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.