Today’s Poll

Piva shoots Leafs past Columbia Valley in overtime

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
October 23rd, 2016

It appears this Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season nothing is going to come easy for the Nelson Leafs.

Despite out shooting their opponents by a 2-1 margin, the Leafs needed an overtime marker from Ryan Piva in the second period of extra time to edge the Columbia Valley Rockies 3-2 in KIJHL action Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.

The win allows Nelson to gain a weekend split in KIJHL action.

Friday, the Leafs did not play well, falling 4-2 to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

“We had a slow start but realized we couldn’t drop to play at their level so we had to pick it up a notch,” Piva said from outside the Leafs jubilant dressing room.

“It was a tough game last night so to come back and rebound like we did tonight shows a lot of character on this team,” Piva added.

Nelson dominated the opening 40 minutes out shooting the Rockies 27-11.

However, the Leafs, squandering to many chances to score, were tied 2-2 entering the third.

After a scoreless third-period and first overtime period, Nelson got the chance they needed with a Columbia Valley defenceman fell at the visitor’s blueline.

Piva jumped on the loose puck before roofing a shot over the shoulder of Rockies goalie Will McCreight.

“I guess it was a little bit of luck,” Piva said. “When I saw he fell I got pretty excited. . .. I saw (Rockies goalie McCreight) cheating to the left side so then the top corner was open.”

Dale Howell scored both goals for Nelson while Nicholas Wihak and Quinn Sobus replied for the Rockies.

Nelson finished the game out shooting Columbia Valley 35-16.

Ben Kelsch earned the win in goal for the Leafs.

Nelson lost the services of sniper Andy Fitzpatrick in the second period after the Calgary native was involved in a dust up with Davin Burton to Columbia Valley.

Both players were handed fighting majors and game misconducts.

Friday in Fruitvale, Beaver Valley jumped to a 3-0 lead before rolling to a 4-2 victory.

Tyler Hartman scored twice for the Hawks while Dylan Heppler and Aiden Browell added singles.

Piva and Howell replied for the Leafs, out shot 35-26 in the contest.

LEAF NOTES: The win allows Nelson to keep pace with the Nitehawks. Beaver Valley leads the Murdoch Division by three points over second place Nelson. The Hawks have won six straight games. Grand Forks is third and Castlegar fourth.  . . . It’s only October and the Leafs are already dealing with an abundance of injuries.  Nelson started the game with only 15 skaters before losing forwards Andy Fitzpatrick and Kolten Nelson during the game. The list out of the lineup include Jack Karran, Zach Morey, Noah Looman, Dash Thompson, goalie Jason Sandhu and Austin Steger. . . . Nelson, which did get defenceman Jacob Karran back from in the injury list, takes to the road for a swing through the Eddie Mountain Division. Friday, the Leafs face Creston before travelling to Kimberley Saturday to meet the Dynamiters.

Categories: Sports

Other News Stories