It was a disappointing loss in overtime for the Nelson Leafs tonight against arch rival, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, 3-2.
Leaf goal tender Patrick Ostermann with the puck in his net.
The Leafs dominated most of the game on home ice with a goal by new forward Matthew Sokol, 18, from Calgary in the first.
The Leafs thwarted the Nitehawks attempts to swoop the game away taking the puck out of their end and towards the Beaver Valley net repeatedly. In the first minute of the second, Braden Fuller brought the score to 1-1.
In the bottom half of the second, Jo Davie brought the Leafs into a 2-1 lead.
“It always satisfying to score against Beaver Valley,” said Davie, who was given a misconduct call in the last seconds of the third period and had to exit the ice. “But it’s also heartbreaking when the game is taken away from you, out of your control.”
Both teams have a multitude of injuries with six or seven players out but Davie said he doesn’t use injuries as an excuse.
“You have got to find a way to win every night,” he said, “and unfortunately we didn’t find a way to win tonight. We had a couple bad turn overs that cost us. ”
“We love playing Beaver Valley because they are our rival,” said Davie.
While the Leafs are four games in to a losing streak, Davie said they always like playing Beaver Valley so practice was extra fun this week.
“We normally have really good games against them, if nothing interferes. We had a really good week at practice because we get excited to play Beaver Valley so we were focused and energetic all week at practice so we brought it into the game.”
Nitehawk Allan Pruss brought the game to a 2-2 tie in the final minute of the third.
Nitehawks took the win in the last minute of overtime when Blake Sidoni slipped the puck past Leaf goal tender Patrick Ostermann, who had a great game- his first back in the net after overcoming a three week injury.
“He had a really good game,” said Davie, “I wish we could have helped him a bit more.”
Ostermann said it was tough fending them off for as long as he did.
“They’re a good team,” said Ostermann, “I’ll give them that. They’re good at getting traffic in front of the net to block my vision-every team is going to try to do that.”
To Ostermann’s credit, he said he didn’t feel a lot pressure playing the Nitehawks, even after three weeks out.
“I know our team and we have a good team” said Ostermann. “They’ll do everything for me that they can and that I’ll do everything that I can for them.”
Head coach Dave McLellan thought it was a good game for the Leafs, including Ostermann.
“We out played them,” he said. “Our four on four scoring chances alone probably should have won the game for us but we didn’t. That’s what happens when you allow a team to stay in the game.
“Their tying goal never should have happened,” said McLellan. “Our defenceman passed the puck up the wall basically to their defenceman and they passed it over and we had no chance- it was a bad play so we opened the door for them to stay in the game.”
The next home game is this Wednesday as the Leafs host the Castlegar Rebels at 7 p.m. at the Nelson and District Community Centre.