After winning two straight games on the road, the Nelson Leafs were hoping to put the Spokane Braves away on Monday night in the friendly confines of the Nelson and District Community Complex.
But the Braves had other plans as they shut out the Leafs 3-0 to stay alive in the best of seven playoff series.
The Nelson squad still has a three games to two lead entering Tuesday night’s contest back in Spokane.
Monday night’s game was one the Leafs would like to forget. Spokane got goals from Jonny Marzec, Kurtis Redding and Sean Collins while the Leafs couldn’t beat Braves netminder Jon Manlow who stopped all 29 shots he faced.
Adam Maida allowed three goals on 23 shots in two periods of play. However, a minor injury had Maida leave the game as backup Jason Mailhoit finished the game stopping eight shots for the Leafs.
After the game, Nelson’s Travis Wellman said the Braves goalie stymied their offence.
“Their goalie did play a heck of a game so we have to give him that, but we didn’t play the best game we could,” said Wellman.
While he’s not sure exactly why the Leafs were flat, Wellman has some theories.
“Obviously we didn’t play the way we wanted to and I thought maybe we came out and took things for granted because we had a 3-1 lead in the series. Maybe we thought they were going to lay down and roll over.”
So far this series, both startng goalie Brad Rebagliati and leading scorer Jamie Vlanich have yet to play a game due to injury.
Wellman said it’s all part of playoff hockey.
“You want everybody in the line up but that’s adversity and that’s something that every team is going to go through in the playoffs. If you’re going to make a run, you have to fight through it.”