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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New seniors care facility in Nelson to be built at Mount St. Francis site

Mount St. Francis hasn’t been in use since 2005

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Haitian foster children arrive in Nelson after months-long lobbying effort

Marie-Paule Brisson and Sebastien De Marre have parented girls age 12 and 8 since they were babies

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

New comet appears in pre-dawn sky above Cranbrook

Neowise can be seen without a telescope over the next couple of weeks

Most Read