Even with a lineup held together with cable zip ties, the Nelson Leafs continue to pump out wins.
Captain Jack Karran scored twice, newly acquired Reid Wilson added a single and Kootenay Ice affilate goalie Tenzin Mint posted the shutout sparking the Leafs to a 5-0 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win over rival Castlegar Rebels Saturday at the NDCC Arena.
Mint, the only goalie on the roster for Nelson, stopped all 21 shots to register his first KIJHL shutout. The win was the third straight, and second during the weekend for the Green and White.
Friday, Wilson, coming to the Leafs in a trade with the Rebels that saw forward Trail Thompson, a player development fee along with future considerations head back to Castlegar, scored twice for Nelson in a 3-2 road victory over Spokane Braves. The deal came as junior teams needed to reduce rosters to 25 cards as of December 1st.
Saturday, Karran and Logan Wullum, shorthanded, scored four minutes apart in a lackluster first period where both teams generated a total of 12 shots. Karran added Nelson’s second shorthanded goal of the game in the second before Emery Neilson and Wilson completed the scoring in the third.
Mint, named Leafs’ Firefighter of the Game winner, outdueled Rebel backstop Cedric Lesieur between the pipes to register the win as Nelson outshot the visitors 26-21.
Friday, Wilson scored twice to lead Nelson past the Braves in a chippy contest that saw Nelson goalie Hunter Young ejected for fighting in the third period. Backup Ethan Lawcznski of Castlegar stopped all eight shots in the final minutes of the third period to secure the win for the visiting Leafs.
The teams were tied 1-1 after one period as Karran and Spokane sniper Bear Hughes traded goals. Reid scored consecutive goals in each of the second and third periods to give Nelson a 3-1 advantage before Aaron Morris cut the margin with a power play goal midway through the final frame.
Spokane outshot Nelson 47-40 in the contest. The Braves finished 2-for-9 on the power play. Nelson, penalized 64 minutes, did not score during their lone man advantage.
Nelson, improving to 18-6-1-1, now lead Beaver Valley in Murdoch Division standings by nine points. Nelson travels to Kimberley Friday to face the Nitros in a battle of division leaders Friday before hosting Columbia Valley Rockies Saturday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.
LEAFS NOTES: Other moves by the Leafs prior to December 1 roster deadline had Nelson sending C.J. Wedenig to Columbia Valley in exchange for a development fee and adding defenceman Nicholas Onofrychuk from Dryden of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and forward Cole Wyatt from West Kelowna of the BC Hockey League. . . . Nelson traded rights of defenceman Dylan Rantucci to Leduc Riggers of the Capital Junior Hockey League. . . . Leafs captain Jack Karran now has a six-game point streak, scoring seven goals for 11 points. . . .Nelson played Saturday’s game without the services of goalie Caiden Kreitz, forwards Shawn Campbell, Scott Lancaster and defencemen Kalem Hanlon and Alex Erichuk. . . . Goalie Hunter Young sat out the first game of a two-game suspension after receiving a major penalty Friday for head contact Saturday along with Mitch Lavoie, who finished a one-game suspension for a game misconduct in the last 10 minutes of the game against Spokane. . . . Tenzin Mint, who plays for the Kootenay Ice of the BC Major Midget Hockey League, was joined by another affialiate player, Nelson's Reid Vulcano of the Pursuit of Excellence Varsity program in Kelowna. Vulcano played in both weekend games.