For the second time this season, the Nelson Junior Leafs had the Beaver Valley Nitehawks backed into a corner but came away empty.
On Sunday night in Fruitvale the locals stormed out to a 3-1 first period lead on their Neil Murdoch Division rivals. James Sorey, Brett Norman and Colton Schell scored for the Leafs in the opening frame. Only Craig Martin managed to beat Nelson starter Andrew Walton, who stood tall in the first 20 minutes, turning aside 18 other Nitehawks shots.
Though the Leafs outshot Beaver Valley in the middle stanza, it was the Nitehawks who managed to tie the score with markers by Chris Derochie and Mason Spear.
The final period was another back and forth 20 minutes. Nitehawk Max Flanagan broke the deadlock with five minutes left to play to make the score 4-3 for Beaver Valley. Though the Leafs pressed for the equalizer, Ryan Edwards scored into the Nelson empty net to make the final 5-3.
In the first contest between the two teams back in early October at the Nelson and District Community Complex, the Leafs also held a lead heading into the third period only to see it slip away in a 5-4 loss. The Leafs’ season record against the division-leading Nitehawks is 1-3.
On Saturday night at home, the Leafs managed to pick up a 4-1 win against the Penticton Lakers.
Leafs rookie Carson Willians started the scoring at the NDCC with a strong second effort seven minutes into the game. With just over a minute left in the opening period, Leafs defenceman Jonathon Petrash wired a shot from the point on the powerplay that eluded Lakers goalie Jessie Gordichuk.
The second period started with Schell scoring his 12th goal of the season less than a minute into the middle frame.
Two minutes later the Lakers got on the board when Evan Anderson scored beat Leafs starter Andrew Walton on the powerplay.
Schell made the score 4-1 midway through the third period when he tallied his second goal of the game.
The Saturday night game marked the return of Adam Plant to the NDCC. Plant played minor hockey in Nelson until bantam, helping the local rep team to a provincial tier III championship three seasons ago. The 16-year-old is having a standout year with the Lakers having notched 20 points so far.