Nelson Leafs forward Jaden Shumilak takes a shot during Saturday’s game against Kamloops. Photo: Tyler Harper

Nelson Leafs forward Jaden Shumilak takes a shot during Saturday’s game against Kamloops. Photo: Tyler Harper

UPDATED: Leafs game ends with accusation of racist taunts

Nelson’s coach said a Kamloops Storm player used insensitive language

A Nelson coach accused a visiting player of racially taunting one of the Leafs during a game Saturday.

After the Leafs’ 4-2 win over the Kamloops Storm, assistant coach Adam DiBella was furious with what he said had been insensitive remarks toward a player throughout the game.

“Sometimes winning a game is more than just two points,” said DiBella.

“When there is awful, racial language being directed toward our bench from their players … it just makes you want to get the win even more. Quite honestly, there’s not a lot of place, not even in the game but in society, for anything like that.”

DiBella declined to name the players involved. He said he complained to the officiating crew during the game, but nothing came of it.

“I don’t blame the refs one bit,” he said. “They told me they’d look out for it, but they can’t make a call they didn’t hear.”

Storm head coach Steve Gainey said he heard nothing from the officials and thought there may have been a misunderstanding.

“One of the things that came out was he said, ‘We’re back, baby’ and the kid took it as ‘We black, baby.’ So I think there’s a place where the kid might be a little sensitive and maybe had it happen in the past, which is understandable,” said Gainey.

“We looked at it on the bench right away as soon as it came up, because it is obviously something that we would take really seriously within our own organization. So that was the response we got and it was kind of the end of it on our end. … Nobody in our group, when I challenged the situation, said anything like that came out.”

Both DiBella and Gainey were tossed from the game late in the third period.

The next day, Gainey told Kamloops This Week that Leafs players surrounded the Storm’s bus with five cars after the game.

“There was just a lot of continued emotion carried forward from the game from them, in their excitement to win and our frustration in the loss, having gone through a real emotional game on the ice with the amount of drama that we’re talking about,” he said. “For it to carry off the ice was a challenging thing for our boys to deal with.”

Leafs head coach Mario DiBella told the Star his players did not surround the Storm’s bus and Gainey was not telling the truth.

“That’s a poor excuse for bad conduct by their coaching staff,” said DiBella.

Cole Wyatt scored twice, Shawn Campbell and Reid Wilson had singles and Anderson Violette made 18 saves for the Leafs (11-2-3), who won their 11th straight game.

Chris Thon scored twice for the Storm (4-12-1), who lost for the seventh consecutive contest. Goaltender Ethan Paulin-Hatch stopped 22 shots for Kamloops.

The game was slow to start, and could best be summed up by a Storm goal that momentarily woke up the crowd before it was waved off for high sticking.

Leave it to Nelson’s hottest scorer then to inject some energy into the game. Campbell was passed the puck inside the face-off circle, and he wired a wrist shot past Paulin-Hatch for the 1-0 lead with five minutes left in the first period. Campbell now has 12 goals and three assists in eight games.

Two minutes later Wyatt carried the puck through defenders into the slot where it appeared he fired a shot that deflected off another player and in to double the lead.

“I saw some room in the middle of the ice and I must have went through three of their guys and just took a shot far side and picked a good corner,” said Wyatt.

There was one minute left before the break when the Storm took a pair of penalties that gave Nelson a long 5-on-3.

That power play extended into the second period and was eventually killed off, but Nelson went up 3-0 on another two-man advantage deep into the period on Wyatt’s second goal of the night.

“Cole was outstanding,” said DiBella. “Once we saw a couple of really hard shifts and then Cole score, I think that brought the bench up a bit and created more life in the arena and on the bench as well between the players.”

Violette denied the Storm an open look at their first goal with a minute left. Kamloops used a rush and an odd bounce for what might have been a goal had Violette done the splits to slide across his crease for the save.

In the third, Kamloops showed spirit in the defensive zone during a penalty kill. Storm forward Josh Bishop earned a post-game ice bath by blocking not one but two hard shots during the same shift from Nelson’s big defenceman Kaleb Comishin.

Moments later it appeared David Sanchez scored for Nelson, but the referee waved off a goal for the second time of the night.

Kamloops finally got on the board during an odd-man rush. Therann Kincross passed to Thon for the open net, cutting Nelson’s lead to two.

The Storm soon had their own 5-on-3, and it was Thon again with a goal to make it a game.

At least, that’s what it seemed like at the time. Kamloops pulled Paulin-Hatch with one minute left, but all that did was give Wilson an empty net to score with 24 seconds left to finish off the Storm.

Wyatt said the Leafs are at their best when they don’t take unnecessary penalties.

“When we do stay out of the box I don’t think there’s a team in this league that can play with us 5-on-5,” he said. “Our streak shows it. When we’re all doing the little things right and winning races and playing a full 60 I don’t think there’s a team in this league that can beat us.”

Leaflets: Nelson played the Grand Forks Border Bruins on Tuesday after the Star’s publishing deadline. Visit nelsonstar.com for the result of that game. … The Leafs have released G Austin Madge (personal). … Nelson next visits the Spokane Braves on Friday.

— With files from Kamloops This Week reporter Marty Hastings



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Nelson Leafs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Caroline Lafond is a Recreation Fish and Wildlife student at Selkirk College. Photo: Submitted
Ecological Comment: Help keep the goats of Gimli wild

A column written by Recreation Fish and Wildlife students at Selkirk College

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Nelson Police responded to 802 calls last year they say had an element of mental health. File photo
Nelson Police: 802 mental-health related calls in 2020

That accounts for 12 per cent of total calls for service

Several large trees came down in the recent windstorm and destroyed a part of the building that houses Camp Koolaree’s showers and boy’s washroom. The camp has served generations of Kootenay families since 1931 as the Nelson area’s longest running children’s summer camp. Photo: Submitted
Camp Koolaree’s wash house destroyed by January windstorms

The camp is in need of donations to make repairs

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Most Read