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All talk centers on the status of injured Leaf sniper Jamie Vlanich

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
February 28th, 2014

The exciting Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoffs have started.

However, the hottest topic of discussion is not the fact Spokane and Nelson are deadlocked with the series shifting to the Lilac City, it’s that the odds-on favourite to win the league MVP award is no where to be found after two games into the Murdoch semi final.

Depending who you talk to, Leafs leading scorer Jamie Vlanich either has an upper body injury or a lower body injury that has kept the Trail native out of the Nelson lineup for the final two games of the regular season and both playoff games.

“Jamie is day-to-day,” said Leaf coach Frank Maida, not wanting to reveal too much about his 97-point regular season point getter.

“Jamie suffered the injury during a fight in the (February 14) game against Grand Forks.”

Maida said the 20-year-old center would be on the bus when Nelson leaves Friday for the Lilac City.

Whether Vlanich will play depends on how he feels Friday.

“We definitely miss (Jamie) but we know we can win without him,” Maida explained. “We did it against Grand Forks and proved is Saturday against Beaver Valley.”

Lack of focus the blame for Wednesday’s loss against Spokane

Despite holding only a one-game advantage heading into Wednesday’s encounter against Spokane, the Leafs lost their focus according to head coach Frank Maida when asked about the loss.

“I felt we lost our focus,” Maida said when asked about the lackluster effort.

“So we’ll make some adjustments (during Thursday’s practice) and be ready to go Friday.”

Horswill back in lineup

Nelson Minor Hockey grad Linden Horswill is expected to be back in the lineup Friday after missing the first two games of the Spokane series.

Horswill was injured during Saturday’s Murdoch Division clinching win against Beaver Valley.

The news, however, is not good for Leaf goalie Brad Rebagliati.

The Cranbrook native is still on the shelf, and there is no word on when he would return.

Nelson really hasn’t noticed Rebagliati’s absence as backup Adam Maida has been stellar down the stretch and in the playoffs against Spokane.

Winger Adam Hodge is also a game time decision for Nelson.

Hodge left Wednesday’s game with an upper body injury while Troy Petrick did not play Wednesday.

New recruit Quinn Klimchuk is expected to be back in the lineup for Friday.

Hawks blow out Rebels to grab a 2-0 series lead

Dallas Calvin had four points and Taylor Stafford netted three as Beaver Valley blasted Castlegar 7-2 to take a two game lead in the KIJHL Murdoch Semi Final Thursday in Fruitvale.

Game three is Friday in Castlegar.

For the second straight game Castlegar scored first.

But three goals during the final three minutes of the period erased the lead for good.

Calvin and Dan Holland, each with a pair, Kyle Hope, Stafford and Braden Fuller scored for the Hawks.

Darren Medeiros and Connor Beauchemin replied for Castlegar.

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