The Nelson Leafs opened up a 4-1 lead on the Beaver Valley Nitehawks

The Nelson Leafs opened up a 4-1 lead on the Beaver Valley Nitehawks

KIJHL: Leafs hang on to edge Nitehawks 4-3

Nelson had a 4-1 lead entering the third period of play then held back Beaver Valley's offensive attack to win the game.

For the second straight day the Nelson Leafs and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks took to the ice in a Neil Murdoch Division battle. This time, it was the Leafs who were victorious, winning 4-3 at home.

The previous night, Beaver Valley won 4-1 in Fruitvale.

Wednesday afternoon’s victory keeps Nelson just two points back of the Nitehawks for first place in the division.

Nelson was all over Beaver Valley during the first two periods, opening up a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Matt MacDonald opened the scoring in the first period and Michael Rand increased the home squad’s lead to 2-0 early in the second.

After Beaver Valley narrowed the lead to 2-1, thanks to a goal from Brody Jennings, the Leafs’ Rayce Miller scored two in a row to put the game out of reach.

Or so the crowd thought.

In the third, Beaver Valley out shot Nelson 14-1, getting goals from Spencer McLean and McKoy Hauck to narrow the gap to one. That set up a nerve-wracking final 90 seconds, but the Leafs hung on to win.

Adam Maida stopped 34 of 37 shots for the victory.

The Leafs return to the Nelson and District Community Complex ice on Saturday, January 3 when the Revelstoke Grizzlies come to town. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Nelson hosts the 100 Mile House Wranglers at 2:30 p.m.