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Let's Make a Deal Leafs continue to shake tree for players

Bruce Fuhr
By Bruce Fuhr
January 3rd, 2013

Leaf coach Frank Maida won’t say three third-period goals allowed in just over a minute during the New Year’s Day clash against Beaver Valley was the deciding factor, but it had to play a lot into the psyche of Nelson skipper heading into the final 16 games of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.

Which is why the Leafs will welcome former netminder Marcus Beesley to the team in a cash deal completed Wednesday with the Kamloops Storm.

To make room for the Prince George native, Maida sent goalie Cody Boeckman back to his home town of Golden to finish the season with the Rockets.

“Marcus is a 20-year-old who going to bring us some experience . . . he been in the league for three years and spent some time in Junior A and we felt we needed some experience in goal,” Maida told The Nelson Daily Thursday.

Maida made the two deals on the eve of a tough two-game weekend that sees Nelson visit two KIJHL heavyweights — Friday, the Fernie Ghostriders and Sunday, division rival Castlegar Rebels.

“Both our goaltenders, Cody (Boeckman) and Brett (Soles) have played well but an opportunity came up for Cody to go back to Golden and that gave us the opportunity to look elsewhere and we came up with Marcus Beesley,” Maida added.

Beesley got his junior career start with Nelson in 2010 with Leafs coach Chris Shaw.

Last season he had a brief stint in B.C. Hockey League before finding a home in Kamloops with the Storm.

This season the 6’ 165-pound netminder has a 3.35 average in 31 games with fourth-place Kamloops.

Beesley had an impressive showing when the Storm played in Nelson at the end of October, robbing several of the Leafs in a 4-2 loss.

He was named the game’s third star in a 44-shot game.

“I believe this is a win-win for everybody involved,” Maida explained. 

“Golden kept calling and wanted Cody. Golden is a good team, and Cody’s happy to be going home and playing there. And we get Marcus who wanted to come to Nelson.”

The recent deals complete a barrage of changes on the Leafs of late.

It started during the Christmas break when Grand Forks forward Connor Gross was moved to the Green and White.

Before Gross stepped onto the ice Jacob Boyczuk was dealt to Revelstoke.

Maida didn’t say he was done dealing prior to Thursday’s January 10 roster deadline.

“I’ve got nothing to report right now but I’m working on a few things,” he confessed. “We’ll see what happens by next week.”

Maida said Beesley would be in the lineup when Nelson opens the weekend in Fernie.

The Leafs are still coming to grips with the 7-5 New Year’s Day debacle that saw the team waste periods leads of 3-0 and 4-2 and allowing five third period goals.

“I think it’s a good time to go on the road and focus on hockey with no distractions . . . focus getting back to playing our game,” he said.

“We need to use out speed and move the puck and play system hockey.”

“Ya, we’ve lost a couple which is new to us, but there a lot of hockey in the season left to correct that,” Maida added.

LEAF NOTES: Nelson enters the weekend leading Beaver Valley and Castlegar by four points in Murdoch standings. . . .Defenceman Blake Arcuri remains day-to-day after suffering a concussion in Spokane (December 29). Defenceman Cam Weir, also injured in Spokane should be back in the lineup this weekend. . . .Matthew Naka, who suffered lower body injury, remains out indefinitely. . . .Kootenay Ice affiliate player Brandon Sookro has played seven games for Nelson this season. However, the South Slocan native will be unvailable until the B.C. Major Midget season ends in February. . . .After finishing November with a 10-0-0-1 record Nelson completed December at 4-3-1 mark. Two of those defeats came against Murdoch rivals Castlegar (6-1) and Beaver Valley. In the last four games Nelson is 1-2-1.

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