Stoddart scores twice as Leafs take Thunder out of Cats with 6-5 victory
Nelson Minor Hockey product Dallon Stoddart scored twice as the Nelson Leafs extended its win streak to four games with a 6-5 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the visiting Creston Thunder Cats Saturday at the NDCC Arena.
The win maintains a slip one-point lead for the Leafs in Murdoch Division standings over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
The Leafs, 5-1-0-1, conclude a three-game weekend home stand Sunday at 2 p.m. in the NDCC Arena against defending KIJHL champion Osoyoos Coyotes.
Nelson opened the seesaw battle jumping to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Patrick Martens and a power play marker from Colton Malmsten.
Creston converted its own power play goal late in the frame as Brandon Formosa beat Patrick Defoe in the Leaf nets.
Creston took a 3-2 lead early in the second frame as Trevor Forward and Brock Ward scored goals 18 seconds apart.
But Riley Henderson tied the game six minutes later before Stoddart, with his first of two, gave Nelson the lead for good.
Brett Norman, the game’s first star with three points, and Stoddart increased the Nelson lead to 6-3 in the third.
However, the Cats roared back with two goals — by Forward and Jordan Johnson — in 48 seconds to make the game close down the stretch. Forward’s goal was short handed.
Creston out shot Nelson 28-26 but Defoe had a great game in the nets for the Leafs to register his third win of the season.
OVERTIME: Nelson’s opposition Sunday, Osoyoos, defeated Castlegar Rebels 4-3 Saturday thanks to a hat-trick performance by Zach Lindsay. . . .The two goals gave Dallon Stoddart, earning second star status Saturday, three on the season. . . . Nelson’s leading scorer Matti Jmaeff was held off the scoresheet Saturday. The Creston product, playing against his hometown, had five assists Friday for Nelson against Grand Forks to earn recognition on the KIJHL website. Jmaeff leads the Leafs with 11 points and is tied for ninth in KIJHL scoring. . . . Leaf center Matthew Naka had three assists for the Leafs. . . . Nelson stretched its home-ice record to 3-1-0-1 and concludes its four-game home stand Tuesday against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in an early-season Murdoch showdown.