Leafs take bite out of Coyotes by hammering Osoyoos 7-0
The Nelson Leafs started November just like the team concluded October — by winning.
Travis Wellman scored twice to lead the Nelson Leafs to a convincing 7-0 victory over the Osoyoos Coyotes in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.
The win, combined with a 2-1 overtime-triumph Friday in Spokane, ran Nelson’s win streak to eight games and improved the Murdoch Division leaders record to an astounding 15-0-1-1.
“No, it wasn’t that easy,” said Leaf assistant captain Darnel St. Pierre following what turned out to be a convincing win against the Coyotes.
“Osoyoos is a good team. They’re near the top of their division and I think the boys just worked hard for the full 60 (minutes).”
The game was close through the first 30 minutes as Nelson rode the hot netminding of Brad Rebagliati.
The Cranbrook native kept the Coyotes off the score sheet until the Green and White turned up the offence.
Tyler Garcia gave Nelson a 1-0 lead after one period before Alex Wilkinson and Travis Wellman increased the lead to 3-0.
In the third the Leafs exploded for four goals, with Wellman opening up the floodgates six seconds into the final frame with a power play marker.
St. Pierre, Cole Arcuri and Aaron Dunlap, on a nice goalmouth feed, completed the scoring for the Leafs.
“There’s lots of opportunity for the guys to step up to fill the void now that there’s that much goal scoring gone, but I guys are starting to realize what they can do offensively and are starting to fill the role,” St. Pierre said when asked how the Leafs will deal with the recent loss of Nelson’s leading scorer Jamie Vlanich earlier in the week.
Vlanich was signed by Langley Rivermen of the BC Hockey League after the Tier II Junior A team saw the Trail native fill the net on the Leafs Okanagan road trip.
Rebagliati stopped all 30 shots to register his third win of the season — first on home ice — since coming to Nelson from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL.
Friday, Nelson was pushed to overtime before Carsen Willans finished off a pretty passing play to sink the Braves in extra time.
Tanner Stolz gave Spokane a 1-0 first-period lead before St. Pierre tied the game in the second.
Nelson out shot the Braves 46-36 making a winner out of netminder Tyler Moffat.
“(Spokane’s) goal played very well last night,” St. Pierre said of Spokane goalie Jon Manlow.
“They were able to skate with us but we were able to find a way to win which is all that really matters,” St. Pierre added.
Following a five-game road swing, Nelson remains at home this coming weekend with two homes games — Friday against Princeton Posse and Saturday Spokane.
Both games have a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Sunday Nelson concludes the weekend with a road trip to Creston to meet the Eddie Mountain leading Thunder Cats.
ICE CHIPS: Travis Wellman scored twice Saturday to give the Calgary native a league-leading 25 goals. . . . Tyler Moffat won for the 10th time this season Friday in Spokane to push his save percentage to .921. Teammate Brad Rebagliati leads the KIJHL with a .940 save percentage in three games. . . .Former Leaf Jamie Vlanich was kept off the scoresheet in his second game with Langley. . . .Last-place Trail Smokies scored five unanswered goals — four in the second period — to shock Interior Division leading West Kelowna 5-1 in the Okanagan City. Castlegar’s Jesse Knowler scored twice to lead the Smokies. The win, combined with a 4-4 tie Friday, keeps the Smokies undefeated under the guidance of new coach Nick Deschenes.