Leafs ride out regular season with weekend series against Rebels
So will the real Nelson Leafs please stand up.
Ya the Leafs that reeled off a 10-1 November and not the squad that’s winless in February.
The Nelson Leafs conclude the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League regular season this weekend with a home-and-home series against the Murdoch Division Champion Castlegar Rebels beginning Friday in the Sunflower City.
The Rebels clinched the Murdoch title with a three-game win streak last weekend and are out to claim the KIJHL title with at least one victory against Nelson.
The Leafs have been a shadow of the team that was tearing up the league in prior to the Christmas break.
Since the happy man in the nice red suit paid a visit to the NDCC Arena, the Leafs have been a dismal 8-8-1 and 0-5 since the final week of January.
The Castlegar series is crucial to the Leafs playoff hopes as the Green and White enjoy a slim two-point advantage over the surging Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
The Hawks, fresh from being swept by the Rebels last weekend, meet Spokane in a season-ending home-and-home series.
The first game of the series goes at 7:30 p.m. in the Castlegar Arena Complex.
The return contest is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the NDCC Arena.
GAME NOTES: The Rebels success has been sparked by the one-two goaltending punch of Connor Beauchamp and Jordan Gluck. The latter leads the entire KIJHL with a 2.14 goals against average. And Beauchamp is not your regular backup, sitting third with a 2.32 average. . . .In contrast, Leafs Brett Soles is fifth in league goaltending but is 4-4 in his last eight games after starting the season with a 12-0 mark. Soles teammate Marcus Beesley, brought in to be the Nelson stopper, sits 21st in league netminding with a 3.29 goals against average. . . . Offensively Castlegar is led by veteran Stuart Walton with 73 points. Leafs top point man is Colton Schell with 66. . .The Rebels post an amazing 90-goal difference between offence and defence. . . . Only two Leaf players have scored more than 20 goals this season.