Fresh of a 9-4 pasting of the Grand Forks Border Bruins, the Nelson Leafs embark on a two-game Kootenay International Junior Hockey League road swing that will take the Green and White to stops in Spokane, Friday, and Fernie, Saturday.
Tuesday’s win over the Bruins continued the Leafs red-hot streak in the KIJHL, that has seen the team jump from worst to first in Murdoch Division standings. Nelson is tied with Kimberley for top spot in the KIJHL, each with 27 points.
“Our mindset is we need to play a full 60 minutes, be committed to the system and play with pace,” said Leafs assistant coach Adam DiBella on the eve of the road trip.
“Both Spokane and Fernie have interesting characteristics in their rink and a lapse of concentration can cost us.”
Tuesday, Nelson, which has seen its winning streak surpass double digits, scored three times in each period with the offence being spread throughout the roster.
Jackson Vyse is the only Leaf player to score multiple times, finishing with a pair, while singles went to Logan MacDonald, Reid Wilson, Jaden Shumilak, Lane Goodwin, Shawn Campbell, Cole Wyatt and Alex Erichuk.
Bryden Pow and Wilson each finished with three points while Kaleb Comishin, Keenan Crossman, Goodwin, Campbell, Erichuk and Vyse each registered two points.
Nelson outshot the Bruins 31-22.
Affiliate player Tenzin Mint, who was thrust into action during last season’s playoffs, registered the win in goal. Mint was called up after regular goalie Austin Madge took a leave of absence from the team due to personal reasons.
Spokane Friday, Fernie Saturday
Nelson opens the road trip Friday in the Lilac City against the third-place Braves.
The Leafs won the two previous meetings between the two clubs.
Spokane, 10-9-0-0-2 on the season, trails Nelson by five points in Murdoch standings.
Saturday, Nelson will be out to turn the tables on a Ghostriders team that stole points from the Leafs on opening night.
Fernie, 9-5-0-0-2, and third in the Eddie Mountain Division, scored a 3-2 overtime win in Nelson.
Nelson will be missing defenceman Alek Erichuk for the Spokane game. The Leaf defenceman is serving a one-game suspension after receiving a game misconduct in the last 10 minutes of Tuesday’s game against Grand Forks.
Erichuk will be eligible to play Saturday in Fernie.
DiBella said other than Jackson Zimmerman, who is out lineup with an upper body injury, there are no other injuries on the Leafs.
Leafs forward Shawn Growbosky recently played his 100th game in the KIJHL. The Okotoks, AB, native has scored 19 goals and 23 assists for 42 points in his KI career.
Nelson returns home for a two-game stand November 15-16 against Chase Heat and Grand Forks.