It was a control game on Wednesday night, and the Nelson Leafs played it to perfection.
The league-leading local squad stuck to its game plan and according to coach Frank Maida, executed it to perfection en route to a 3-1 victory over the Spokane Braves on Wednesday night.
The Leafs scored a goal in each period and were never in danger of letting the game slip away.
“I thought from the first puck drop we took the game over and controlled the game and dictated the play the entire time,” said Maida.
Spokane had few scoring chances as the locals boys took care of the puck for most of the evening.
“We didn’t give them a lot in our zone. We looked after our responsibilities in our zone and played a solid game. We didn’t give up too many odd man rushes,” he said.
“We followed our game plan for the entire game.”
The Leafs opened the scoring when Carson Willans put the puck in the net at the midway point of the first period.
The locals increased the lead to 2-0 with just 30 seconds to go in the second as Travis Wellman bulged the twine. It gave the Nelson squad a lead it would never relinquish.
In the third, Austin Seaman added an insurance goal to give the local boys a 3-0 lead.
However, Spokane’s Robson Cramer scored midway through the third to break Leaf goalie Brad Rebagliati’s shutout bid.
Rebagliati stopped 21 of 22 shots for the win.
The Leafs are back in action tonight, on the road against the Fernie Ghostriders.
“We’re getting ready for Fernie. We don’t know much, we haven’t seen them but they always play us tough and it will be an exciting game in their barn.”
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
After that, the Leafs have the week off before heading back out on the road to play the Beaver Valley Nitehawks on December 13.
The Leafs next home game is set for December 14 when the Golden Rockets are in town.
Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the NDCC.
Nelson has traded away Tyler Garcia to the Kimberly Dynamiters for future considerations.
Maida said the move was “best for the player and the team” and that Garcia will “get an opportunity to play the role” he wants to play in Kimberley.