The Nelson Leafs’ shaky start to Friday’s game against the Golden Rockets (Eddie Mountain division) soon turned into a landslide win for the Leafs 9-3.
The Leafs’ Ren Mason scored the first goal of the game in the first followed by a goal by the Rocket’s Terix Fischer-Kobes.
Golden led the game briefly in the last half of the second after an unassisted goal by Rocket’s Darion Nordick but a mere 25 seconds later, the Leafs newest forward Nick Novin brought the score to 2-2.
A small part of much larger brawl between the Leafs and the Rockets during the third. Tamara Hynd photo
The third period saw the Rockets’ one goal by Kyan Karol rapidly dwarfed by seven goals from Leafs’ Jordan Davie, a second by Novin, Rayce Miller, Tyler Garcia, Eamonn Miller and the final two by forward Andy Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick earned five points with two goals and three assists. While he conceded as a team they were “sluggish to start”, he said eventually the Leafs began to control the flow.
“Everyone on the bench was really positive,” he said, adding the number of goals wasn’t as important per se other than the amount of goals represent that they did a good job. Fitzpatrick said it was important that they began to capitalize on their scoring opportunities hitting the net a lot in the third.
The next big step is playing adversary Beaver Valley tomorrow night he said.
New on the ice were goaltender Patrick Ostermann of Calgary who played for Columbia Valley last season and forward Nick Novin of Texas who arrived in Nelson Thursday. Novin made an impressive show scoring the second and fourth goal of the night. He said after a shaky start, the game “felt really good once they settled in”. Captain Rayce Miller was back as well after a two game suspension issued during the Princeton game for misconduct two weeks ago.
Leafs’ assistant coach Greg Andrusak (left) and head coach David McLellan had nine good reasons to smile. Tamara Hynd photo
Leafs head coach Dave McLellan pointed to the team’s performance in the third where he was pleased with the Leafs’ work ethic and system plays such as forechecking and physical defence. As for new players Ostermann and Novin, McLellan said they will add depth to their team.
“We’re always trying to make the team better,” he said.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against arch rivals, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, McLellan said he wants the team to have a good bounce back after Friday’s win.
This weekend is also family weekend for the Leafs. Players’ families are in Nelson to watch their sons play three games and get to know the team, coaches, the executive board and the community. The team and families gathered for pizza and socializing after Friday’s game and will have a luncheon at the Hume on Saturday.
The Nelson Leafs play Beaver Valley Nitehawks Saturday at 7 p.m. followed by a game against Summerland on Sunday at 2:30 p.m, both at the Nelson and District Community Centre.
New Leafs’ goalie Patrick Ostermann (centre) with his parents Jitka and Detlef from Calgary. Patrick is the Leafs newest goaltender who played for Columbia Valley last season. Tamara Hynd photo
Below: Tyler Fyfe, Kaslo’s Jordan Davie and Nelson’s Sam Webber. Tamara Hynd photo
Below: Leafs’ defenceman Maximilan Daerendinger (right) with his father Michael who came to visit from Vancouver. Tamara Hynd photo