Today’s Poll

Leafs begin three-game road swing Thursday in Bavarian City

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
October 19th, 2017

Two heavyweights in the Kootenay Conference face-off in Kimberley Thursday in a rare mid-week Kootenay International Junior Hockey League meeting.

The Nelson Leafs, holding down top spot in the Murdoch Division, battle the Dynamiters, first in the Eddie Mountain Division.

The Nitros hold the edge in the season series, edging out the Leafs 2-1 back on opening weekend of the KIJHL. Kimberley netminder Brock Merkl was the difference for the Nitros, stopping 33 of 34 shots — including 11 of 12 in the third when Nelson outshot the visitors 12-3 — in the game.

“Being in top spot now means most team are not taking us lightly and we need to accept that fact and be ready each, and every, night,” said Leafs GM Lance Morey on the eve of the three-game road trip to the Eddie Mountain Division.

Morey said the Leafs are healthy with no major injuries to report.

The only player sitting for the Kimberley matchup is forward Brent Headon, currently suspended for one game for a fight and game misconduct in the last 10 minutes of Sunday’s game in Spokane against the Braves.

Nelson enters the weekend riding a three-game winning streak.

During the win streak, as well as the run to first in the Murdoch Division, Nelson has taken advantage of teams with a solid set of special teams.

“Our special teams have been good, especially our PK (penalty kill) which is #1 in the League,” Morey explained.

“The PP (power play) is getting better each, and every, game.”

“The nice thing is that our offensive production has been coming from all four lines and our D-men are also chipping in regularly also,” Morey added.

Nelson travels to Golden Friday and Invermere to face the Columbia Valley Rockies Saturday before returning home Friday, October 26 to host the Rockets at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.

ICE CHIPS: Nelson is tied with Grand Forks for top spot in the Murdoch Division, but holds the edge having played two less games than the Bruins. Defending KIJHL Champs, Beaver Valley, is only two points behind the Murdoch Leaders with 17 points. The Hawks have won five straight games. . . . Leafs goalies Josh Williams and Quinn Yeager are the key to Nelson’s early season success. Williams is second overall in goaltender stats with a 1.41 goals against average while Yeager is fifth overall at 2.16 GA. . . . Nelson holds a wide lead in goal differential a plus-31. The Leafs have allowed only 21 goals this season.



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