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Leafs overpower Spokane to take 2-0 lead in Murdoch Semi Final

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
March 1st, 2020

The Nelson Leafs took care of business on home ice as the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Murdoch Division Semi Final Series opened this past weekend at the NDCC Arena.

The Leafs outscored visiting Spokane 10-2 in two games to grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Murdoch Semi Final.

Nelson opened the series Friday with a hard-fought 4-1 decision over the Braves. The Leafs followed up the strong performance Saturday, dumping the Braves 6-1 behind the three-point performance of Alek Erichuk.

Friday, after Leaf Captain David Sanchez settled the nerves of the home team with a breakaway goal late in the open period to tie the game at 1-1, Reid Wilson and Shawn Campbell scored second period goals to give Nelson a lead the host team would not relinquish.

Campbell, with his second of the game coming on the power play, completed the scoring for Nelson.

Anderson Violette stopped 27 of 28 shots to register the win in goal.

Austin Madge took the loss in goal for Spokane.

Campbell, and teammate Aiden Jenner, each finished the game with three points for Nelson.

Saturday, Nelson built a 5-0 lead 35 minutes into the game before coasting to the victory.

Erichuk, in the first period, followed by goals from Ryan Janowski, Wilson, Brady Miller and Sanchez gave Nelson the huge lead.

Logan Steven scored for Spokane to stop the onslaught.

However, Tyler Pisiak answered that marker with one of his own before the period ended to complete the scoring.

Nelson outshot the Braves in the contest 38-26.

Violette registered his second consecutive win in goal while Marcello De Antunano was in goal for the Braves.

The series resumes Monday and Tuesday in Spokane.

If necessary, Game five would be played Thursday back at the NDCC Arena.

Nelson defenceman earns Murdoch Award

Prior to Friday’s game, Leafs Kaleb Comishin was presented with the Neil Murdoch Top Defenceman award by Nelson vice-president Jeff Wright.

Comishin, who was injured in January, was back in the lineup Saturday after missing Friday’s game.

Nitehawks overcome scare to grab 2-0 lead.

For 57 minutes it appeared the Castlegar Rebels were in control of the first game of the Murdoch Division Semi Final Series with Beaver Valley.

However, trailing 2-0, Luke Woodrow and Bradley Ross scored to tie the game at 2-2 before Nathan Ingram netted the overtime winner with 4:08 remaining to send the Hawks onto a 3-2 victory Friday at the Fruitvale Arena.

Saturday, Beaver Valley built up a 5-2 lead in the second period to coast to a 6-3 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Games three and four are Monday and Tuesday in Castlegar.

Thunder Cats, Rockies surprise Eddie Mountain top seeds

Creston Valley Thunder Cats and Columbia Valley Rockies shocked favourites Kimberley Dynamiters and Fernie Ghostriders on opening night of the KIJHL Playoffs.

Creston edged Kimberley 3-2 while Columbia Valley edged Fernie 4-3 to take 1-0 leads in the best-of-seven series.

Kimberley shutout Creston 4-0 Saturday to even the series at 1-1.

However, Columbia Valley took a commanding 2-0 lead over Fernie with a 3-1 victory.

In the Okanagan Conference, Revelstoke, 100 Mile House and Princeton each hold 2-0 leads in the best-of-seven series.

North Okanagan, after scoring an opening night upset, is tied with Kelowna Chiefs.

Prior to the opening puck drop at the NDCC Arena for the Murdoch Division Series between Spokane and Nelson, Leafs Kaleb Comishin was presented with the Neil Murdoch Top Defenceman award by Nelson vice-president Jeff Wright. — Photo courtesy Nelson Leafs Hockey Club

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