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Piva scores twice to spark Leafs past North Okanagan Knights

Leafs Ryan Piva looks for the puck following a first-period collision in front of the Knights net. — Bruce Fuhr, The Nelson Daily

Nelson veteran Ryan Piva scored twice sparking the Leafs to a 4-1 victory over the visiting North Okanagan Knights Friday on opening night of the 2018-19 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season at the NDCC Arena.

Piva scored in the first and second periods as Nelson built a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Leafs captain Jack Karran and David Sanchez added singles. Kalem Hanlon added a pair of assists for Nelson.

Ty Toppe scored the only goal for the Knights, outshot by a 49-14 margin including 23-3 in the second period.

Prior to the game the Leafs recognized the Humboldt Broncos Junior A Hockey Team. Leaf head coach Mario DiBella read a brief statement saluting the Broncos and the City of Humboldt.

The Broncos were heading to Nipawin, Saskatchewan, in April for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game when the bus the players and coaches were riding on was T-boned by a tractor-trailer. The crash killed 16 people and injured 13 more.

Nelson concludes Week One of the KIJHL season with an away date in Sicamous Saturday.

North Okanagan continues its road swing through the Murdoch Division with a game Saturday in Castlegar against the Rebels.