Big week for Leafs starts Monday in Bavarian City
By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports
Perhaps the most important week of the season for the Nelson Leafs begins Monday in the Bavarian City.
Nelson, sitting third in the hotly contested Murdoch Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, plays a rare Monday night game in Kimberley against the 21-5-1-1 Dynamiters.
“I think more of an issue for us is the (long) bus ride,” said Leaf center Nick Newman when asked about how the Leafs approach the Monday night encounter.
“Our team definitely has a hard time getting off to a good start following a long bus ride.”
“But I think we’ll be all right, coming off this big win,” Newman added after Friday’s win over Castlegar.
Nelson defeated Kimberley 4-3 in the only meeting between the two teams October 7 at the NDCC Arena.
After the Nitros, tied for top spot with Fernie in the Eddie Mountain Division, Nelson returns home for the first of three against two teams ahead in the Murdoch — Castlegar and Beaver Valley.
Nelson, trailing Castlegar by three points and division-leading Beaver Valley by eight, opens Friday against the Hawks at home in the NDCC Arena, before traveling to the Sunflower City to face the Rebels.
Sunday afternoon, Nelson meets Beaver Valley in the Hawks Nest.
“We’ll just see how we do . . . hopefully everybody stays focused,” Newman said of the tough upcoming games.
“I know personally I will be focused. And I think everyone else will be too knowing we can play as hard as we can and we’ll have a (Christmas) break after Sunday.”
The Leafs are idle for the Christmas break, returning to action December 30 in Spokane against the Braves.
The teams return to the NDCC Arena for the traditional New Year’s Eve game at 1 p.m.