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Leafs face major test during Eddie Mountain road trip

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
October 28th, 2016

More than a quarter of the way through the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season no one team is running away with any of the divisions — although the Creston Valley Thunder Cats and Kimberley Dynamiters in the Eddie Mountain Division lead the league in points.

Which makes the weekend a major test for the Nelson Leafs as the Green and White, which is struggling to score goals of late to face the two Eddie Mountain Division front-runners beginning Friday in Kimberley.

“It think players make their own puck-luck,” said Leaf coach Mario DiBella after the Leafs struggled to eek out a 3-2 win over Columbia Valley last Saturday at home.

“I feel we aren’t supporting each other. We’re standing around waiting for one player to do something. . ..”

First up on the two-game road trip for Nelson, 8-5-0-0-1 whichn is good for second in the Murdoch Division, is a date in the Bavarian City to face the defending Kootenay Conference Champion Kimberley Dynamiters.

The Nitros are also on a roll having won four straight games to sit two points behind the Cats in Eddie Mountain Division standings.

Kimberley has also scored 29 times during the four games winning streak, including ringing up nine goals against Grand Forks Border Bruins last week.

Krobyn Chabot and Franco Caoapaolo lead Kimberley in scoring, with 18 and 16 points respectively.

Saturday, Nelson travels to meet the Creston Thunder Cats, which is in enviable position of hosting the Cyclone Taylor Cup in 2017 and have used the recruiting tool to ice high-octane lineup.

The Cats, which have lost but once, that being in overtime, this season, are currently riding a five-game winning streak.

Creston, which has amassed whopping 25 goals during the win streak, ices a balanced line up of scoring with no less than 10 players with at least double-digit points.

Injuries still haunting Leafs

The Leafs are beginning to get some players back from the injury list this weekend.

However, a few remain on the sidelines, including defenceman Dash Thompson, forward Kolten Nelson and netmdinder Jason Sandhu.

Nelson will have a few new faces in the lineup in defenceman Noah Looman and forward Jordan Unger — the latter arriving this week from the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Back to the Murdoch Division

After playing three games against Eddie Mountain opposition, the Leafs return to the Murdoch Division to meet Grand Forks in a rare mid-week contest Tuesday in the Boundary City.

The Leafs then host Beaver Valley Nitehawks Friday, November 4 before concluding a two-game home stand Saturday, November 5 against Fernie Ghostriders.

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