North Okanagan Knights' goaltender Dustin Nikkel watches a loose puck pass close with Knights' d-man Mac Ferner and Jamie Vlanich of the Rebels close by in Game 1 of the KIJHL championship series Tuesday night in Castlegar.

North Okanagan Knights' goaltender Dustin Nikkel watches a loose puck pass close with Knights' d-man Mac Ferner and Jamie Vlanich of the Rebels close by in Game 1 of the KIJHL championship series Tuesday night in Castlegar.

Castlegar ices North Okanagan in Game 1 of KIJHL final

Castlegar Rebels stop North Okanagan Knights 2-1 in Game 1 of KIJHL final Monday night in the Kootenays.

Diego Bartlett netted the winner early in the third period as the Castlegar Rebels outlasted the North Okanagan Knights 2-1 in Game 1 of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League final Monday night in the Kootenays.

Knights’ defenceman Mac Ferner opened the scoring during a first-period powerplay. Colton Thibault and Derek Andrews drew assists. The Rebels’ Travis Wellman pulled the hosts even with a late tally in the second frame.

North Okanagan netminder Dustin Nikkel earned second star for his 33-save performance. Jordan Gluck had 19 stops for Castlegar.

Game 2 goes tonight at the Castlegar Complex, followed by the third and fourth tilts Friday (7:30) and Saturday (7:00) at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Check out Friday sports in the Morning Star for a recap of the series’ first two games.