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Offensive explosion gives Nelson commanding lead in Murdoch Semi Final

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
February 27th, 2018

The Nelson Leafs offence exploded for six goals en route to a convincing 6-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff win Monday night over Grand Fork Border Bruins at the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena in the Boundary City.

Six different players scored as the Green and White built up a 6-0 lead before the Bruins replied for a pair of goals during the late stages of the game.

The win, the first of the series by more than one goal, moves the Leafs, leading the best-of-seven Divisional Semi Final series 3-0, to within a game of advancing to the Murdoch Final.

Nelson dominated the Bruins on the shot clock, outshooting the hosts 28-16 through 40 minutes of play.

It was in the second that the Leafs took full control of the game as, after Nicholas Wihak opened the scoring, Jack Karran and Ryan Cooper netted power play markers to give the Leafs a 3-0 lead.

Jackson Zimmerman scored Nelson’s third powerplay goal to open the third before Brendan Makay and Mitchell Lavoie added singles to give Nelson a commanding 6-0 lead.

Rylan Smaha-Muir and Riley Smoler, with a powerplay marker, replied for the Bruins with the game completely out of reach for the home side.

Nelson outshot the Bruins 53-28. Leaf netminder Caiden Kreitz, making his first start of the post season, registered the win in goal.

Quinn Yeager was tagged for his third loss of the series. Ross King was called in to mop up in goal for Yeager early in the third period.

The game was a chippy affair with more than 150 minutes in penalties called by referee Bradlee Jones.

Nelson can clinch the series when the teams drop the puck on Game four of the series Tuesday in Grand Forks.

GAME NOTES: Michael Bladon, Michael LeNoury, Ryan Cooper, Brendan Makay and Nicholas Wihak all finished the game with two points to lead Nelson. . . . For the third consecutive game, Nelson played the game without the services of Captain Sawyer Hunt and defenceman Zach Morey. Defenceman Dash Thompson was also held out of the lineup for Nelson. . . . Affilate player Keenan Crossman was in the lineup for the Leafs. . . .In Fruitvale, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks double Castlegar Rebels 4-2. The win cuts the Rebel lead in the best-of-seven Murdoch Semi Final to 2-1. Kevan McBean scored twice to lead the Hawks, which led 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. . . . Game four is Tuesday back in Fruitvale.

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