Rebels, Leafs look to gain upper hand during home-and-home series

first_imgThe Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoffs don’t start for another few weeks but this weekend the Nelson Leafs and Castlegar Rebels will definitely try to build some momentum when the two clubs meet in a home-and-home series beginning Friday in the Sunflower City.The teams, scheduled to meet in the first round of the Murdoch Division playoffs, have split the regular season series right down the middle with each team winning three times, including a road victory.Nelson will be without netminder Andrew Walton who is unavailable due to personal commitments.That leaves backup Patrick Defoe to take charge between the pipes. Defoe played very well during a 4-1 loss in Castlegar the last time the teams met.The Rebels are led offensively by center Stuart Walton, who tops Castlegar in scoring 76 points in 49 games.Walton is currently riding a three-game point streak after having six-game streak stopped by the Leafs January 27 in Nelson. Another offensive threat is Anthony Delong, second in scoring with 73 points.Defensively, captain Erik Alden will keep the Leaf forwards honest with his bone-crunching hits.For the Leafs Brett Norman passed Nick Newman for the Nelson scoring lead. The Dawson Creek native, accumulating seven points in the last three games, leads the Leafs with 61 points, two in front of Newman.Patrick Martens, coming off a four-goal game against Spokane, is another sniper the Rebels had better pay attention to for the Leafs.On the blueline, look for Nelson captain Tyler Parfeniuk to carry the load for Nelson.Game time Friday in Castlegar is 7:30 p.m. at the Complex.Saturday, puck drop at the NDCC Arena is 7 p.m.Nelson concludes the weekend Sunday with an afternoon date against the Golden Rockets at 2 [email protected]last_img

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