Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rebels part ways with Brent Heaven

A coaching change in the local KIJHL ranks today. You can read more about it by clicking here for Chris' Rebels blog or by clicking here for the Rebels official website. The bottom line is that Castlegar isn't entering into negotiations to retain Coach and GM Brent Heaven now that his contract expired at the end of the season. Heaven compiled a 91-50-2-10 record over 3 seasons as the bench boss in Castlegar. He also just recently won the Neil Murdoch Division Coach of the Year award. However, the board of directors was concerned about the team's lack of success in the playoffs. They only won one playoff round over those three seasons.

I wish Brent the best with his future plans. He was always very accommodating to us at Mountain FM and I'm sorry to see him go. I'm sure we'll see him behind the bench again someday. Of course I do also hope there are good things in Castlegar's future. They are technically my "home" team as I live and work in that fine city. I'm sure it was a difficult decision for the board and they'll work hard to find the right guy to guide their club next season. It's interesting to note that they are looking to develop a closer relationship with the Smoke Eaters under the new coaching regime.

Here is the team's perspective with their president...

Castlegar Rebels President Jim Craig on Mountain FM's Overtime

Click here to download


The KIJHL playoffs have moved on to the second round now. Nelson beat Beaver Valley 4-3 in a first round war. That means the end of former Smoke Eater goaltender Paul Barclay's junior career... at least it would appear to anyway. He went out with a bang by helping the Nitehawks take the Leafs to the limit. Not many gave Beaver Valley a chance in the series, but I know Nelson Coach Simon Wheeldon told me he knew BV was going to be a huge test for them. The Hawks got great goaltending and sacrificed themselves for just a chance to win.

Actually the series is at least an interesting comparison for Trail because again it was a situation where the underdog got a split on the road and then lost both games at home. In the KIJHL series the Nitehawks came back with wins in game 5 and 6 to force a deciding game. It would seem like losing both games at home really takes away a team's momentum, but there is something very dangerous about a team who are playing desperate and without many expectations.

In any event, congrats to former Smoke Eater Scott Jago and company for advancing to the second round. There are a bunch of Trail APs on the Nelson roster that we can keep our eyes on as the Leafs continue into the Neil Murdoch Division finals against Spokane. Nelson leads that series 2-0. It's far from over though as Spokane got down 2-0 to Castlegar and came back to win that series. They are great in their own barn. Also congrats to the Nitehawks for taking Nelson to the limit. Longtime BV Coach Terry Jones told me he's going to take a couple of weeks to contemplate his future there, but I have to think no matter what he'll be involved again. It just seems to be in his blood.

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