The Nelson Leafs and the Castlegar Rebels battled to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.
The visiting Leafs outplayed the Rebels for most of the night. However Castlegar goalie Patrick Zubick was outstanding in the nets, stopping 45 of the 46 shots he faced.
“I thought he was really good,” said Nelson head coach Dave McLellan
“He didn’t give up rebounds at all for us to capitalize on. We just didn’t bury our chances.”
McLellan said it was a tough outcome for the Nelson squad considering the lopsided play.
“We really outplayed them the whole game long and the better chances were ours.
““We just didn’t score we had our chances, even in overtime. It’s too bad. We got a point, which is good, but you feel bad about a game like this when you outplay an opponent so badly and you don’t win. But it happens,” said the Leafs’ coach.
The Rebels opened the scoring in the midway point of the first period when Lindan Calliou bulged the twine. Assists went to Carson Wornig and Bryan Lubin.
But a minute later, Nelson tied the game thanks to a marker by Darnel St. Pierre, assisted by Branden Chow and Rayce Miller.
That would prove to be all the scoring on the night, despite playing two overtime periods.
Brett Soles earned the tie in the Leafs’ net, stopping 25 of 26 shots. Many of his toughest saves came in the overtime.
“That’s why he’s there. He was good. We needed that save, but for the most part the play went the other way,” said McLellan.
The coach said it felt as though a win slipped away from his squad.
“We got a point out of it. You kind of feel when you really dominate a team like this, that you want more.”
Over in the Castlegar dressing room, the team was pleased to skate away with the point.
“The first to periods Nelson was all over us,” said Zubick who was named star of the game for the Rebels.
“In the third we started to open it up and get pucks deep. It was a tight checking game.”
Some of Castlegar’s best scoring chances came in the two overtime periods.
“We generally have been pretty good in overtime… Our guys like the sudden death aspect of it. They want to be the guy who gets that game winning goal.”
And when the play turned back the other way, Zubick was there to keep the puck out of the net.
“Just trying to do what I have to do to help my team win,” he said.
Castlegar will play at home on Sunday at 2 p.m. against the Chase Heat.
The Leafs next game is set for Friday night when they play a rematch against the Rebels. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Nelson and District Community Complex.