castlegar Community Complex.

The Ghostriders evened the best-of-seven series at a game apiece thanks to a 5-2 Tuesday night in Fernie.

Scott Morisseau led the team with two goals and three points. That output moved him ahead of teammate Thomas Abenante for the KIJHL playoff scoring lead with 29 points in 13 games.

Abenante, a Trail native, sat out Tuesday’s game while serving a one-game suspension for receiving a game misconduct in the last 10 minutes of Game 1 on Monday.

Castlegar will host Game 3 tonight and Game 4 on Saturday before the series heads back to Fernie for Game 5 next Monday.

There is no shortage of local talent playing in the series.

The Castlegar roster includes Trail native Jamie Vlanich, who is tied for second on the team for playoff scoring with four goals and 16 points in 10 games.

Goaltender Alex Ross of Montrose has appeared in nine games and sports a 3.63 goals against average. Jesse Knowler, who played with the Rossland-Trail Bantam Reps two years ago and captained the Kootenay Ice this season, has five goals in 10 playoff games for the Rebels.

Meanwhile, the Ghostriders include former Trail Smoke Eater defenceman Jeff Zmurchyk. The Fernie native, who was named the KIJHL’s top defenceman this season, played with Trail during the 2008-09 season.

He was traded to Merritt in 2009 to complete the deal that brought Scott Jacklin to the Smokies.