December 31

Leafs positive despite loss to Spokane

Nelson Leafs lose 3-2 to Spokane but remain positive for the rest of the season despite "bump in the road."

Despite falling to the Spokane Braves Saturday, Leafs forward Brett Norman says it’s just a “bump in the road.”

In their first home-and-home back from the holiday break, the Nelson Leafs lost 3-2 to Spokane, but only after defeating them 7-1 the night before.

Brett Norman, who was a key player against Spokane in Friday’s game, said that the difference was in the team play.

“I think tonight we [played] more individual,” said Norman.

“[Friday] it was a team effort where we were making the short passes, we weren’t worrying about the individual stats… If we play as a team, that stuff will come.”

The Saturday match-up against Spokane started off with a high-sticking penalty from the Leafs, which resulted in the Braves’ first goal. The Braves carried their momentum through, only letting in one goal from Leafs forward Nik Newman near the end of the first period and burying two more of their own in the second period.

As the Leafs entered the last third of the game, their desperation was evident, outshooting the Braves 13-6, but they were unable beat Spokane’s goaltender Brandon Amatto for the tie.

“We battled hard but didn’t get very many bounces,” said Norman.

“It’s always stressful to be behind, you want to get that goal to tie it up, but it seems every time you try you’re trying to force it.”

Norman said that to succeed in the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, they will have to try to eliminate every aspect of individualism and strive for team play.

“The more undisciplined you are the less likely you are to win… it’s hard to put goals up when you’re always on the penalty kill,” he said.

The Leafs battle again next weekend against Princeton and Grand Forks at the Nelson Community Complex and are charged up to win.

“I think [the break] was good for our gameplay… it got us back into the mindset of wanting to play hockey. Before we were thinking we need a break and now it’s down to business,” said Norman.

“We just had a bump in the road and I think next weekend we’ll show that we’re ready to go… We have to make a mark that we want to be here and we want to be here to win.”



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