The Nelson Leafs were dealt a serious blow to their Teck Cup Championship hopes Tuesday night at the NDCC Arena.
Will McPhee scored at 15:04 of triple overtime period to spark the Revelstoke Grizzlies to a 4-3 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff victory over the hometown Leafs.
The win gives the Grizzlies a commanding 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven Teck Cup Final.
The Grizzlies can capture the series, and a berth in the Cyclone Taylor Cup, when the teams hook up for Game five Thursday at the Forum in Revelstoke.
After Kaleb West gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with a power play marker, Nelson gave the more than 1,190 fans something to cheer for when the Leafs scored three times in the second frame.
Johnny Carmichael tied the game before Liam Noble and Bryce Sookro scored — the latter two markers on the power play.
Brandon Kasdorf replied for the visitors as Nelson held a 3-2 advantage after 40 minutes.
In the third, Cole Berg evened the score, combining with McPhee to beat goalie Dylan Marshall in the Leaf nets.
The goal came in a period where the Leafs outshot the Grizzlies by a 14-7 margin.
Nelson finished the game out shooting the Grizzlies 52-41.
After losing for the first time in eight games Monday, when Nelson won Game three of the series 2-1, Revelstoke netminder Brandon Weare bounced back to post the victory in goal for the Grizzlies.
Nelson played the game without the services of head coach Mario BiBella.
The veteran skipper, who announced he was retiring from coaching after the playoffs, was serving a one-game suspension after receiving a Game Misconduct in the final 10 minutes of regulation time during Monday’s Game three.
Also missing was Leafs forward Tyler Pisiak, suspended for two games for a Checking from Behind major penalty Monday.
DiBella will be back behind the bench when the series resumes Thursday in Revelstoke.
If a sixth game is necessary in the series, it will be played Friday at the NDCC Arena.
Puck drop is 7 p.m.
LEAFS NOTES: This is not the first time this post season Nelson has face adversity. The Leafs twice rallied from two-game deficits in the playoffs — against Castlegar Rebels and Kimberley Dynamiters. During the first round against the Rebels, Nelson trailed 3-1 before winning three straight to capture the Murdoch Semi Final. Against Kimberley, in the Kootenay Conference Final, Nelson trailed 2-0 before winning four straight to claim the Conference best-of-seven series. . . . Revelstoke is the defending Teck Cup Champions after winning the title the last time the KIJHL Champion was held, pre-COVID-19 in 2019. . . . The last time Nelson won the KIJHL title came in 2009. The following season, in 2010, Nelson lost the KIJHL Final in five games to Revelstoke. . . . The KIJHL Champion travels to Delta April 7-10 to compete in the 2022 Cyclone Taylor Cup. The KIJHL Champ joins host Delta Ice Hawks and winners of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League and Pacific Coast Hockey League in the four-team tournament to determine the BC Hockey Junior B Champ.