The Leafs took the win against Kelowna at the NDCC Saturday night 4-3. Tyler Garcia takes the puck past Jagger Bowles.

UPDATED: Leafs earn weekend split

The Nelson Leafs took the win Saturday night at the NDCC against the Chiefs 4-3 after losing 4-2 on Friday.

You never want to see your team lose, but coach Frank Maida was pleased to see his squad bounce back so quickly.

The Nelson Leafs used old-fashioned hard work on Saturday night to beat the Kelowna Chiefs 4-3 in front of their home fans at the Nelson and District Community Centre (NDCC).

The win was a kind of redemption for the squad after  losing their first home game (in regulation time) of the season 4-2 to the North Okanagan Knights on Friday.

“We didn’t have any puck luck on Friday and Saturday we beared down and I thought we buried our chances and played a great game,” said Maida.

Alec Wilkinson was hot on the ice again,  scoring a hat trick on Saturday with help from Travis Wellman, Jamie Vlanich and Robson Cramer.

The Leafs scored first early in the game with Wilkinson finding the back of the net.

Nearing the midway point of the period, Cole Arcuri made it 2-0 Leafs from Carson Willans.

But Kelowna would strike back scoring two quick goals.

Jagger Bowles scored and then Adam Beatty scored shortly after to tie the game at two before the end of the first.

Midway through the second, the Chiefs Jordan Salahor got the go-ahead goal for Kelowna and it appeared that the Leafs could lose two in a row at home.

However, Wilkinson evened the score at three.

The teams were still tied going into the third period. The squads appeared destined for overtime as neither side could bulge the twine, but with just over a minute left in the game, Wilkinson scored his third to seal the victory for the home team.

The Leafs dominated the play,  out shooting their opponents  40-21.

Friday’s game was the complete opposite with Nelson having trouble generating any offence and only managing one shot on net in the third.

“It was just puck luck in all zones. We fell behind and we were playing catch up the entire game and probably put a little more pressure on ourselves than we should have.

“We tried to force the play and didn’t get any luck,” said Maida.

The North Okanagan Knights were full credit for the 4-2 win.

The Leafs found the back of the net first as Wellman scored on the power play.

But the Knights kept up good pressure and Tanner Cochrane scored  with just under five minutes left in the first.

Cochrane scored again with 1:21 left in the first and then again with just three seconds left in the opener to earn the natural hat trick and give the visitors a 3-1 lead.

The Leafs’ Wilkinson narrowed the margin to 3-2 on a goal at the midway point of the second, but that was as close as Nelson would get.

Blake Culbert made it 4-2 before the end of the second.

The Knights’ defence took over in the third as Nelson barely generated any offence.

Maida said it was a tough loss but, after the game he told the players in the dressing room to simply “bear down, bury our chances and take nothing for granted.”

The advice seems to have worked judging from Saturday’s powerful performance.

Maida said the squad plans to carry the momentum from Saturday’s win into their next home game tonight (December 4)  when they take on the Spokane Braves. Puck drops at 7 p.m.

At practice this week, Maida said the team will work on some basics.

“Just some zone coverage, working some things in our zone and some basic hockey. Just some basics we need to sharpen up on.”

The Leafs are currently tied with the Kamloops Storm at the top of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League standings with a game in hand over the Doug Birks Division team.

Just Posted

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

1919: Hudson’s Bay Company gets an addition, council votes to exclude ‘undesirable enemy aliens’

Greg Scott brings us five Nelson Daily News stories from a century ago

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Man found dead identified as Andreas Pittinger

Pittinger was known locally for hosting a radio show

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read