Nelson Leafs, 3-1 in November following a perfect October record, play host to a pair of Kootenay International Junior Hockey League home games Friday and Saturday at the NDCC Arena.
Friday, Nelson welcomes the second-place Chase Heat of the Doug Birks Division before tangling with Murdoch rival Grand Forks Border Bruins Saturday.
The Heat, 11-6-0-0-2, trail defending KIJHL Champion Revelstoke Grizzlies by three points and are 7-2-0-1-0 in their last 10 games.
The Heat are led by forwards Breckin Erichuk and Gavin Mattey, who lead the team in scoring with 25 and 23 points, respectively. Mattey leads Chase in goals with 13 in 19 games.
Saturday, struggling Grand Forks is back for another date in Nelson. The Bruins enter the weekend winless in four games and sit fourth in the Murdoch Division with an 8-10-0-0-2 record, three points in front of Castlegar Rebels.
After the two-game home stand, Nelson takes to the road for four straight games in the East Kootenay and Castlegar.
Former Leaf Curt Doyle earns Three Star recognition
All is well in the South Okanagan for former Nelson Leafs goalie Curt Doyle, who was one of the KIJHL’s Three Stars this past week.
Doyle is joined by Brock Palmer of the Kimberley Dynamiters and Cole Haberlack of the North Okanagan Knights.
Doyle, a Nelson Minor Hockey grad, earns the first start after he helped the Coyotes snap a 17-game winless skid with a 3-1 win in Kamloops against the Storm on Nov. 8. Doyle turned aside 33 of 34 shots. The next night at home hosting the 100 Mile House Wranglers, Doyle was named the game star as he stopped 41 of 43 shots in a 2-2 tie. In two games, Doyle turned aside 74 of 77 shots.
“The victory felt great, we have a very hard working group of guys and it was nice to help reward them with the win,” says Doyle, who picked up his first victory of the season after being dealt to Osoyoos from Nelson.
“I thought I had a really solid game. I loved my time in Kamloops and I haven’t really been back much since, so it was a game I was looking forward to.”