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Nelson Leafs Hockey Club looks to build on success of past KIJHL campaign

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
May 28th, 2018

 

The Nelson Leafs have already commenced work on building on a successful past season in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League by welcoming three new members to the board following the team’s Annual General Meeting at the NDCC.

Yvonne Vulcano, Bob Bourke and Stathis Dimopoulos join second-year members John Dooley, Corey Viala, Jeff Wright and Peter Payne on the 2018-19 Leafs executive.

Secretary-treasurer Karilynn Carr was also re-elected to the board for the upcoming season.

“Thank you to all the Nelson Leaf Board members for their tireless work behind the scenes,” said Leafs Vice-President Corey Viala, who chaired the meeting after President John Dooley was unable to attend.

“A special thank you goes to three Board members who have decided not to let their names stand for another year — Lauretta Wilson, Gioconda Gordon and Randy Craik — for their years of support and dedication to the Nelson Leafs’ Society.”

Leaf head coach Mario DiBella is back behind the bench for another term with the hockey club.

Viala said DiBella will be without assistant coach Sean Dooley, who has decided not to return, but instead, focus on his young family.

Viala thanked DiBella and his staff for a “incredible season” both on and off the ice. “The Nelson Leafs went further into the playoffs since 2009 and we look forward to another successful year,” Viala said.

Nelson won both the Murdoch regular season — 33-9-2-0-3 — and playoff titles, defeating Grand Forks and Castlegar before losing out to eventual KIJHL champion Kimberley Dynamiters in the Kootenay Conference Finals in six games.

Other highlights from the meeting include:

  • A special presentation to the Nelson Leafs Volunteer award — Carmen Richichi. Richichi has been a volunteer for many years and the Leafs Hockey Society to recognize Carmen as a key part of that volunteer group.
  • The Leafs Bottle Depot, experiencing some challenges over the years, has seen a huge improvement in operations this past year thanks to new manager Greg St. George. The Leafs want to thank St. George for his tireless work as the depot is an integral part of the Nelson Leafs Society.
  • The Leafs are continuing to support plans to expand the bottle depot and the community that it serves as we feel that the depot is an integral part in the regions recycling passion.
  • The Autism Awareness Campaign continues to be a successful part of what the Nelson Leafs do off the ice in the community. Every aspect of the campaign was embraced by the community, the Board, the coaching staff as well as the players. The Leafs managed to raise over $1,500 for the program and look forward to continuing these types of campaigns in the future.
  • Treasures report spoke to some of the challenges the team faced this past year. Viala said even though there was success in the playoffs, there was additional financial costs due to travel expenses. The Society continues to look at ways of improving our financial framework as we move forward in the years to come.
  • There was a huge increase to the Leafs social media campaign. Viala said the club is developing more ways to reach fan base with increasing information about the team, the players and special events through our social media.  
  • Head coach Mario DiBella reports that he and his staff are working hard on building on their success from last year. The pieces for that build has already started to take shape as the recruiting process is coming together.

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