Rookie sensation Colton McCarthy scored three goals, helping the Nelson Junior Leafs to a 6-3 victory over the Grand Forks Border Bruins at the Nelson and District Community Complex on Friday night.
Heading into the contest, McCarthy was riding a bit of scoring slump. The 16-year-old broke out of it a minute and a half into the game to give his side the early 1-0 lead. Midway through the first period McCarthy again registered, this time beating Grand Forks Robert Dunsmuir on the power play.
With eight minutes remaining in the opening 20 minutes, Dakota Kittle scored on Nelson starter Brett Soles to cut the lead in half.
Captain Colton Schell scored eight minutes into the second period to increase the lead. McCarthy notched the hat trick four minutes after that on the powerplay. It was McCarthy’s 20th goal of the season.
Connor Gross gave the Border Bruins a bit of life early in the third period when he cut the lead to 4-3.
Dustin Reimer and Schell finished the scoring in the game to salt away the win.
It was the Leafs fourth win in a row and keeps them atop the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League standings.
The Leafs and Border Bruins will play their third game in a row on Wednesday night at the NDCC. Puck drops at 7 p.m.