Leafs eliminate Rebels in five, advance to Kootenay Conference Final

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
March 13th, 2018

Nelson Leafs advanced to the Kootenay Conference Final for the first time in eight seasons after scoring a 5-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Playoff victory over the Castlegar Rebels at the NDCC Arena.

The Leafs won the best-of-seven Murdoch Division Final over the Rebels 4-1.

Game one of the Kootenay Conference Final goes Friday in Kimberley.

The Nitros also booked a ticket to the Final with a 5-2 win over Columbia Valley Rockies Monday in the Bavarian City to win the Eddie Mountain series 4-1.

After surrendering five goals in first period during Saturday’s 6-2 loss to Castlegar, the Leafs buttoned down the defence Monday before 800 plus fans.

Nelson pressured the Rebels from the outset, outshooting Castlegar 14-6 in the opening frame and scoring the only goal.

Surprise sniper Ethan Beattie scored his first of the playoffs from line mates Jaiden LaPorte and Mitchell Lavoie.

Castlegar tied the game early in the second when Evan Della Paolera netted a shorthanded tally with Nelson on the power play.

The goal was the third time in the series Nelson allowed a shorthanded tally.

However, Jack Karran, with his sixth of the series, gave Nelson the lead for good with a power play marker.

Lavoie and Chris Breese of the Rebels exchanged goals in the third before the visitors self-destructed during the final 11 minutes of the game.

Castlegar was whistled for 54 minutes in penalties, including four misconduct infractions, opening the door for the Leafs to score twice on the power play to secure the victory.

Michael Bladon made it 4-2 before LaPorte scored 93 seconds later to give Nelson the insurmountable three-goal advantage.

Nelson finished the game outshooting Castlegar 38-22 as Josh Williams bounced back from a disastrous start Saturday to register the win in goal.

Tanner Douglas, making his second consecutive start between the pipes, took the loss in goal for Castlegar.

In Kimberley, the Nitros scored three third period goals to outlast the pesky Rockies.

Matt Davis with a pair led Kimberley to the win.

Nelson Minor Hockey grad Ben Kelsch was once again the Rockies Game Star, facing 30 shots by the Dynamiters.

In the Okanagan-Shuswap Conference, Osoyoos and Revelstoke are one game closer to advancing to the Final after scoring home wins.

Osoyoos edged Kelowna 4-3 in the South Okanagan while the Grizzlies needed overtime to nip 100 Mile House 5-4.

Jordan Robertson scored in the first extra period to secure the victory.

Both series resume Tuesday in Kelowna and 100 Mile House.

ICE CHIPS: Game two of the Kootenay Conference Final goes Saturday in Kimberley with the series returning to Nelson tentatively for Games three and four, Monday and Tuesday at the NDCC Arena. . . . Nelson received offence from an unexpected source as Jaiden LaPorte and Mitchell Lavoie each registered two points. Dash Thompson and Sawyer Hunt also finished the game with two points. . . . The game attracted season high 836 spectators for the game.

Categories: GeneralSports


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