What a difference a month makes.
During the opening month of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season in September, the Nelson Leafs struggled to keep the puck out of their net, giving up a whopping 23 goals in five games.
Over the past five games since the calendar was flipped to October, the Green and White have been a completely different team, surrendering justs seven goals en route to a perfect 5-0 record. The streak has leapfrogged the Leafs into second-place tie with Spokane in Murdoch Division standings.
Nelson added another pair of wins over the weekend, registering a 4-0 home ice win over the Spokane Braves Sunday afternoon at the NDCC Arena.
Saturday, in the Boundary City, Nelson built up a 6-0 lead before coasting to a 7-3 decision over the Border Bruins.
Sunday, Nelson rode the 24-save performance of goalie Anderson Violette to the shutout victory.
Nelson’s scoring leader Reid Wilson scored the only goal the home side would need, roofing a shot past Marcello De Antunuano in the Spokane nets midway through the first period. Brady Miller, on the power play, and Tyler Badger, with his first in a Leaf jersey, increased the margin to 3-0 after 40 minutes.
Alek Erichuk added a power play marker in the third period to seal the victory for the Leafs. Bryden Pow had two assists to lead the Leafs offensively.
Nelson, which also defeated Spokane 5-1 Tuesday at the NDCC Arena, outshot the Braves 27-24 in the game.
Saturday, Nelson jumped all over the hometown Bruins, scoring twice on the power play to open a 2-0 after the first period.
Pow and Miller scored six minutes apart in the opening frame for the Leafs. Leafs blew the game open in the second, scoring four more times and chasing Grand Forks starter Shane Zilka from the Bruins’ net.
Rookie Joe Davidson scored twice while Kaleb Comishin and Shawn Campbell added singles. Jake Huculak scored on the power play late in the second period to stop the bleeding of the home side. Bruins Nathan Cohen-Wallis sandwiched goals around Pow’s second of the game to complete the scoring.
Nelson outshot Grand Forks 35-32 in the contest. Violette was in goal to register the win for Nelson.
ICE CHIPS: Leaf rookie Joe Davidson added an assist Sunday to run his point streak to three games. Davidson trails rookie teammate Bryden Pow by a point in Leaf scoring stats. Pow has five goals and three assists for eight points while Davidson has scored four times while registering three assists in 10 games. Reid Wilson leads Nelson in scoring with 12 points including six goals. The Castlegar native has scoring in all but three games for Nelson. . . . The Leafs trail Murdoch Division leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the standings by five points. The Nitehawks have dropped only three points in 11 games to start the season. . . .Nelson looks to build on its impressive October with two home games. Friday, the Leafs host rival Castlegar before welcoming Eddie Mountain Divisions Golden Rockets Saturday. Both games have puck drop at 7 p.m.