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There's life left in them Nelson Leafs
Just when fans thought it was time to begin drafting the eulogy on 2016-17 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season for the Nelson Leafs the Buds showed some life.
Dale Howell had three points to lead the Leafs to a 5-3 victory over the Fernie Ghostriders in KIJHL action Saturday night in the East Kootenay City.
Not only does the win snap a six game winless streak but also the Leafs keep their hopes over overtaking the Grand Forks Border Bruins for third spot in the Murdoch Division.
The Bruins, three points in front of Nelson, lost out on a chance to clinch third after dropping a 6-2 decision to Castlegar Rebels Saturday in the Boundary City.
The Leafs and Bruins meet in the final game of the regular season Saturday in Grand Forks.
Back to Fernie, Nelson watched as the game against the Ghostriders played out much the same as the loss Friday in Columbia Valley against the Rockies.
Nelson jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Alex Meeker and Nicholas Wihak.
Brendan Nemes cut the margin in half with a goal midway through the opening frame.
Nelson took a 3-1 lead when Andy Fitzpatrick scored his 12th of the season on the power play. Tayler Sincennes answered Fitzpatrick with a goal late in the frame.
But Jacob Karran restored Nelson’s two-goal advantage before the period ended.
Keelan Saworski once again cut the margin with a power play marker early in the third.
But Nelson did not fold instead Howell scored from Sawyer Hunt and Zach Morey giving the Leafs all the insurance they would need to secure the victory.
Devin Allen stopped 37 of 40 shots to register the win while Brandon Youngson took the loss in the nets for Fernie.
Nelson travels to Spokane Friday to meet the Braves before concluding the season Saturday in Grand Forks against the Bruins.
LEAFS NOTES: Two wins against Spokane and Grand Forks would allow Nelson to finish the season with a 500 record. . . . Dale Howell has been leading Nelson offensively since returning from a suspension with five points in four games. The native of Hope, BC has 20 goals to lead the Leafs in markers. . . . Beaver Valley continues to be the talk of the entire KIJHL after blasting Columbia Valley 7-2 Saturday in Invermere. The 38-4-1-0-2 Hawks, winners of 16 straight, lead the KIJHL in points with 79.