Ryan Janowski and Brandon Costa each had two points to spark the Nelson Leafs to a 4-2 victory over the Castlegar Rebels in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Tuesday night at the NDCC Arena.
The win, allowing Nelson to sweep the season series against Castlegar, moves the Leafs to within three points of Murdoch leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the race for the division title. Both Beaver Valley and Nelson have played 45 games.
Each team has four games remaining, including a three-game head-to-head series to close out the seasons, beginning Saturday at the NDCC Arena in Nelson.
Against the Rebels, Nelson held period leads of 1-0 and 2-0 before scoring twice in the third frame to open a 4-0 advantage seven minutes into the final period.
Castlegar scored twice in a span of 40 seconds to cut the lead in half.
However, Nelson was able to skate out the final 12 minutes to secure the victory.
Janowski, Costa, Ryan Quinn Nielsen-Webb and Shawn Campbell scored for Nelson. Andrew Rennie and Griffen Ryden replied for Castlegar.
Nelson outshot the Rebels 25-15 in the contest. Nelson goalie Anderson Violette won for the 15th time this season while Dawson Rattai was in goal for Castlegar.
Nelson, playing its first game since February 1, now hosts Creston Valley Thunder Cats at 7 p.m. Friday in the NDCC Arena.
The Leafs host Beaver Valley Saturday before concluding the regular season with games Thursday, February 20th in Fruitvale and Saturday, February 22 at home to the Hawks.
BLUELINES: Castlegar failed to gain any ground on fourth-place Grand Forks in the race for the final playoff spot in the Murdoch Division. The Bruins lead the Rebels by one point heading into the final two weeks of the regular seasons. Castlegar, with two games against Creston and another against Beaver Valley, meet the Bruins Friday in Grand Forks. The Bruins close out the season against Creston before travelling east to meet Fernie and Kimberley. . . .Nelson has won all three meetings this season against Beaver Valley. . . .Leafs leading scorer Reid Wilson registered an assist to stretch his point streak to six games. Wilson, tied for second in KI scoring with Bradley Ross of Beaver Valley, has points in 19 of lasts 20 games. Wilson and Ross have 71 points. Brock Palmer of Kimberley leads all scorers with 89 points. . . . Nelson was again missing veteran defenceman Kaleb Commishin, out of the lineup with an injury. The Nelson Minor Hockey grad last played January 17th against Kimberley.