Leafs run out of gas during Eddie Mountain road trip
Playing without a full roster of skaters finally caught up to the Nelson Leafs during a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League road trip through the Eddie Mountain Division.
Jason Richter had a five-point night to power the Kimberley Dynamiters to 5-2 victory over the Leafs Saturday in the Bavarian City.
Friday, Nelson saw a 3-0 lead disappear in the third period as Golden Rockets escaped with a 4-3 overtime win.
Despite losing twice, Nelson maintains a slim one-point advantage in Murdoch Division over the Castlegar Rebels.
However, the Rebels host Spokane Braves Sunday in the Sunflower City, and could leapfrog past Nelson into top spot in the division with a win.
Saturday, Kimberley took advantage of power play opportunities to score twice with the man advantage in the second period.
Keenan Haase and Jesse Wallace each scored on the power play to erase a 2-1 Nelson lead.
The goals came in less than a minute late in the second period.
Nelson pressed for the equalizer in the third, but, with goalie Joey Karrer pulled for an extra attacker, Richter scored twice into the empty net to secure the win.
Matt MacDonald, Nelson’s game star, and Aaron Brewer scored for Nelson.
Kimberley out shot the short-staffed Leafs 27-23 to make a winner out of goalie Tyson Brouwer.
Friday, Nelson took a 3-0 lead three minutes into the third period on goals by Rayce Miller, Robson Cramer and Aaron Dunlap — the latter two coming on the power play.
However, Golden scored three times in the final eight minutes of the game, the tying marker coming with three seconds remaining in the third period, to send the game into overtime.
Nic Noseworthy ended the game at 3:37 of extra time giving the home side the comeback win.
Golden out shot the Leafs 41-35, including an 8-1 advantage in overtime.
ICE CHIPS: Nelson played the two weekend games with only 15 skaters, including Castlegar Midget Rep affiliate player Matthew Brind’Amour. The lack of players is due to a rash of major injuries to key players that has hit the KIJHL franchise. . . . Kootenay Ice traveled to South Surrey this weekend to play the Valley West Hawks. Kootenay scored a 4-4 tie Saturday against the Hawks. . . . The two losses in goal dropped Joey Karrer’s record with Nelson to 3-4. . . . Kimberley defeated Nelson for the second time this season. The Nitros defeated Nelson 4-2 September 26. . . .Nelson travels to Grand Forks Friday to face the Border Bruins before returning home Saturday to face Spokane Braves. Nelson hosts Grand Forks Friday, December 19 before beginning the Christmas holiday break. The Leafs are back on the ice for a home-and-home series beginning December 30 in Fruitvale against defending KIJHL champion Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Nelson then hosts Beaver Valley in the traditional New Year’s Eve game at the NDCC Arena at 2:30 p.m.