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Rebels nip Leafs; Aynsley commits to Northern Michigan

By The Nelson Daily Sports

Erik Wentzel scored a power play goal with eight minutes left in the game to spark the Castlegar Rebels to a 4-3 victory over the Nelson Leafs in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday at the NDCC Arena.

The loss was the third straight for the Leafs. Castlegar has dominated the season series against the Nelson losing only one game.

The teams conclude the West Kootenay rivalry tonight in the Sunflower City. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Castlegar led 2-1 after one period on goals by Spencer Brodt and Ryan Aynsley.  Jeff Hodgkinson scored his first goal in a Leaf jersey to keep the home team close.

Stuart Walton had the only marker of the second to increase the Rebel lead to 3-1. Dallon Stoddart gave the home side some life scoring seven minutes into the third.

But the Murdoch Division leaders power play finally clicked with Wentzel restoring the two-goal lead. Evan J. Moir scored with four minute remaining in the game to make the score close.

Castlegar out shot the Leafs by a wide margin with Alex Ross registering the win in goal.

Marcus Beesley, getting a lot of work for Nelson between the pipes with Darren Hogg still on the injury list, took the loss.

ICE CHIPS: Ryan Aynsley, 20, has verbally committed to a scholarship offer at Northern Michigan University. Aynsley, a native of Kelowna, leads the Rebels in scoring with 31 goals and 35 assists for 66 points in 35 games. Aynsley spent some time with Trail of the BCHL, but decided to return to the Rebels prior to the roster deadline in January.

sports@thenelsondaily.com