Leafs increase Murdoch lead with weekend sweep
It doesn’t matter what time the game starts, the Nelson Leafs are raring to go.
Despite a late start, the Leafs jumped all over the Spokane Braves, pounding the Washington based squad 6-0 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Sunday afternoon at the NDCC Arena.
The victory comes on the heels of two wins Friday, 3-1 over the Thunder Cats in Creston, and Saturday, a 5-2 home-ice trashing of the Osoyoos Coyotes.
Nelson has now won five consecutive games to build a six-point lead over Beaver Valley in Murdoch Division standings.
Sunday’s game was delayed due to on-ice game officials arriving late to the game.
However, when the Leafs took to the ice it was obvious the hosts wanted to make a statement against division rivals from Spokane. Nelson jumped on the Braves, outshooting the visitors 18-10 and scoring twice to grab a 2-0 lead.
Jack Karran, Nelson’s Firefighter of the Game, opened the scoring before line mate Shawn Campbell added a shorthanded marker in the final minute of the period.
Goals by Kaleb Comishin, Easton Jolie and Dylan Rantucci, who scored twice in his debut weekend with Nelson, increased the margin to 5-0 after 40 minutes before Karran added his second of the game in the third. Nelson outshot the Braves 44-26 in the contest to improve its season record to 11-1-0-1.
Saturday, Nelson built a 4-0 lead after two periods to hand the Osoyoos its eighth loss of the season.
Karran finished the game with two goals with singles going to Tyler Nypower, Mitch Lavoie and Alek Erichuk. Milo Labonte scored both goals for Osoyoos.
Nelson finished the game out shooting the Coyotes 39-23 in the penalty filled game. C.J. Wedenig was in goal for Nelson to register his third win of the season.
Friday, in Creston, Nelson rode the allstar netminding of Caiden Kreitz to edge the Thunder Cats 3-1. The Calgary native was solid throughout the game as the Leafs’ starter frustrated the Thunder Cats with numerous saves.
Comishin game Nelson a 1-0 lead after two periods, scoring on the power play, before Rantucci scored against his former mates early in the third period. Ryan Piva added an insurance marker. Both Rantucci and Piva scored with Nelson playing a man short.
Kason Furukawa spoiled Kreitz’s bid for a shutout with a powerplay goal in the final minutes of the game. Creston out shot Nelson in the game 33-32.
Special Teams Shine
Nelson’s special teams are beginning to provide a nice punch for the offence.
During the weekend, Nelson scored six power play goals as well as adding three more shorthanded.
During the five-game winning streak, Nelson has scored nine times on the power play while adding four shorthanded.
Defence has also stepped as Nelson had allowed six goals while posting a pair of shutouts over Spokane and Beaver Valley.
Jack Karran, with a three points Sunday, was named Nelson’s Firefighter of the Game.
Saturday, Mitch Lavoie earned the honour while Friday, in Creston, Caiden Kreitz was close to unbeatable between the pipes to earn the team prize for the Leafs.
Leafs home for pair of games
Nelson continues its home stand in the month of October with a pair of games Friday and Saturday at the NDCC Arena.
The Leafs host Beaver Valley Nitehawks Friday before entertaining Eddie Mountain rival Golden Rockets Saturday. Both games have a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Nelson plays a total of seven home games in October.