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Nitehawks closing in on Murdoch Division leading Leafs

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
December 16th, 2018

Don’t look now but the Nelson Leafs have some company at the top of the Neil Murdoch Division.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks posted its sixth consecutive win to climb to within three points of the struggling Leafs as the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League heads into its Christmas Holiday break.

The Nitehawks outlasted the Fernie Ghostriders 7-5 in the East Kootenay City Friday before doubling division rival Spokane Braves 6-3 Saturday in Frutivale.

The wins, coupled with Nelson’s weekend losses to Castlegar Rebels 5-3 Friday and Creston Valley Thunder Cats 4-3 Saturday, moves Beaver Valley to within three points of the Green and White in Murdoch Division standings.

Both Nelson and Beaver Valley are idle until the KIJHL teams travel to Kamloops to compete in the December 27-29.

The First Annual College Showcase is an opportunity for scouts to see KIJHL players in action with all 20 teams playing two games during the three-day event.

In addition to college recruiters, scouts from many of the Junior A leagues in Canada, including the Western Hockey League, will be attending.

Woods scores pair to sink Leafs

A goal by Jordan Wood with 36 ticks remaining in the second period proved to be the winners as Creston Valley slipped past the Nelson Leafs 4-3 Saturday night at the Johnny Bucyk Arena.

Nelson pressured the Cats in the third, outshooting the hosts 14-7, but could not get a puck past Eric Samyn in the Thunder Cats net.

Creston held leads of 3-0 and 3-1 before Nelson scored twice in the second to even the game at 3-3 late in the period.

Wood finished the game with a pair of markers for Creston, with former Leaf Trail Thompson and Carson Small adding singles.

David Sanchez, Shawn Campbell and Kaleb Comishin replied for Nelson.

Hunter Young faced 30 shots to register the loss in goal for Nelson.

Nelson, finishing 1-for-3 on the power play, outshot the Cats 35-30 in the game.

Sunflower City rivals steal points from Nelson

Game Star Darby Berg scored twice to spark the Rebels to a 5-3 KIJHL win over Nelson Friday night in Castlegar.

The Grande Prairie, AB, native first pulled the Rebels even with a marker just past the midway mark of the third before pulling the trigger on the winner late in the frame.

Jordan Adams added an empty net goal to secure the win for Castlegar.

After a scoreless first period where the visiting Leafs where unlucky not to score a bucket full of goals, Nelson opened a 2-0 advantage on goals by Alek Erichuk and a powerplay marker by David Sanchez.

Aiden Cornell cut the margin in half before Colby Winia scored in the final seconds of the period to pull the teams even after 40 minutes.

Tyler Nypower restored the lead for Nelson before Berg went to work.

Castlegar outshot the Leafs 27-25 with Rebel goalie Curt Doyle winning the battle in the nets over Hunter Young of the Leafs.

ICE CHIPS: It was encouraging to see Leafs netminder Caiden Krietz return to action, albeit, on the bench as a backup to Hunter Young. Krietz, 9-1, has not seen action since October 14 against Spokane Braves. . . . Ex-Leaf Trail Thompson, who started the season after being traded to Nelson from Spokane during the summer, finally landed with Creston after being dealt to the Thunder Cats by Castlegar Rebels in exchange for Darby Berg November 30th. Thompson was sent to the Rebels by Nelson in a deal that saw Reid Wilson come to the Leafs. . . .Friday, Nelson dressed Kootenay Ice affiliate players Dawson Reinfjell and Noah Quinn for the game against Castlegar. Saturday, Nelson played the contest with only 15 players. Nelson is 2-3 in December, and 6-5-1 in its last 12 games.


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