Braves spoil party for Leafs, steal 2-1 KIJHL win Saturday at NDCC Arena
It’s not the result the Nelson Leafs expected.
Two second period goals and a solid showing between the pipes by net minder Trevor Dilaure was enough to power the Spokane Braves to a 2-1 victory over the Nelson Leafs Saturday night in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action at the NDCC Arena.
The loss, and only scoring a single goal, comes on the heels of a ten-goal explosion Friday in Grand Forks.
“The boys were tired and their goalie got hot,” said Leaf captain Aaron Dunlap.
“We had our chances but we just couldn’t bury them tonight,” Dunlap added.
Nelson led 1-0 after one period as Dunlap scored an unassisted tally minutes into the game.
The Leafs thought to have doubled the lead but the puck went in and came out the net so fast the officiating crew did not see the goal.
In the second, Spokane scored twice as Emilio Trujillo and Kurtis Reading beat Adam Maida to erase Nelson’s slim lead.
Spokane then tightened the thumb screws on the Leafs in the third, riding the play of Dilaure to secure the win despite being out shot 11-5 in the frame.
“It’s just a matter of getting guys back,” said Dunlap when asked about the lack of consistency of late.
“I mean we’re running so short . . .. We’ve been able to call on the APs (affilate players) but if we get our guys back I think we’ll be just fine.”
The Christmas break could not come at a better time for the Leafs.
However, Nelson has one more piece of business to take care of in the form of a home game Friday against Grand Forks.
The player then have 10 days off before meeting defending KIJHL champion Beaver Valley in a home-and-home series.
The return match is New Year’s Eve at the NDCC Arena.
ICE CHIPS: Nelson completed a much-needed trade Friday when the club acquired Michael Rand from Grand Forks for future considerations. The Langley native needed to complete some off-ice dealings before joining the Leafs this week. . . . Nelson out shot the Braves 31-21. . . . Nelson continues to lead the Murdoch Division standings over Beaver Valley. The Hawks, which has played two less games than Nelson, posted a 5-4 overtime win Saturday over Fernie. Meanwhile, Castlegar blasted Columbia Valley. Spokane sits in fourth spot in the division, six points behind Nelson.