Today’s Poll

Leafs post another weekend sweep

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
September 23rd, 2018

The Nelson Leafs continue to get major contributions from its veterans as the Heritage City franchise cruised to a pair of Kootenay International Junior Hockey League wins over Summerland Steam and Grand Forks Border Bruins.

Friday, Ryan Piva scored his second hat-trick of the season as the Leafs dumped the Steam 6-2 at the NDCC Arena.

Saturday, in the Boundary City, goalie Caiden Kreitz faced 42 shots — 20 coming in the second period — backstopping the Leafs to a 6-2 win over the Bruins.

The wins keep Nelson a perfect 6-0, first in the Murdoch Division, three weeks into KIJHL season. Nelson is four points in front of second-place Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

“We’ve still got guys coming back from Junior A and just traded for another scoring forward, Typer Nypower, who was last year was with Columbia Valley, so we’re still adding pieces to our group,” Leaf assistant coach Adam DiBella said after Friday’s game.

“It will take time,” DiBella adds. “This group hasn’t played together before having only seven or eight players returning from last year.”

Piva, tied for first overall in goals in the KIJHL with Brody Dale of Kelowna, combined with Trail Thompson to stake Nelson to a 2-0 first period lead.

The Steam struck for a pair of powerplay goals less than two minutes apart in the second, before Piva, second overall in KIJHL scoring, restored the lead with two in the third — both goals coming on the power play.

Emery Neilson added an insurance marker for Nelson late in the third period.

Saturday, Nelson once again built a 2-0 lead before the hometown Bruins Dalton Luce and Liam Stalwick scored in the second to tie the game.

Kreitz was a major reason why the Bruins did not score more goals as the Calgary native kept Nelson in the game with several key saves.

Nelson regained momentum in the third period, scoring four unanswered goals during a seven-minute span to secure the win.

Jack Karran led the charge with a goal and two assists. Kaleb Comishin, David Sanchez, Taylor Paulovich, Scott Lancaster, with a pair, also scored for Nelson.

 “We’re a fast-paced team,” said DiBella.

“We’re going to be an upbeat, face-paced team that scores some goals but we’re going to play defence by playing offence and maintaining puck possession in the other team’s end,” he added.

Nelson returns to the NDCC Arena Friday to host Castlegar Rebels at 7 p.m. The Rebels have struggled out of the gate this seasons, winners of just one of four games. Saturday, Nelson is on the road to face Columbia Valley Rockies in Invermere. Columbia Valley is second in the Eddie Mountain Division, two points back of Kimberley Dynamiters.

Kreitz, Paulovich earn Firefighter Honours

Caiden Kreitz and Taylor Paulovich got to wear the Nelson Leafs Firefighter helmet after being selected Player of the Game.

Paulovich was outstanding on the penalty kill as Nelson spent a lot of the Friday night in the penalty box as the game became very chippy. Paulovich also added an assist thanks to a pesky forecheck.

Meanwhile, Kreitz was rock solid between the pipes in Grand Forks as Nelson ran into penalty troubles against the Bruins.

Kreitz, sixth overall in goalie stats with 1.67 goals against average and .939 save percentage, leads the KIJHL in wins with six.

Categories: Sports