It took an extra few minutes of playing time, but the Nelson Leafs managed to squeak out a road victory by beating the Grand Forks Border Bruins 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday night.
The victory allows the local squad to keep pace with the division-leading Castlegar Rebels who also won — 5-3 over the Spoke Braves — on Tuesday.
The Leafs are currently in second place, one point behind the Rebels in the Neil Murdoch Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
The Leafs do have a game in hand on Castlegar.
Tuesday’s contest didn’t start well for Nelson as the host Border Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of goals by Joey Guzzo.
But Nelson began to mount a comeback in the second.
Austin Lindsay scored to put the Leafs on the board and Rayce Miller took advantage on the powerplay to tie the score after two.
But Grand Forks regained the lead in the final frame when Josh Gladman put the puck past Joey Karrer who was defending the Nelson net.
Once again the Leafs battled back to tie the game.
With just over five minutes to go, Robson Cramer scored to tie the contest at 3-3 and send it into overtime.
Cramer wasn’t finished playing the hero as he put his second goal behind Border Bruins netminder Jacob Mullen to win it for the Leafs.
Karrer stopped 20 of 23 shots to earn the win for Nelson while Mullen stopped 37 of 41 shots in a losing effort.
The Leafs will now play a huge weekend series against the Castlegar Rebels, with first place on the line. On Friday, Nelson travels to Castlegar for a 7 p.m. contest.
The two squads will battle again on Saturday when the Rebels come to the Nelson and District Community Complex.
The puck drop at 7 p.m.