If there was ever a time to make a move in the Neil Murdoch Division, this weekend is it.
As the Nelson Junior Leafs prepare to break for the Christmas season, they have three big items to knock off their to-do list starting tonight at home against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
The Leafs currently sit in third place in the KIJHL’s Murdoch Division, 10 points behind Beaver Valley and five points behind Castlegar. With a Saturday night tilt in Castlegar and a trip to Fruitvale on Sunday for a rematch against the Nitehawks, the Leafs could make a serious move over the next three days.
Win all three and they will be within striking distance of first place. Lose all three and any hopes of a division title will be slim.
The timing could be right with the Leafs playing well of late, compiling a 7-2-0-1 record over the last 10 games. The bad news is the Nitehawks have been even better, winning all 10 of their last 10.
Saturday’s game against Castlegar will feature two evenly matched teams who have battled hard so far this season. Last Friday the Leafs were outshot by the pesky Rebels, but escaped with a 5-2 win. The teams split the previous two games with Nelson winning 3-0 in the season opener and then falling 6-3.
After the weekend, players will head their separate ways for the holidays. They return to action on December 30 when the team travels to Spokane. The Braves then head north for a 2 p.m. New Year’s Eve game at the Nelson and District Community Complex.