Leafs break camp, begin four game exhibition season Tuesday against Beaver Valley
According to Leaf head coach Frank Maida Stage one of Training Camp 2012 is now complete after the team finished off three days on the ice Sunday at the NDCC Arena.
Stage two begins Tuesday night at the NDCC Arena when the Leafs begin the four-game Kootenay International Junior Hockey League exhibition schedule.
“Camp went very well,” Maida told The Nelson Daily Monday.
“We got to see a lot of players. Some of the players stepped it up during the weekend, made it difficult for the evaluators and made it to stage two of (training) camp.”
A total of 47 players attended Nelson’s training camp beginning last week. The players, starting out with physicals, were divided into three teams.
Each team had a practice before being allowed to scrimmage in front of a team of some of the best hockey minds in Nelson.
“Final decisions will be mine but I can’t give 47 players a good look so having another set of eyes is good,” Maida explained, looking to the likes of former Nelson co-coach Simon Wheeldon, Mario DiBella from the Kootenay Ice Major Midget coaching staff and Greg Andrusak, just to name a few of the evaluators, to help out.
First up for Nelson defending KIJHL champion Beaver Valley Nitehawks for a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Wednesday the teams play game two of the series at the Hawks’ Nest in Fruitvale.
Maida said fans would see a mix of veterans and rookies for the two games against the Nitehawks as Maida and assistant coach Stu Linnen assess the players.
Some of those rookies include goalie Adam Maida, forwards Nolan Percival and Matt MacDonald along with defencemen Justin Post and Cole Arcuri.
After Wednesday’s game Maida plans to make another round of cuts before settling on the bulk of this coming season’s roster for the final two-preseason games Sunday in the Sunflower City and, at home, Tuesday, September 11 against Castlegar Rebels.
The Leafs open the regular season schedule Friday, September 14 at home against Murdoch rival Castlegar.
CAMP NOTES: Two grads of Nelson Minor Hockey — Adam DiBella and Isaac MacLeod — skated with the Leafs during the weekend. DiBella was preparing for junior A camp while MacLeod, fresh off winning the NCAA Division One Men’s title in the spring, is heading back to Boston College. . . .The Leafs traded defenceman Walker Sidoni to Beaver Valley prior to camp for forward Jacob Boyczuk. . . . No word on how many players in Junior A camps may be back in the Green and White sooner than later. Maida said its possible between one and five of players off last year’s squad that was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight season could be back.