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Leafs must shift balance of power in the Murdoch Division

Blake Arcuri & Company hope their fortunes inside the Murdoch Division change for the better.

By Bruce Fuhr,
The Nelson Daily Sports

Teams in the Murdoch Division, especially Beaver Valley and Castlegar, have not played nice with the Nelson Leafs this season.

The Leafs are a collective 6-9 inside the Murdoch Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League with four of those wins coming against lowly Grand Forks. On the flip side Nelson is 8-2 outside the division.

Nelson hopes to halt the trend when the team opens a two-game home set again divisional rivals, Spokane Braves and Castlegar Rebels.

“We haven’t really played teams in our division as much but once we start playing in our division I think we’re going to start to pick it up,” said Leaf forward Connor McLaughlin.

Nelson hosts Spokane Friday at the NDCC Arena and Castlegar Saturday.  The game against Castlegar is scheduled for the Civic Centre Arena as the Leafs help the city celebrate the arena’s 75th anniversary.

Nelson plays seven of its next nine games inside the Murdoch. So it’s now or never to make a run.

“We’ve got to be teams like Castlegar to have a chance,” said Leafs’ Colton Schell.

Gavin Currie, who scored six points during last weekend and 15 points in the past eight games, has climbed into 14th spot in the KIJHL scoring race. Currie has 11 goals and 22 assists.

Stefan Jensen of the Osoyoos Coyotes is tied with Ryan Aynlsey of the Castlegar Rebels for the league lead, each with 47 points. Jensen is the top scorer with 26 goals.

Darren Hogg of the Leafs sits in seven spot in the goalie stats with a 2.68 goals against average. Fraser Abdallah of Fernie leads the league with a 2.04 average.

sports@thenelsondaily.com