The Nelson Junior Leafs hit the road this weekend for what should be a pivotal few days for the top teams in the Neil Murdoch Division.
The comfortable first-place lead the locals enjoyed at the start has evaporated due to recent struggles by the Leafs and much stronger play by rival Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Castlegar Rebels.
The Leafs open their three-game trip to the Doug Birks Division tonight in Chase. The locals will then face much stiffer competition Saturday and Sunday with tilts against Kamloops and North Okanagan.
Beaver Valley — who are currently embroiled in a nasty dispute with the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters over sniper Ryan Edwards who has decided to return to Junior B — will have a much easier time over the weekend taking on Spokane and Grand Forks.
Castlegar has a home-and-home with the Creston Valley Thunder who currently sit fourth in the Eddie Mountain Division.
The Leafs return home to the Nelson and District Community Complex next Friday when they will tangle with the Columbia Valley Rockies.