The Nelson Leafs allowed three unanswered goals in the third period en route to a 4-2 loss against the Spokane Braves on Wednesday.
Paxton Malone scored twice for the Braves (5-25-4), while Mason Jones and Elliot Plourde added one apiece and goaltender Patrick Kasper stopped 20 shots.
Jordan Davie and Andy Fitzpatrick replied for the Leafs (14-19-1). Goaltender Zakery Babin allowed all four goals on 30 shots. He was replaced briefly at the end of the game by Patrick Ostermann, who stopped four shots.
The Leafs were forced to play with just three defencemen after two of their blue-liners were taken off the ice. Kyle Chernenkoff suffered a lower-body injury and was followed by Cole Arcuri, who suffered an upper-body injury.
Interim Nelson head coach Sean Dooley said neither injury is serious.
“We came in obviously shorthanded,” said Sean Dooley. “Coming off the win against Grand Forks [on Tuesday] is obviously something to build on. I think any game you play you’ve got to treat it like you’re playing the best team in the league and Spokane, in my opinion, they just outworked us. We got worn down pretty quick with the injuries and the short bench, but at the same time I thought we struggled a bit.”
Nelson returns to action Dec. 30 on the road against the division-leading Beaver Valley Nitehawks.