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Leafs close to final product, conclude preseason Tuesday against Rebels

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
September 11th, 2012

Ask any coach and the response will be they don’t care about preseason wins and losses.

Which is somewhat of a lie as everyone likes to win — especially coaches.

But everyone knows wins now mean nothing when Bill Ohlhausen and Company are adding up the wins and losses come February.

Points from those wins begin accumulating Friday when the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season kicks off the regular season on a host of fronts, including Nelson and Grand Forks in the hotly contested Murdoch Division.

“I’m happy with training camp,” Leaf coach Frank Maida told The Nelson Daily on the eve final exhibition game Tuesday at the NDCC Arena.

“I’m a little more in control than I was a year ago so it’s been good,” added Maida, who was unable to recruit his team last season after accepting the job during the summer following the departure of current skipper Chris Shaw.

Nelson completed game three of the four-game exhibition set Sunday in Castlegar where the Leafs registered its second tie — 1-1— against the Rebels in an afternoon tilt.

The game saw the Leaf coaching staff come a little bit closer to finalizing the starting roster but Maida has yet to dig out the B.C. Hockey cards.

“We’re playing everybody so this is a great opportunity for the players prove themselves to us but we’re not ready just quite yet to make any final decisions,” Maida explained.

Maida, confessed, the team has committed to a pair of 16 year olds for the upcoming season.

Forward Colton McCarthy of Salmon Arm and Nelson’s own Cole Arcuri will be in the Green and White when the team opens the regular season Friday at the NDCC Arena against Castlegar.

Maida and assistant coach Stu Linnen have been somewhat blessed with a core group of returning players from last year’s team,

Back with the team are defencemen Blake Arcuri, J.J. Beitel and Andew Miller along with forwards Carsen Willans, Colton Schell, James Sorey and Matthew Naka.

Nelson product Linden Horswill is also returning after being release by Battlefords North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Currently Patrick Defoe, who proved more than a worth backup last season to Andrew Walton, is back to assume the starter’s role in goal while Cody Boeckman of Brooks, Alta., and former Kootenay Ice Major Midget backstop Brett Soles of Cranbrook battled it out for the back up position.

CAMP NOTES: Maida said defencemen Blake Arcuri and Andy Miller probably will not play Tuesday as both rearguards are battling injuries. . . . Tuesday’s puck drop is 7 p.m. . . .Workers were in the NDCC Arena this week removing 65 seats from top row. The decision was made to give walkers and joggers that frequent the arena more room. The decision reduces the total number of seats in the NDCC to 1,335.

 

 

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