Liam Noble celebrates with his teammates after scoring during the Leafs’ 9-1 win over Castlegar on Saturday. Photo: Nelson Leafs

Liam Noble celebrates with his teammates after scoring during the Leafs’ 9-1 win over Castlegar on Saturday. Photo: Nelson Leafs

Nelson Leafs sweep hard-luck opponents

The Leafs clobbered Grand Forks and Castlegar

The Nelson Leafs breezed past two beleaguered division rivals in a pair of home games last weekend.

Nelson downed the Grand Forks Border Bruins 4-1 on Friday before hammering the Castlegar Rebels 9-1 on Saturday.

Tyler Pisiak scored twice and opened the game with a short-handed goal against Grand Forks. Bennett Anklewich and Simon Nemethy also scored, with Nemethy adding another shorty for Nelson (19-9-1). Leafs goaltender Tenzin Mint meanwhile made 31 saves.

Ethan Shebansky made 31 saves and Jameson Flint had the lone goal for league-worst Grand Forks (4-22-2).

The next night, Nelson took advantage of a Rebels squad playing its second game after suffering a COVID-19 outbreak on its roster earlier this month.

Liam Noble and Joe Davidson each scored hat tricks, with singles coming from Lane Goodwin, Anklewich and newly acquired Carter White. Mint made 20 saves in his second appearance of the weekend.

Caleb Genest had the lone goal for Castlegar (12-16-1). Ryder Graham got the start in the Rebels net but was pulled after allowing six goals on 19 shots. Matteo Hueston gave up three more goals on 16 shots in relief.

Nelson and Castlegar had been set to play a pair of games Jan. 8 and 11 before the Rebels were among four KIJHL teams sidelined by COVID-19 cases.

The Leafs next visit Grand Forks on Tuesday before playing a pair of East Kootenay games Friday and Saturday against the Columbia Valley Rockies and Golden Rockets, respectively. They return to home ice Jan. 28 against the Kimberley Dynamiters.

KIJHLNelson Leafs