A must-win weekend for Nelson Leafs
The Nelson Junior Leafs will be looking to snap a three-game losing skid tonight when they roll into Sicamous for the first of a two-game western road trip.
The high flying Leafs have been grounded of late, losing two pivotal games to the Beaver Valley Nitehawks this past weekend which caused a huge turn of events in the Neil Murdoch Division.
Heading into last weekend, the Leafs had held the top spot in the division and the league since late-October. The losses enabled the Castlegar Rebels to jump into first and the Nitehawks now trail the Leafs by only two points.
The reward for finishing first in the division is a series against the struggling Spokane Braves and avoiding other powerhouse clubs in the first round.
“We control our own destiny and we have to worry about our own game,” Leafs coach Frank Maida said about the weekend. “If we play our own game and focus on what we need to, everything will work out fine.”
Sicamous is one of the league’s best teams and is currently trying to catch the North Okanagan Knights for first place in the Doug Birks Division. The Leafs beat Sicamous 6-1 on November 4 at the Nelson and District Community Complex.
“That happens in a season,” Maida said about the losing streak. “The good thing about it is that I think we are going to peak at the right time as we head into playoffs.”
On Saturday, the Leafs will take on the Revelstoke Grizzlies. It was the Grizzlies that started the losing streak with a 4-0 win on January 27 at the Nelson and District Community Complex.
“Both games will be a good test,” said Maida. “We have played them both and they are both hard working teams.”
Beaver Valley and Castlegar play each other in a home-and-home this weekend. The Leafs will engage in a home-and-home with the Rebels next weekend.