Nelson Leafs.

Nelson Leafs drop 2 as new coach makes debut

Nelson fell to Grand Forks and Castlegar

The Leafs have a new coach behind the bench but that didn’t bring any positive changes to the scoreboard last weekend.

Nelson fell 5-1 in Grand Forks to the Border Bruins on Friday before losing 3-2 at home to the Castlegar Rebels on Saturday in the team’s first two games with head coach Briar McNaney.

In Grand Forks, Leafs goaltender Frederick Larochelle was forced to save 37 shots in the losing effort while Ryan Quast had Nelson’s only goal.

Ewan Soutar made 32 saves for the Neil Murdoch Division-leading Border Bruins (21-10-2), who had goals from Spencer Horning, Cody Laybolt, Jackson Smith, Cameron Bryant and Jonah Smith.

The next night in Nelson, the Leafs were stoned by a red-hot goalie.

Castlegar’s Ethan Lawczynski made 44 saves, including 17 in the third period when he denied the Leafs.

Reid Gerrand scored twice for the Rebels (9-24-3) with Daytn Kulynych adding a single.

Seamus Boyd and Lucas Byrne replied for Nelson (17-12-5), with Jasper Tait stopping 19 shots.

The Leafs still managed to clinch a playoff spot, and are tied for second in the division with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Nelson next returns to Grand Forks on Tuesday followed by a game in Castlegar on Friday. The Leafs then host the North Okanagan Knights on Saturday.

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