The Golden Rockets only managed one goal in two games to open the Kootenay Conference final, as the Castlegar Rebels skated to 4-0 and 7-1 wins on the weekend.
Jamie Vlanich netted the winning goal on Saturday at 4:08 of the first period as the Rebels dominated the Rockets outshooting them 19-8 and taking a 4-0 lead into the middle frame.
A goaltending change to start the period didn’t help as former Nitehawk netminder Cody Boekman took over for Jamie Leonard. The Rockets were able to generate some offensive pressure on the Rebels only to be consistently denied by goalie Jordan Gluck. The Rockets outshot Castlegar 27-16 through the final two periods but could only manage a shorthanded goal by Josh Jewel with 59 seconds remaining in the second to make it 5-1.
Travis Wellman led the way for the Rebels scoring twice and adding an assist for a three-point night, while Aaron Brewer, Ryan Osteroff, Bryan Lubin, and Stuart Walton rounded out the scoring for the Rebels.
In other KIJHL action, Greater Trail native Garrett Kucher had another big night for the Osoyoos Coyotes scoring two goals and adding an assist as the Coyotes defeated the North Okanagan Knights Friday 6-2. However, the Knights would bounce back on Saturday with a 5-1 victory to even the Okanagan-Shushwap Conference final.
The series’ resume on Monday as the Rebels head to Golden for Game 3 and the NOKs travel to Sicamous.