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Tough weekend for Green & White

Players battle for puck possession near the Leafs bench during KIJHL action Saturday at the NDCC Arena between Nelson and Kimberley. — The Nelson Daily photo

Probably the best medicine for the Green and White is a quick turnaround after the Leafs dropped consecutive Kootenay International Junior Hockey League games to Kelowna, Friday, and Kimberley, Saturday, at the NDCC Arena.

Nelson is back in action Wednesday for a rare mid-week contest in Spokane against the Braves following home-ice losses to Kelowna, 6-2, and Kimberley, 5-0.

Chiefs’ all-time leading scorer Brody Dale and Zach Erhardt each had five points to power the KIJHL leaders to four-goal victory over the Leafs. The line of Dale, Erhardt and Devin Sutton combined for 13 points in the game.

Kelowna led 2-0 before Nelson, entering the game riding a seven-game winning streak, cut the margin in half as Shawn Campbell scored shorthanded.

However, Erhardt restored the two-goal advantage before the period ended. Kelowna then put the game away with three straight goals in the third period. Dale and Erhardt each finished with two goals to pace Kelowna with singles going to Juanre Naude and Sutton. Campbell finished the game with a pair of goals for Nelson.

Kelowna outshot the Leafs 39-23 in a penalty-filled contest. Chiefs’ Braeden Mitchell outdueled C.J. Wedenig in the Leaf nets to register the win.

Saturday, Nelson played the Nitros even for 32 minutes before Kimberley exploded for three goals in a five-minute span.

Keegan McDowell, with his first of two in the game, Brody Daniels and Brandt Bertoia scored to give Kimberley the commanding lead. Jackson Bohan scored the other goal for the visitors on the power play. Kimberley outshot the Leafs 32-15 in the game.

Adam Anderson registered the shutout for Kimberley. Wedenig took his second loss of the season in goal for Nelson.

LEAF NOTES: The two losses put a damper on what has been a very successful home stand in October for the Leafs, with Nelson finishing at 5-2 at the NDCC Arena during the 10-game month. . . . Nelson still leads the Murdoch Division with a 13-3-0-1 record and an eight-point advantage over Beaver Valley Nitehawks. . . .Nelson was missing netminder Caiden Kreitz (upper body) and Tyler Nypower (suspension). . . . Keenan Crossman was back in the lineup after serving a suspension. . . . Prior to Friday’s game against Kelowna, there was a brief ceremony supporting mental health initiative, MindRight, by Chiefs player Miles Mattila. The Chiefs player is a huge advocate of mental health and has helped many during this venture. Former Nelson player and coach Sean Dooley spoke about his own struggles before dropping the puck during ceremonial faceoff. . . . Next home game for Nelson is Saturday, November 17th against Fernie Ghostriders.

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