By The Nelson Daily Sports
Linden Horswill made his return to the NDCC Arena a memorable one as the Okanagan Hockey Association recruit scored his first goal as a junior sparking the Nelson Leafs to a 5-2 victory over the Grand Forks Border Bruins (see more coverage on Sports Page) Saturday night.
The 16-year-old native of Nelson, called up to play with the Leafs after the team was hit with a rash of injuries, scored the opening goal of the contest before adding an assist on the final marker.
Gavin Currie also had a pair of goals to lead Nelson.
The Leafs opened the weekend with a 7-4 loss to Beaver Valley Friday in Fruitvale.
Nelson, 11-11 on the season, built up a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes before the Bruins woke up.
“I don’t think it was any more difficult that we thought,” said Leaf coach Chris Shaw. “ Grand Forks has put a pretty good team together now. They’ve acquired some pretty good players from Revelstoke and we knew they’re going to be pretty tough to play against.”
Marcus Dahl and Dallon Stoddart also scored for Nelson.
Darren Hogg appeared to be heading for his second shutout of the season before the Bruins scored two quick goals in the third to make it a game.
Joey Cormano and Artsiom Kalashnikov replied for the Bruins.
Nelson out shot Grand Forks 27-20.
In Fruitvale, Dallas Calvin scored a natural hat trick to spark the Hawks to a 3-0 lead five minutes into the second period.
Colton Malmsten cut the margin to 3-1 with a goal three minutes later.
But Ryan Baines and Ryan Edwards scored power play markers to increase the Beaver Valley lead to 5-1.
Riley Henderson scored on a Nelson power play to give the visitors some momentum entering the third.
The Leafs struck for two goals three minutes into the final frame as Patrick Martens and Colton Schell, on the power play, cut the lead to 5-4.
However, Justin Niminiken scored a power play goal to diffuse the Leafs.
Nelson Minor Hockey grad Ryon Sookro added an empty net marker to round out the scoring.
Beaver Valley finished three-for-five on the power play while Nelson was two for six.
Mike Vlanich out dueled Marcus Beesley in the nets to register the win for Beaver Valley. Shots were even at 38-38.
The win was the third in three games for the Hawks over Murdoch Division rival Nelson.
LEAF NOTES: Nelson's GM Chris Shaw announced following the game that Nelson acquired Joel Stewart in a trade from the Spokane Braves. In 16 games this season the 6’1”, 190-pound winger had eight goals for 16 points. . . . Nelson was missing leading goal scorer Connor McLaughlin, called up for a northern road trip with Trail of the B.C. Hockey League. McLaughlin scored twice in the third period to spark a four-goal explosion as Trail dumped Prince George 5-3 Friday. Trail, 17-7-0-1, leads the Interior Division by five points over Salmon Arm. McLaughlin, named the game’s second star, finished with three points. He did not play in Trail’s 2-1 loss to Quesnel Saturday.