Today’s Poll

Leafs, Border Bruins square off in Murdoch Showdown

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
October 14th, 2016

The Nelson Leafs have spent a lot of the first six weeks of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season on the bus.

Nelson, 5-4-0-0-1 on the season which is good enough for third place in the Murdoch Division, have played only four games at home to start the season.

This weekend, Leafs have the chance to take advantage of home ice while trying to exact some revenge on the Grand Forks Border as the two Murdoch opponents hook up Friday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.

Saturday, Nelson hosts Spokane Braves at the NDCC Arena. The Leafs have yet to lose to the Braves this season.

The Bruins, second in the divison two points ahead of Nelson, are led by September Player of the month honourable mention in the Kootenay Conference, Dylan Haney.

The 5’11” 165-pound Haney has seven goals and 11 assists to lead the Bruins in scoring.

Other players to watch are Trey Mason, Chad Grambo and Brady Berger.

Haney, Grambo and Berger combined for eight points in the Bruins 7-4 win over Nelson September 21 in the Boundary City.

However, the key to beating Grand Forks maybe some early goals on netminder Anthony Galliart.

The native of Kansas City owns 2.18 goals against average and sits ninth in KIJHL goalie leaders.

Galliart, who was sitting a suspension during the first meeting of the season, is responsible for many wins last season as Grand Forks went from perennial cellar-dwellers in the Murdoch to division finalists, losing out to Beaver Valley in the 2016 playoffs.

Goalies? Anyone for goalies?

The Nelson Leafs have almost as many netminders on the roster as defencemen as the coaching staff looks to bolster the goal.

The Leafs nets looks almost like a goaltending school with four players vying for a spot between the pipes.

Ben Kelsch and Jason Sandhu were the goalies on the squad coming out of training camp.

However, the coaching staff still looks to be experimenting with the goalie position as two backstoppers were added —Devin Allen and recently, Josh Bolding — to the roster.

A decision should be made sooner than later regarding the goaltending position.

Injury report

Leafs will be without the services of defenceman Zack Morey and forward Jacob Karran for the weekend games.

Morey was injured against Castlegar while Karran, a 6’7” blueliner has yet to dress for the Leafs this season.

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