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Leafs continue unbeaten streak with wins over Hawks, Bruins

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
September 17th, 2018

The Nelson Leafs rode the goal scoring of Ryan Piva and Jackson Zimmermann to a pair of Kootenay International Junior Hockey League home-ice wins during the weekend.

Piva carded the hat trick sparking the Leafs past Grand Forks 4-2 Friday at the NDCC Arena while Zimmerman’s penalty shot tally proved to be the winner as Nelson edged Beaver Valley Nitehawks 3-2 Saturday.

Nelson remains undefeated through two weeks of the season, and all alone in top spot in Murdoch Division standings.

However, the Leafs realize there is still plenty of room for improvement following the two wins against Murdoch Division rivals.

Can’t take anyone for granted, particularly a team like Beaver Valley,” Leaf head coach Mario DiBella said on the team social media page.

“They (Nitehawks) work awfully hard and when you allow them to get back into the game . . . we were just fortunate we did get a call,” DiBella added.

“Jackson (Zimmermann) scored a great goal on the penalty shot and momentum took us into the third period.

“Certainly, don’t want to leave that kind of a game to the officials or the lack of competing for 60 minutes.”

Ryan Piva and Easton Jolie gave Nelson a 2-0 lead after one period before the Hawks roared back with a pair of goals by Nathan Ingram and Ryan Crisalli in the second.

However, before the period ended Zimmermann was awarded a penalty shot the Stettler, AB, native was able to convert.

Looking for the equalizer, Beaver Valley outshot the Leafs 10-8 in the final frame. But Nelson goaltender Caiden Kreitz was equal to the challenge to preserve the victory.

Friday, it was the Bruins turn to rally back, erasing a 2-0 deficit to close to within a goal late in the third as Zane Avery scored shorthanded.

That would be as close as the Bruins would get as Piva converted his third of the game in the final minutes to preserve the victory.

Trail Thompson scored the other goal for Nelson while Nathan Cohen-Wallis also scored for Grand Forks. Piva finished the game with four points.

Nelson outshot the Bruins 43-19 with Kreitz picking up the win in goal.

Nelson returns to action Friday when Summerland Steam visit the NDCC Arena.

Saturday, the Leafs travel to Castlegar to face divisional rival Rebels.

Former Leaf helps rebuild of Humboldt Broncos

Michael Bladon, who played 52 games for Nelson Leafs last season, was in the lineup for the Humboldt Broncos for the home opener as the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League squad begins the healing after a bus crash killed 16 and injured 13 in April of this year.

Kamloops Storm ownership hit with suspension

Kamloops Storm owner and former general manager, Barry Dewarwas hit with a one-year suspension, a $10,000 fine and four players have been stripped of their cards.

Storm head coach and Dewar’s son, Johnathan, has also been suspended for 20 games.

The suspension came after Kamloops was accused of tapering right after their July prospect camp said KIJHL president Larry Martel.

“Two players carded to another Junior hockey team attended to get in extra skating and were offered roster spots and team fees discussed,” Martel explained, adding the league’s investigation determined this was tampering.

“A team cannot allow players assigned to another Junior A or B team to skate or discuss playing without the written approval of the team with the player card.  All communication must go through team management not the player and parents.”

Martel said BC Hockey also investigated since it is a Hockey Canada rule and found the same findings.  

Martel also said Kamloops Storm is allowed to appeal to BC Hockey and then Hockey Canada.

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