Travis Wellman of the Nelson Leafs scores his second goal of the game before flying over top Grand Forks Border Bruins goalie Dominic Stadnyk. The Leafs won the game 6-4.

Leafs beat Border Bruins, lose Rebagliati, Vlanich

Nelson wins again despite an injury to its starting goalie and a game misconduct for the squad's leading scorer.

The Nelson Leafs may have won the game, but their losses are mounting.

The Leafs defeated the Grand Forks Border Bruins 6-4 on Friday night, but in the process lost  starting goalie Brad Rebagliati to injury and league-leading scorer Jamie Vlanich to suspension. It is not clear how long either player will be out.

With the game well in hand in the third period – the Leafs had a 6-2 lead – an already chippy game got even more intense.

Early in the third period, a Grand Forks player rushed towards the Nelson net and collided with Rebagliati who had his right leg banged into the post. After the play the netminder was visibly limping and eventually left the game in favour of backup Adam Maida.

“It’s day-to-day, but I won’t be playing tomorrow,” said Rebagliati.

On Saturday the Leafs play the Border Bruins again, this time in Grand Forks.

He hopes to be ready to go back in the net by next week when the Leafs wrap up the season against the second place Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

“That’s the important game. The Beaver Valley game, and obviously going into the playoffs, is a lot more important than a couple of games against Grand Forks.”

As the game wore on, the intensity kept building.

“Everything gets amplified. The hitting is bigger, everyone is hacking down on sticks more, it’s playoff hockey. It’s grittier. It’s a whole different thing than regular season hockey.”

That was also evident in the third period when sniper Vlanich and Grand Forks Dakota Kittle squared off at centre ice and  traded blows for what felt like five minutes.

As the two tumbled to the ice, Vlanich got in a few extra shots, which may have cost him. He was awarded a five minute major, a game misconduct, two minutes for being the agressor and a match penalty.

“It’s been coming a long time. We’ve been going at it for a few games and it finally happened,” said Vlanich about the fight. It’s been coming for awhile.”

This is the first season that Vlanich and Kittle have had bad blood between them.

“Usually there’s a couple guys on each team coming after me and finally it spilled over and I went at him.”

He said he isn’t sure if a suspension will come after the match penalty.

“We’ll wait and see I guess.”

The ruckus gave Grand Forks a seven minute powerplay which allowed the visitors to narrow the gap to 6-4, but that’s all the offence they could muster.

The injury and the pugilism overshadowed a solid offensive game by the Leafs, especially for Travis Wellman who scored a hat trick and added one assist.

Carson Willans added a pair of goals and Vlanich has the other goal.

Wellman said the squad was burying their chances. In fact at one point the Leafs had four goals on six shots.

“Definitely the bounces were going my way. I had a couple of lucky ones there and the guys were feeding me pucks so I was lucky to get the hat trick quick,” said Wellman.

He knew the game against the border bruins would be a tough one.

“Grand Forks isn’t in a playoff spot so they are playing for their dignity. We knew they would come out strong, so we just had to play our game and establish that we are a top team in this league and we aren’t going to lay down for any team.”

Just Posted

Nelson Leafs, regional district plan full-time hazardous waste recycling depot

City requires flood-mitigation plan before one-year trial can begin

Nelson Leafs humble Rockies 9-2

Leafs score 7 unanswered goals en route to win

Nelson Leafs fall in Kimberley 4-1

The Dynamiters took a 2-0 lead en route to the win

Nelson Legion to sell its building to tech company

Traction on Demand will purchase the building while the Legion will lease space

Climbing group launches fundraiser for Castlegar cliffs

TAWKROC wants to raise $60,000 to purchase the property from the owners

VIDEO: Monday Roundup

#hotscoops #hotscoops #hotscoops

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read