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Here we go Nelson, here we go for February's stretch drive

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
February 2nd, 2018

What’s not to like about the Nelson Leafs entering the final month of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League regular season.

The Green & White sit four points ahead of second place Castlegar in the hotly-contest Murdoch Division; Nelson has five of its remaining games at home and the Buds have close to full roster of players, plus arguably the two best goalies in the league, to choose from.

However, before management prints those playoff tickets, the Leafs have a bit of unfinished business beginning Friday when Nelson plays host to a very-competitive Columbia Valley Rockies team.

“This weekend we have three games in basically two-and-a-half days, so we need to stay focused on one game at a time and not to look forward to the Castlegar game Sunday,” said Leaf GM Lance Morey.

“Both Columbia Valley (Friday) and Spokane (Saturday) have the ability to steal a game in our building if we are not prepared to play to our strengths so we’ve got to take it one game at a time.”

Despite taking three of four points during the season series from the Eddie Mountain Division Rockies, Nelson has had to work for all three points.

The teams tied 3-3 in September before the Leafs narrowly defeated Columbia Valley 5-4 in OT back in Invermere.

Saturday could also be deemed a “Trap” game as the Braves have the ability to steal a game.

“Obviously our fate is in our own hands as we do not have to get help from anyone else,” Morey said.

But Sunday’s matchup against the Rebels, the first of three during a 12-day stretch in February between the two West Kootenay rivals, could go a long way to determining the Murdoch Division winner.

“Of course the three games we have left with Castlegar loom large, but as long as we dictate the pace and play our game we should be okay,” said Morey.

“We also have solid goaltending, and arguably the two best goalies in the league. . .. That’s something the Leafs have not had for a few years.”

New Look Leafs Support Austim

Friday, when the Leafs host Columbia Valley Rockies, fans will notice as new look when the Leafs take to the ice for the first period puck drop.

Thanks to Remedy’s in Nelson, the Leafs have decided to go with different jerseys to raise awareness for people with Autism.

Nelson players will be wearing these jerseys all five home games in February.

There is also a chance for a fan to win a Vancouver Canucks jersey as part of the awareness program.

The winner announced during the second-period intermission of the Saturday, February 10th contest against rival Castlegar Rebels.

The entrant must attend each of the five games, where at the main entrance the fan will be given a form to fill out and present to the West Kootenay Chapter Okanagan Centre of Autism table located in the concourse at the NDCC Arena.

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