The Nelson Leafs kept fans in suspense throughout tonight’s game including two periods of overtime but in the end it was the Kelowna Chiefs who took the win 4-3.
“It’s tough any time you lose it doesn’t matter how you lose it’s always tough,” said Leafs head coach and general manager Frank Maida. “Losing in over time, we got a point out of that. I’m very proud of the boys we worked very hard in the third period.”
The Leafs came out of the gate strong out shooting the Leafs 11 to 7 in the first period.
Despite the pressure on the Chiefs net and multiple attempts at a goal, Nelson was only able to score one goal in the first period.
The first Leafs goal was scored by Matti Jmaeff with assists by Colton Malmsten and Brent Norman.
The Chiefs came back a few minutes later to tie the game 1-1 with a powerplay goal.
“I think we are very strong five on five and we need to work on our penalty kill obviously,” said Maida.
In the second period, the Chiefs took the lead with another powerplay goal scored by former Leaf Braeden Hikichi.
The Leafs were able to tie the game to make the score 2-2 with a powerplay goal by Nik Newman with assists by Max Mois and Cameron Dobransky.
The Chiefs looked like they were going to take the victory in the third period after Dane Rupert scored an impressive shorthanded goal that soared passed Leafs goaltender Andrew Walton.
With only one and half minutes left in the third period the Leafs were able to tie the game with another powerplay goal by Cameron Dobransky with assists by Matti Jmaeff and Brent Norman.
Tied 3-3 the Chiefs and Leafs entered into two periods of over time ending with a goal by the Chiefs making the final score 4-3.
“Kelowna’s a team that’s well coached and they’ve been together since last year with the same coach. They are a team that skates well,” said Maida.
Even though the Leafs weren’t able to take the win, Maida said the entire team worked hard throughout the game.
“I think it was a full team effort. There was a couple lines that were really going, but I think it was all 20 guys on the ice that really performed well in the game today,” he said.
The Leafs are on their way to Spokane tomorrow to face the Braves in the first of two back to back games.
“Always playing in Spokane is interesting. It will be a good challenge in Spokane,” said Maida.
The next Leafs home game is Sunday at the Nelson and District Community Complex at 2 p.m.