Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit like a big road win, and that’s exactly what the Nelson Leafs got themselves for Christmas last week.
The Leafs came home from Castlegar with a 6-2 win over the Rebels Thursday night in a game that came down to goal tending.
Leafs net minder Adam Maida, just back from injury, faced 40 shots, a mere three less than his own team fired at the Rebels goalies Nate Rabbit and Patrick Zubick.
“He played really well for us in his return,” said Leafs head coach Frank Maida.
Brandon Sookro opened up scoring for the Leafs eight minutes into the game with Aaron Dunlap and Travis Wellman assisting. Wellman went on to have an impressive four-point night.
Wellman then made it 2-0 on the power play from Sookro and Darnel St. Pierre just past the midway point in the first.
Rebels Chase Reddin got an unassisted goal just ten seconds later making it 2-1 after 20 minutes.
The second period was all Leafs. Early on, Troy Petrich made it 3-1 with Robson Cramer and Carson Willans getting the assist. Cramer then scored shorthanded from Wellman with 14:33 left in the second.
The Leafs increased their lead to 5-1 with time winding down. Wellman scored again with Nick Trefry and Alec Wilkinson helping.
In a third period fraught with penalties, Nolan Percival scored unassisted giving his team their final six-goal tally.
Matt Reed managed a second goal for the Rebels but it wouldn’t figure in the end. Aaron Brewer and Connor Beachemin assisted.
“The team’s playing very well right now. We’re playing better as a unit and we had a big team victory,” said the coach.
The weeknight night game was the first in a home-and-home series.
Maida said he told his players to “just keep to their game” for the second contest.
“We don’t want to change much, just keep doing the basics and playing our game.”
The contest took place in Nelson on Friday evening, past the holiday press times.
Game results can be found at nelsonstar.com.