UPDATED: Piva scores winner to lead Leafs past Braves
Ryan Piva scored an unassisted marker midway through the third period to lift the Nelson Leafs to a 4-3 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Spokane Braves Saturday night in the Lilac City.
The win, combined with a loss by Beaver Valley, increases Nelson’s lead to five points in the Murdoch Division.
The Hawks suffered a second straight home ice loss, 4-2 to Fernie Ghostriders.
Michael Bladon, Michael LeNoury and Zach Morey also scored for the Leafs.
Nelson scored twice on the power play. Trail Thompson, Aaron Morris and Cooper Schroder replied for the Braves.
Sam Burford was in goal to register the win for Nelson, which out shot the Braves 41-28.
Ben Walaski took the loss for Spokane.
Nelson, 14-3-1-0-1, sets out on a five-game road trip beginning Friday in Grand Forks against the Border Bruins. The trip sees stops in Grand Forks, Castlegar, Fernie and Golden.
Next home game for Nelson is Saturday, November 25 against Castlegar Rebels.
Leafs maintain top spot in Murdoch Division by edging Braves 3-1
Jaiden LaPorte and Ryan Cooper scored first period goals to spark the Nelson Leafs to a 3-1 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Spokane Braves Friday night at the NDCC Arena.
The victory, coupled with Beaver Valley’s 1-0 home loss to Creston Valley, increases Nelson’s Murdoch Division lead to three points.
Nelson, winners of four straight over the Braves this season, opened the scoring eight minutes into the contest when LaPorte tipped home a shot by Sawyer Hunt past Spokane netminder Trevor Dilauro.
Cooper made it 2-0 when the skillful center scored on a breakaway.
Ryan Keilty scored Nelson’s other goal in the second period before Andrew Clark spoiled the shutout bid by Josh Williams in the Leaf nets, converting a power play marker with 1:32 left in the game.
Surrendering one goal moved Williams back into top spot in KIJHL goalie stats.
Nelson dominated the game out shooting Spokane 64-22.
The teams hook up again Saturday in the Lilac City for the final game of this two-game weekend series.
In Fruitvale, Levi Mitchell stopped all 34 shots to lift the Thunder Cats to a 1-0 win over the defending KIJHL Champs.
The shutout is the second in as many games for the Thunder Cats over Murdoch rivals.
Justen James scored the only goal of the game in the second period as Creston snapped Beaver Valley’s nine-game win streak.
Last week in Creston, the Thunder Cats dominated Nelson 3-0. Mitchell was also in goal for Creston.
In other Murdoch action, Zach Zaparniuk scored in the first overtime period to give Grand Forks a 4-3 victory over Golden while Castlegar edged Columbia Valley 3-2 in Invermere.