The game couldn’t have been more different than the previous night.
After putting on a defensive clinic and winning 2-1 on Tuesday, the Nelson Leafs looked lacklustre on Wednesday as they lost 5-3 to the Spokane Braves.
The loss evens the playoff series at one game apiece.
The Leafs got goals from Travis Wellman, Connor Tetlock and Brandon Sookro, but that wasn’t enough. The Braves took a 4-2 lead into the third period and cruised to the victory.
Adam Maida stopped 25 of the 30 shots he faced in the Leafs net.
After the game, Leafs head coach Frank Maida said his squad wasn’t ready to play.
“We just didn’t come focused. We didn’t come to play our game and they came ready and took advantage of our situation,” said the coach.
During the game, the Leafs’ passes were not connecting, shots were missingthe mark and the Nelson squad appeared slower than normal.
“We just didn’t come ready.”
The series now switches to Spokane for two games on Friday and Saturday nights.
While some squads would be setting their sights on splitting the two games in Spokane, Maida said he wants more than that.
“We’re going to tell the guys we are going down for two wins and practice tomorrow and get ready to go on the road,” said Maida.
The Leafs only have one day to get ready before playing again. The squad plays four games in five nights against the Braves.
“We work hard all year for this, for the playoffs. I feel we are in really good shape and conditioning won’t be an issue. We just need to be ready to go.”
Playing the same team four times in a row can lead to tensions between the players. It’s an issue that Maida said shouldn’t impact his squad.
“You have to stay disciplined. We took some penalties and they took advantage of that tonight.”
Game five in the series takes place back at the Nelson and District Community Complex on Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m.