There’s no time like the present for the Nelson Leafs to hit the reset button and return to their winning ways when the club travels to Castlegar Saturday to meet the Rebels in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action.
The Leafs are coming off a three-game swing through the Eddie Mountain Division that saw the Green and White drop all three contests against Fernie, Kimberley and Golden.
Despite the poor showing, Leafs assistant coach Adam DiBella said the team remains committed to the season plan.
“We have a great opportunity to stop a minor dip in the season,” DiBella said.
“Playing a divisional rival and a team on the rise like Castlegar will provide a play-off like atmosphere and feel to the game.”
The Rebels have struggled for most of the season, sitting last in the Murdoch Division. Castlegar, 6-12-0-0-3, trails Nelson by 18 points in the standings and are currently riding a six-game losing streak.
Nelson enters the contest a little banged up on the blueline with Alex Erichuk and Ryan Nielsen-Webb both out of the lineup with upper body injuries.
DiBella said the playing status of two other forwards and one defencemen remain in question.
“Depending on those evaluations we may need to use an affiliate player or two,” he said.
DiBella said forwards Jackson Zimmerman and Tyler Badger are also on the shelf with upper body injuries.
This is a big weekend for the coaching staff as Sunday, December 1 is the roster cutdown date for all junior hockey teams.
Junior B Hockey teams begin the season with 45 player registration cards and must reduce the rosters to 25 cards on December 1.
Next home game for Nelson is Friday, December 13th when the Leafs host defending KIJHL Champion Revelstoke Grizzlies.