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Goal scorers are hard to find, Leafs think they have one in Salmon Arm's Colton McCarthy

Bruce Fuhr
By Bruce Fuhr
October 5th, 2012

He’s stands 6-foot and weighs 170 pounds.

He shoots right and plays on the Leafs top a line with captain Colton Schell and Jacob Boyczuk.

And, this is what Leaf fans are going to like the best, the player loves to score goals.

Colton McCarthy will soon be a household name if his sniping around Kootenay International Junior Hockey League nets continues as a member of the Green and White.

The Salmon Arm winger has been one of the keys to Nelson’s 3-2-1-0 record and a bounce-back victory against defending KIJHL champion Beaver Valley last week at the NDCC Arena.

Nelson had just taken it on the chin against the Nitehawks the night before.

So winning was the only option as the Leafs look to be a force in the tough Neil Murdoch Division.

“We needed that win really bad,” the 16-yaer-old McCarthy said after the 5-2 win Saturday.

“We lost really bad in Beaver Valley the night before but came out hard got the win.”

Leaf coach Frank Maida knew he had a winner in McCarthy during spring recruiting.

“I watched him all through the spring and knew he’d do well with our team and in this league and he’s done everything I thought he would do,” Maida explained.

For McCarthy, hockey really didn’t end last season after minor hockey.

He was part of most Junior A spring camps.

That’s where Maida saw the prize recruit, at the West Kelowna, formerly Westside, Warriors camp.

“That’s where Frank talked to me and said he’d like to have me if things didn’t work out in Junior A,” explained McCarthy, leading the Leafs in scoring with seven goals in six games.

Which proved to be a good fallback position for McCarthy after decided not to test out the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors team.

“(Moose Jaw) said come to main camp but I knew I wouldn’t play that much and knew I wanted to play,” McCarthy said. “So I came to Nelson and (boy) am I getting lots of ice time.”

After playing four of six on the road to start the season the Leafs get a steady diet of home cooking Thanksgiving weekend with no less than three home games.

Nelson opens up Friday against the Fernie Ghostriders.

The Riders are off to a slow start by Fernie standards with a 3-3-0-1 record for second in the Eddie Mountain Division behind Kimberley.

Saturday, Nelson gets its first look at Murdoch rival Spokane Braves before concluding the weekend Sunday against the Chase Heat.
Both games are 7 p.m.

The Heat, 3-3 on the season, is last in the Doug Birks Division.

Game time Sunday is 2:30 p.m.

ICE CHIPS: Nelson welcomes back center Matti Jmaeff to the roster. Jmaeff failed to catch on with a Junior A team. . . . Injuries to the defence — Cam Weir has a concussion, Damin Devlin has a shoulder strain and Blake Arcuri remains on the inactive list — has forced the coaching staff to juggle the lineup for the weekend. Affiliate player Brendan Smith gets into the lineup to help the defence Friday.

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