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Former Leafs Hikichi, Rupert make triumphant return to NDCC Arena as Chiefs pull out 4-3 overtime victory

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
September 24th, 2011

Former Leafs Dane Rupert and Braeden Hikichi each has two points to spark the visiting Kelowna Chiefs to a 4-3 overtime victory over Nelson in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night at the NDCC Arena.

The loss was the second straight at home for the Green and White as Phil Bamber ruined the night for the home side scoring at 1:08 of the second overtime period.

Nelson owned the Chiefs through the first 40 minutes — out shooting Kelowna 28-15 — as the Okanagan squad struggled to get rid of their bus legs.

But thanks to the outstanding play of Kelowna goalie Tyler O’Donnell the visitors rallied from a 1-0 first period deficit to grab consecutive one-goal leads in the second and third periods — the latter a 3-2 margin on a shorthanded goal by Dane Rupert five minutes into the final period.

However, Cameron Dobransky’s power play goal with 1:32 remaining in the third period pulled the Leafs even to force overtime and give the home side the chance at gaining a single point.

Hikichi, traded earlier this week to Kelowna from Fernie, finished the game with two goals.

Jmaeff, Nik Newman and Dobransky replied for the Leafs, falling to 1-1-0-1. Kelowna improves to 2-1 on the season.

Jmaeff, Dobransky and Brent Norman each finished the game with two points for Nelson.

Nelson out shot the Chiefs 43-37 in the game as Kelowna turned the tables in the third period with a 22-15 advantage, making a winner out of goalie O’Donnell.

Andrew Walton lost for the first time in two outings this season for Nelson.

BLUELINES: Special teams practice this week by Nelson paid off on the ice as the Leafs scored all three goals on the power play. Kelowna also experienced special teams success scoring two power play markers and one short handed. . . .Phil Bamber had three points for Kelowna. . . . The two-point nights by Matti Jmaeff and Cameron Dobransky pulled the two players into a four-way tie for top spot in Nelson scoring with Patrick Martens and Colton Schell. Each has three points. . . .The Leafs head south of the 49th parallel tonight to meet the Spokane Braves in Murdoch Division battle. The teams play a return game Sunday afternoon at the NDCC Arena. Note the new Sunday afternoon puck drop of 2 p.m. The games in past years started at 1 p.m.

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