Brandon Sookro of the Nelson Leafs has a perfect view of the game winning goal as it trickled past Nitehawks goalie Brett Clark.

Leafs avoid elimination, force game six

A third period goal by Jamie Vlanich proved to be the winner for the Nelson squad.

The Nelson Leafs have avoided elimnation thanks to a 4-3 victory over the Nitehawks on Thursday night before a large crowd at the Nelson and District Community Complex.

It looked bad for the Leafs in the early going as Beaver Valley jumped out to a 2-0 lead. However, the Leafs began to battle back in the second.

Goals by Adam Hodge and two by Carson Willans helped the Nelson squad enter the third period in a 3-3 tie.

The Leafs knew they had to win the contest and pressured Beaver Valley in the third. All the hard work paid off when a harmless looking shot by Jamie Vlanich, trickled by the Nitehawks goaltender to give the Leafs a 4-3 lead with less than 10 minutes to go in the game.

Leafs netminder Patrick Zubick, a recent pick up from the Castlegar Rebels roster, shut the door the rest of the way, making some spectacular saves, especially in the final few seconds.

“You’ve got to make every save you can. Try and make all the hard ones and all the easy ones. When you make a save like that, in the last 30 seconds or so, it’s really big,” said Zubick.

He said no one is more surprised than him that he is still playing hockey, but injuries to both of Nelson’s starting goalies forced the move.

“I was fully expecting to be getting back to school and going  hard on my studies. But I’m incredibly grateful to have a second chance here to beat these guys.”

The Nitehawks knocked out Zubick’s former team, the Castlgar Rebels, in the first round of the playoff.

“You definitely want to get them back for that. I don’t want to be on the other side of the handshake again, like I was before,” said Zubick.

The Leafs leading scorer in the regular season, Vlanich, is glad to be back in the line up after missing the first round of the playoffs with an injury.

His game winning goal was a strange one, that just trickled into the net.

“I don’t know, I didn’t see it. I just hear the crowd,” said Vlanich about the goal.

He said the squad has to take things one period at a time and not worry about facing elimination.

“Just play every shift like it’s your last and hope for the best.”

The Leafs now travel to Fruitvale to play Beaver Valley again in game six of the playoff series. Nelson has to win to force a game seven at home.

The Leafs have had difficulty winning at the Nitehawks rink.

“We just have to out work them. Seems whenever we take the play to them, we’re winning.”

Asked if the locker room was down, or nervous, Vlanich said neither was correct.

“We’re just pissed off. We want to win. We’ve got two more to go.”

Just Posted

MP Cannings’ long-awaited wood-use bill passes in House vote

The private member’s bill is his first to pass the House, a rare feat for rookie MPs in opposition

Willie Thrasher and Linda Saddleback to play Nelson

The duo will be at the Civic Theatre on May 31

Grease comes to the Capitol Theatre

The production runs Thursday to Sunday

COLUMN: Watching water, thinking about elections

Columnist Donna Macdonald spoke to Prince George councillor Jillian Merrick about inclusiveness

UPDATE: City opens emergency operations centre

Lakeside Park, its sports fields, and parts of the waterfront could soon be underwater

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Second commercial acid spill in Kootenay city

Station 374 Trail was called to a Hazmat scene Wednesday night on Highway 3B

Kootenay village pot survey reveals a mixed bag

The majority of Warfield respondents were for cannabis sales, but with dispensary restrictions

Most Read