The Nelson Leafs made a strong statement during Game one of the Murdoch Division Finals.
The Green and White blasted the Beaver Valley Nitehawks 6-0 to take a one game lead in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Playoff Series Monday night at the Fruitvale Arena.
Shawn Campbell and Reid Wilson each scored twice and Leaf goalie Anderson Violette stopped all 29 shots to give Nelson a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Division Final.
Game two is Tuesday night in Beaver Valley before the series shifts to the NDCC Arena for Games three and four, Thursday and Friday.
It didn’t take long for Nelson to turn the tables on the hometown Hawks. Seconds after Brady Miller was sent to the penalty box for slashing, Campbell beat Hunter Young in the Beaver Valley nets to give the visitors the early lead less than three minutes into the game.
Nelson’s leading scorer Reid Wilson added to the lead four minutes later before Brandon Costa made it 3-0 less than 12 minutes into the contest.
Nelson scored three times in the second, Wilson, David Sanchez and Campbell — the final tally coming on the power play with only five seconds remaining in the period — to assume complete control of the game.
In the third Nelson kept up the pressure on the deflated Hawks, as the defence only allowed six shots on Violette in the period.
Nelson finished the game outshooting Beaver Valley 35-29. The Leafs were 1-for-9 on the power play while the Hawks went scoreless.
Nelson pitched a shutout for the second consecutive game in the playoffs. Tenzin Mint stopped all shots last week as the Leafs shutout Spokane Braves 3-0 to clinch the Murdoch Division Semi-Final Series in the Lilac City.
Kootenay Ice to the rescue
Nelson was missing defenceman Ryan Quinn Nielsen-Webb for Game one of the series against Beaver Valley. The Kelowna player is serving a suspension for a Game Misconduct in the final 10 minutes of Nelson’s Game four win over Spokane.
Nelson called up Kootenay Ice affiliate player Dallas Maximick for the contest.
Quinn Nielsen-Webb is eligible to play when the series shifts back to Nelson Thursday for Game three.
Nitros, Grizzlies, Posse take 1-0 leads after opening night wins
Kimberley Dynamiters edged Columbia Valley Rockies 4-3 in overtime to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eddie Mountain Division Final Monday in the Bavarian City.
Former Nelson Leaf Ryan Piva scored an unassisted marker at 7:17 of the first overtime period.
Kimberley, trailing 3-2 in the third period, tied the game with one second remaining in the third period to force overtime. The Rockies outshot the Nitros 32-30 in the game. Game two is Tuesday in Kimberley.
Meanwhile, in the Okanagan Conference Revelstoke Grizzlies and Princeton Posse each grabbed 1-0 leads in their respective Divisional Finals.
Revelstoke shutout 100 Mile House Wranglers 3-0 while Princeton upset Kelowna 2-1. Each series resumes Tuesday.