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Nelson leads Neil Murdoch division with back-to-back New Years tilts versus second place Beaver Valley next week

photo caption: The Nelson Leafs teamed up with local first responders for their annual
Christmas card photo a few weeks back. Despite the pandemic’s fifth wave, the province
has allowed junior hockey games to continue, at 50 percent arena capacities.

 

Nelson — With back-to-back games against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks slated to kick
off the Nelson Leafs’ return to action after the holidays, provincial health orders will
make for smaller crowds — but the good news is — games will continue across the BC
Junior B Hockey League.

“We’re very, very pleased with news from the province that we can continue playing,”
says Assistant Coach Adam DiBella. “We’ll continue to follow all the provincial health
orders with players, spectators and billot families. Hockey’s important — but everyone’s
health and safe is our first priority.”

Since the province announced new PHOs on Tuesday, December 21, the Regional
District of Central Kootenay has announced that all indoor events including Leafs and
Castlegar Rebels games can have only 50 per cent full capacity, with proof of full
vaccination required.

Beaver Valley hosts Nelson on Thursday, December 30 at 7.  Beaver Valley then travels to                                                                   Nelson for an afternoon New Years Eve game starting at 2:00.

The Leafs lead the Neil Murdoch Division with a record of 16-8-0-1, and 33 points, six
ahead of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and 10 ahead of the Castlegar Rebels.

The Grand Forks Border Bruins are last in the division with just two wins and six points.

“We’ve been pleased with how the team has bought into the system and how they’ve
worked as a cohesive unit. And our record shows how much effort the players have put
in,” says DiBella.

Leafs winger Joe Davidson, 28th in league scoring, leads the team with 20 points, 8 goals
and 12 assists. Defenceman Bryce Sookro is second with 19 points, four goals and 15
assists. Liam Noble is third.

Goalie Dylan Marshall, with 15 starts, has 11 wins and three losses. Marshall’s goals
against average of 1.84 is second in the league. Tenzin Mint has five wins and four
losses.

 

Coach DiBella says the Leafs’ leadership group has really stepped up in the last two
months.

“But we need a consistent effort through the remainder of the regular season. We need
our top-end guys to continue to produce if we’re going to be successful into the
playoffs.”

Elsewhere in the league…Over in the East Kootenay, in the Eddie Mountain Division,
the Columbia Valley Rockies have notched 17 wins and lead the Kimberley Dynamiters
by five points, with 37 on the season so far. The Rockies have three games at hand. The
Fernie Ghostriders are third with 31 points. The Creston Valley Thundercats have 26
points, and the Golden Rockets 20.

The league leading Osoyoos Coyotes sit atop the Bill Ohlausen Division with 19 wins and
42 points, nine ahead of both Kelowna and Summerland.

Kamloops, second in the league with 39 points, leads the Doug Birks Division. The
Revelstoke Grizzlies are second with 35 points.

Castlegar Rebels forward Griffen Ryden is atop the Murdoch Division scoring race with
20 goals and eight assists.

Osoyoos Coyotes Jack Henderson and Kaleb Kremp lead the league in points.
Henderson, who played with Davidson two seasons ago when the two were with the
BCHL’s Merritt Centennials, has 13 goals and 24 assists. Kemp has 20 goals and 16
assists.

Revelstoke Grizzlies goalie Brandon Weare leads the league with a 1.62 goals against
average, 12 wins and three losses.