Nelson Leafs send out invites to First Responders
The Neil Murdoch Champion Nelson Leafs are rolling out invitations to First Responders in the area for the final two home games of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League regular season, Friday and Saturday, at the NDCC Arena.
Nelson, recently clinching the Murdoch Regular Season title, host division rivals Beaver Valley Nitehawks, Friday, and Grand Forks Border Bruins, Saturday.
Both games puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“The Nelson Leafs Hockey Club wants to celebrate the hard-working people who keep us healthy and safe during difficult times,” the Nelson Leafs statement said.
“We welcome Firefighters, Police Officers, EMTs and Paramedics, Doctors and Nurses, Interior Health Staff and Mountain Lake Staff,” the statement added.
“Simply present your personal ID card at the ticket booth for your free pass to either game.”
The Leafs have been on fire since the turn of the New Year, winning 12 straight games before the Castlegar Rebels edged Nelson 4-3 Friday in the Sunflower City.
The streak allowed the Leafs to lock up first place in the Murdoch Division with a 29-10-0-1 record.
Nelson has been led by a strong local contingent of goalie Tenzin Mint, forward Joe Davidson and defenceman Bryce Sookro — all graduates of Nelson Minor Hockey.
Davidson, who narrowly missed out on a tryout in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League prior to the season, leads the Leafs in scoring with 38 points — 16 goals and 22 assists.
Other Nelson Minor Hockey grads on the team include forwards Rhett Hamilton and Seamus Boyd and defenceman Dylan Mowery and Reid Vulcano.
Following the conclusion of the KIJHL regular season, Nelson hosts Castlegar Rebels in the first round of the playoffs.
Get to the games early
Due to BC Public Heath COVID-19 guidelines, Nelson home games remain limited to 50% capacity or approximately 600 fans.
Leafs management said that once that number of spectators is reached the doors are closed.
KI announces Playoff Format Change
Last week the KIJHL announced the restructuring of the playoff format. The league moved Creston Valley from the Eddie Mountain Division to the Murdoch.
Creston will now meet Beaver Valley in the first round of the playoffs beginning next week.
“While it was not our intention to deviate from the playoff format that was announced in October, it had become increasingly likely over the past two months that it could produce a first round series involving significant travel and expense between a West Kootenays-based team and the Golden Rockets, who represent the furthest possible conference opponent,” says Commissioner Jeff Dubois.
“In investigating potential alternatives, there became a clear consensus amongst all of our Kootenay Conference teams, including Golden and Creston Valley, that making this change was the best option competitively and financially for all participating teams from both divisions.”
Golden Rockets will play Eddie Mountain winner while Fernie Ghostriders match up against the second seed in the division.
Currently Kimberley leads Columbia Valley by one point entering the final weekend of the season.