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Leaf rock Rockies to gain weekend split

Emery Neilson scored twice and added an assist to lead Nelson past Columbia Valley. — The Nelson Daily file photo

Two ex-Leafs had no answers against their former teammates.

Tyler Nypower and Emery Neilson each scored twice sparking Nelson Leafs to a convincing 9-2 thrashing of the Columbia Valley Rockies Saturday in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action at the NDCC Arena.

“I don’t think that was Columbia Valley’s best effort. . .. When we played them (in Invermere) they were much more resilient than that,” Leaf coach Mario DiBella said following the game. “They got off to a bit of a slow start and I think we took advantage of their bus feet and our players played a great game.”

The contest featured two ex-Leaf netminders, Ben Kelsch and C.J.Wedenig in goal for the visitors in a game both backstops struggled against their former mates.

Kelsch, who was instrumental in the Rockies victory over the Leafs in September saw the home side struck for four goals in the final nine minutes of the opening period to erase an early 1-0 lead held by Columbia Valley. Brennan Nelson scored on Leafs goalie Hunter Young to quiet the home crowd.

However, Kaleb Comishin tied the game just past the midway point of the period before Keenan Crossman, and Neilson, with a pair, completed the offensive explosion.

Nelson increased its lead to 7-1 in the second frame with goals coming from newcomer Cole Wyatt, scoring shorthanded, Reid Wilson and Nypower, with his first of the game. Wilson’s marker ended the night for Kelsch, summoning Wedenig in from the bullpen.

Nelson scored his second of the game for the Rockies to make the score 7-2 after 40 minutes.

In the third Mitch Lavoie and NY power completed the rout. Nelson, going 2-for-6 with the man advantage, finished the game outshooting the Rockies by a 56-23 advantage.

Nitros get better of Leafs

Derian Bamber scored twice and Adam Anderson stopped 20 of 21 shots lifting Kimberley Dynamiters to a 4-1 win over Nelson Friday in the Bavarian City.

The game featured the two division leaders in the Kootenay Conference.

Bamber scored once in the first period as Kimberley built a 2-0 lead. Keegan McDowell scored a backbreaker in the final minute to power the home side to the lead.

Following a scoreless second period, Tyson Soobotin gave Nelson life with a goal early in the third period. But Chase Gedny restored the two-goal margin with a power play marker six minutes later before Bamber added an empty net goal.

Kimberley outshot the Leafs 34-20 keeping Kootenay Ice affiliate goalie Tenzin Mint busy between the pipes. The Leafs lost defenceman Michael LeNoury in the final period after the rearguard was ejected from the game after receiving a major penalty for check-from-behind.

Leaf Notes:

  • Michael LeNoury was hit with a three-game suspension following the major penalty received in Kimberley Friday. LeNoury served the first game Saturday against Columbia Valley. He will miss this weekend’s upcoming road games in Castlegar and Creston.
  • Emery Neilson was Nelson’s Game Star Saturday, finishing the game with three points. Cole Wyatt, who earned Nelson’s Firefighter of the Game award, also had a goal and two helpers for three points.
  • Leaf Captain Jack Karran saw his point streak halted at six games in Kimberley Friday. Karran registered an assist Saturday.
  • Kootenay Ice affiliate goalie Tenzin Mint was named Leafs Game Star Friday in Kimberley.
  • Nelson, 19-7-1-1, saw its Murdoch Division lead drop to seven points as Beaver Valley won for the fourth consecutive time, posting weekend wins over Grand Forks and Creston.