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Joel Stewart scores in overtime to sink Spokane Braves

Joel Stewart . . . overtime winner

The Nelson Daily Sports

Joel Stewart got the last laugh, for now, against his former mates from the Lilac City.

The ex-Brave scored the overtime winner to power the Nelson Leafs to a 3-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over Spokane Friday night at the NDCC Arena.

Stewart, the 6’1, 190-pound forward from Spokane, Washington, acquired in a futures deal from south of the 49th parallel, combined with Tyler Parfeniuk and Colton Schell to beat Garrett Barr in the Braves’ nets for the winning goal.

The marker was the first as a Leaf for the soon to be 20-year-old. Stewart celebrates his birthday Tuesday.

Cody Abbey opened the scoring for Nelson in the first period as the veteran winger combined with Gavin Currie and Connor McLaughlin.

Spokane took the lead with two goals in a span of 11 seconds. Nick Redding scored on the power play before Rance Hughes got the puck past Marcus Beesley in the Nelson nets.

Currie tied the contest before the period ended with a power play marker. The Leafs out shot the Braves 38-23.

Nelson, climbing to within a point of the third-place Braves in Murdoch standings, faces division leading Castlegar Rebels tonight at 7 p.m.

The contest is being played in the Civic Centre Arena as part of the 75th birthday bash. Nelson will be wearing vintage jerseys to help with the anniversary celebrations.

GAME NOTES: Leaf veteran Gavin Currie continues to be one of the hottest players in the league, registering his eighth point in three games. The Abbotsford native has accumulated 17 points in nine games to lead the Leafs in scoring.