The Nelson Leafs are in need of a holiday break after dropping two games to struggling teams over the weekend.
Nelson blew a two-goal lead Friday in a 5-3 loss to the Rebels in Castlegar, then followed that with a 4-3 defeat on the road against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.
Against Castlegar, both teams went scoreless in the first period before defenceman Alek Erichuk scored just 16 seconds into second for the Leafs.
David Sanchez added another goal four minutes later for the 2-0 lead, but Aiden Cornell and Colby Winia each scored to tie the game before the break.
In the third, Tyler Nypower again restored the Leafs’ lead, but Darby Berg scored twice and Jordan Adams added an empty-net goal to give the Rebels (9-18-3) a much-needed victory.
Hunter Young finished with 23 saves for the Leafs, while Rebels goaltender Curt Doyle stopped 22 shots.
The next night in Creston, Sanchez, Kaleb Comishin and Shawn Campbell each scored for the Leafs, who rallied from a 2-0 deficit only to lose on a goal by Thunder Cats forward Jordan Wood with 36 seconds left in regulation.
Wood finished the night with two goals, while Carson Small and Trail Thompson also scored for Creston (8-21-2) and Eric Samyn made 32 saves.
Young also got the start for the Leafs, allowing four goals on 30 shots.
The losses leave the Leafs atop the Neil Murdoch Division heading into the holiday break at 19-9-1, just three points ahead of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
Nelson returns to action next week with away games against Kamloops, Princeton and Revelstoke before returning home Jan. 4 against the Nitehawks.