The Nelson Leafs put up a good effort against the Fernie Ghostriders Saturday coming back from a two-goal deficit, but lost 4-3 in double overtime.
“I thought we outworked them, we outplayed them and we had some unlucky bounces,” said Jonathon Petrash, had two assists in Saturday’s game at the NDCC.
“Some collapses in out defensive zone allowed them to capitalize on their opportunities, but other than that I thought we outplayed them. We played really well.”
The matchup against the Ghostriders was the Nelson Leafs’ Patrick Martens’ first game back on the squad since his return from the BCHL.
“It’s nice to be back,” said Martens, who scored the Leafs’ second goal of the night.
“I know I have a home here and I enjoy playing here. I love the guys, love the people, love the fans,” he said, adding that it was an easy transition to return to the Leafs after playing in Langley.
The Ghostriders started the game strong as they stacked up two goals in the first period from Connor McLaughlin and Stefan Seel. Although leading in the first period, the Leafs still outshot Fernie 10-8 in the first, and continued to outshoot them for the remainder of the game.
The Leafs finally answered back in the second period with a powerplay goal from Bret Norman, which looked to recharge the Leafs’ spirits.
Each team put up another point on the boards putting pressure on the Leafs to tie the game in the last few moments of the third period.
With just 50 seconds left in regulation time, Colton Schell flicked in the shot on a five on three powerplay to tie and send the game into overtime, causing the well-attended arena to erupt in cheer.
The Leafs held on through the first overtime period with several good scoring chances, but the game ended abruptly after Connor McLaughlin scored his second of the evening in second overtime.
“I felt we played a really good game tonight, we just couldn’t capitalize on our scoring chances… that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” said Martens, adding that his time playing in the BCHL has helped him improve his game.
“I think I’m bringing back some leadership, some different little things I learned up there and just overall I think I’m a better hockey player now that I’ve played there,” he said, noting an improvement in his team as well since he last played with them.
“They’ve gotten better since I left, I think everybody’s meshed together as a group and I think we’re looking good into the playoffs.”
Petrash said he felt that the team showed a lot of heart and emotion during the game, deciding to never give up.
“The way we played tonight I think we’ll go far in playoffs… but right now we’ll take it one game at a time.”