The Nelson Leafs were shredded last night in a 6-2 loss to the Princeton Posse. The Leafs’ Eamonn Miller scored both goals and as such was named the game star for the away team. But the Leafs earned a game total of 35 minutes worth of penalties (double that of Princeton), most of which were in the second period, leaving them at a disadvantage for much of the game.
At the end of the first period it was 2-0 for the Posse, with goals scored by Drew Carter and Tristan Vandermeulen.
The Leafs managed to get on the board early in the second period with a goal by Eamonn Miller. Penalties began to mount like a plague in the second and the Posse got their third goal from Kirt Fortney on a power play, ending the second at 3-1.
Miller scored his second goal early in the third but Princeton players Brandon Breithaupt and Morton Johnston got the the puck by the Leafs goaltender Everett Yasinski. Sunhil Sahota put the sixth goal into the Leafs’ empty net.
This win has put the Posse at the top of the Okanagan Division.
Even with the loss, head coach David McLellan thought the Leafs were the “better team for 95 per cent of the play”, of which they spent much of the time short handed. “We had some bad goals scored on us,” said McLellan. “The first goal was off a skate, the third goal was a weird one from centre ice, and the last goal by Sahota was into the Leafs’ empty net.”
McLellan said the quirky style of the arena which has bouncy boards took a bit of an adjustment for the Leafs in the first.
Now focusing on tonight’s game against the Osoyoos Coyotes, McLellan said they’ll be looking to control the neutral zone and capitalize when they have scoring chances.
In spite of Friday night’s loss, the Leafs gained a couple points this week, improving their standing, even if temporarily, in the Neil Murdoch Division. It was discovered that the Kelowna Chiefs may have had an ineligible trainer when they played against the Leafs’ during the Sept. 11 season opener, when the Leafs lost 3-0. This has translated into two points for the Leafs.
The Star is anticipating a comment from KIJHL president Bill Ohlhausen later today. The Leafs felt a similar sting last season when it was discovered one of their players was incorrectly carded.