Leafs get back in series with 5-3 victory over Hawks

first_imgBy Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsThe Nelson Leafs finally solved the voodoo curse inflicted on the Green and White by the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.Colton Schell’s goal with just over three minutes remaining in the third period sparked the Leafs to a 5-3 victory over the Hawks in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Playoffs action Friday night before 600 plus fans at the NDCC Arena.The victory, the first in six games for Nelson against Beaver Valley, pulls the Leafs to within a game in the best-of-seven Murdoch Division semi final series.Game four is Saturday at 7 p.m. in the NDCC Arena. Game five is Monday in Beaver Valley.“It was pretty exciting for us to get this win,” said a beaming Schell after the game. “Now we’re looking to do it again (Saturday).”Facing a 2-0 hole in the series, the Leafs played their best period of the series to start the game.Gavin Currie, who missed game two, started the scoring for Nelson with his first marker of the series.The Hawks tied the game as Chris Derochie scored on the power play. Beaver Valley took a 2-1 lead with another power play marker in the second, this time by Tyler Collins.Nelson then got the break it needed with Marcus Dahl stripped the puck from Mason Spear deep in the Beaver Valley zone before beating Mike Vlanich for the tying goal.In the third Beaver Valley once again took the lead when Daniel Bishop beat Marcus Beesley in the Nelson nets.But unlike past games the Leafs didn’t fold. Cody Abbey tied the game before Schell and Dustin Johnson into an empty net completed a three-goal run by Nelson.“We had lots of focus in the dressing room and just put bodies in front of (Mike) Vlanich and put pucks on the net,” said Schell when asked what keyed this comeback. Beaver Valley skipper Terry Jones was not pleased with the effort of his team, which he felt was “outworked” by Nelson.“(Nelson) was a desperate team. . .. They wanted it more and that was apparent from the first drop of the puck to the last drop of the puck,” said Jones. “They just sold out and were more physical than us and were full marks for the win.”“We were lucky just to hang in and I’ll be honest this was a real disappointing effort by our guys,” he added.Nelson out shot the Hawks in every period, finishing with a 38-23 margin. Marcus Beesley won his first playoff game this season as the Leaf goalie finally got the better of Vlanich.PLAYOFF NOTES: The game was halted ten minutes into the opening period when a puck that was fired in during a Leaf power play shattered the glass at the north end of the arena. . . .The six-game losing streak against Beaver Valley included four previous regular season games and two playoff games. . . .Marcus Dahl, Dustin Johnson, Colton Schell and Joel Stewart each finished the contest with two points for Nelson. . . . The points for Stewart and Schell were the first of the series for Nelson top two scorers during the regular season. . . .Dallas Calvin had two points for Beaver Valley to give him nine for the series and a tie for top spot in KIJHL scoring with Bruce Silvera of Revelstoke. . . .During the first intermission of the game, two Nelson Figure Skaters, Morgan Sabo and Shaen Panko Dool each skated a routine for the crowd. . . .In Spokane, Jesse Knowler scored at 6:16 of the first overtime period to spark the Castlegar Rebels to a 2-1 win over the Braves. Castlegar leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 with game five set for Sunday in the Sunflower [email protected]last_img

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