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Piva sinks Rebels again in OT, Leafs lead series 2-0

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
March 8th, 2018

For the second consecutive night the Nelson Leafs needed to put in for some overtime.

And for the second time in as many games it was sophomore winger Ryan Piva sending the home crowd home happy.

Piva scored the winning goal at the 11:25 mark of the second overtime period to power the Leafs to a 4-3 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Castlegar Rebels Wednesday night at the NDCC Arena.

The win gives Nelson a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Murdoch Division Final with Game three and four back in Castlegar Friday and Saturday.

If necessary, the series shifts back to Nelson for Game five Monday at the NDCC Arena.

Before a crowd of more than 600 fans, the home side got the start they wanted, scoring on the power play late in the first period before adding another marker early in the second.

Jack Karran opened the scoring on the power play, slamming home a rebound past Rebel goalie Curt Doyle.

Jaiden LaPorte then converted a nice feed from Nicholas Wihak on a two-on-one break after the Leafs caught the Castlegar defence pinching at the blueline to make the score 2-0 less than two minutes into the second period.

However, just as quick as Nelson took the lead, Castlegar rallied back — taking advantage of undisciplined play by the Leafs — to score two goals in a 19-second span.

After Michael Bladon was whistled for slashing, Jackson Zimmermann took a roughing penalty giving Castlegar a two-man power play.

Edward Lindsay pounced on a loose puck to beat Josh Williams in the Nelson nets.

The goal snapped an 87-plus minute shutout streak of Williams.

Still on the power play, Nelson players watched Evan Della Paolera skate the length of the ice with the puck before sending a pass in the slot to Shawn Campbell, who one-timed the shot past Williams.

Nelson once again took the lead in the third period when Bladon scored unassisted.

But Castlegar tied the game as Chris Breese scored shorthanded less than two minutes later with Nelson on the power play.

That set the stage for Mr Overtime, Ryan Pival, to score in overtime for the second time in the series.

PLAYOFF NOTES: Nelson outshot the Rebels 51-23 in the game. . . . Jaiden LaPorte and Ryan Piva each finished the game for Nelson with two points. . . . Chris Breese led Castlegar with two points. . . . A crowd of 616 fans flocked to the NDCC Arena for Game two . . . Friday’s Game three in Castlegar is set to drop the puck at 4 p.m. due to the Selkirk Saints BC Intercollegiate Hockey Playoff game. Selkirk hosts Vancouver Island University at 7:30 p.m. in Game one of the best-of-three semi-final. Game four of the Murdoch Final goes Saturday at 7:30 p.m. . . . Kimberley Dynamiters defeated Columbia Valley 4-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the Eddie Mountain Final. . . . In the Okanagan Shuswap Conference, Revelstoke tied up its series against 100 Mile House with a 5-2 victory while Osoyoos edged Kelowna Chiefs 3-2 in overtime to open a 2-0 lead.

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