The Nelson Leafs kick off the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup on Thursday night against the Victoria Cougars. On Friday

Cyclone Taylor Cup: Leafs ready for a rematch

The Nelson Leafs begin play in the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup on Thursday against the Victoria Cougars. On Friday they battle Beaver Valley.

The entire hockey season has been leading up to this week. The Nelson Leafs are ready to host the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup (April 10-13). The event will decide the junior B hockey provincial crown.

For the Leafs to take the title, they will have to beat a familiar foe — the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

The Nitehawks eliminated the Leafs in post season play and went on to win the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) crown.

Now Nelson has the chance for a little payback.

“They are a great team and we are excited to have them here. It’s going to be great for two local teams to be in the Cyclone Taylor Cup and I think it’s going to be an exciting game on Friday,” said Leafs head coach Frank Maida about facing Beaver Valley once again.

While his squad is motivated and itching to get back on the ice, Maida said the Nitehawks do provide a little bit of extra  incentive.

“I think the boys are focussed and ready to go, regardless if Beaver Valley was coming or Kamloops. But, being Beaver Valley, I think we owe them one and we are going to be ready to go.”

The Cyclone Taylor Cup is a four-team tournament featuring the champions of the KIJHL (Beaver Valley), the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (Victoria Cougars) and the Pacific Junior Hockey League (Aldergrove Kodiaks) as well as the host team (Nelson).

While the Leafs’ coaching staff is familiar with Beaver Valley, the other two teams are a bit of a mystery.

“I know Victoria in the past has put together a pretty good team and they’ll be strong and so will Aldergrove… Hopefully we’ll get some video and have a look at the teams,” said Maida.

While the other three teams have been playing in their respective playoff series, Nelson hasn’t played a game in weeks.

However, Maida said the squad has been getting healthier during that time and preparing to return to game action.

“We’ve been practicing hard. We’ve gone seven days straight of practice getting ready for Thursday night.”

As the host team, Nelson has a big advantage by playing at the Nelson and District Community Complex.

“The crowd is great here in Nelson and we like playing in our own rink. Our team is built for this rink and it will be a great advantage,” said Maida.

The NDCC is bigger than many rinks and suits the Leafs’ high speed style.

 

2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup Schedule

 

April 10

3:30 p.m. Aldergrove vs. Beaver Valley

Nelson & District Community Complex

 

7:30 p.m. VIctoria vs. Nelson

Nelson & District Community Complex

 

April 11

3:30 p.m. Aldergrove vs. Victoria

Nelson & District Community Complex

 

7:30 p.m. Beaver Valley vs. Nelson

Nelson & District Community Complex

 

April 12

3:30 p.m. Beaver Valley vs. Victoria

Nelson & District Community Complex

 

7:30 p.m. Aldergrove vs. Nelson

Nelson & District Community Complex

 

April 13

10 a.m.  Fourth vs. Third

Nelson & District Community Complex

 

2:30 p.m. Second vs. First

Nelson & District Community Complex

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