Cougars rain on Nelson parade, feast on Leafs during Cyclone opener

Cougars rain on Nelson parade, feast on Leafs during Cyclone opener

first_imgNelson Leafs face a must win as the Cyclone Taylor Cup enters Day two Friday at the NDCC Arena.Victoria Cougars rained on the parade of the home side, scoring five second-period goals to rout the home side 6-1 in action Thursday night before a disappointing home crowd at the NDCC Arena.The Leafs now face archrival Beaver Valley Nitehawks Friday at 7:30 p.m.The Hawks, tied with Victoria for top spot in Cyclone Taylor Cup standings, opened with a 4-1 win over Aldergrove Kodiaks.The Cougars, three-peat champs of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, survived the opening period against a hungry Leafs team trying to make good after getting knocked out in the second round of the KIJHL playoffs.Victoria came out better than expected when Wade Johnson scored with three minutes remaining in the frame to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead. The Cougars then flexed their offensive muscle, out scoring Nelson 5-1 in the middle frame —counting four special teams markers as the power play connected for three goals.Sam McMullen led the charge with a power play goal and a shorthanded marker.Blake Roney (powerplay), Ryan Carson and Patrick Webb (powerplay) added singles.Troy Petrick stopped the bleeding with Nelson’s only goal that made the score 4-1 at the time.Victoria out shot Nelson 27-19 in the game.Connor Beauchamp was outstanding for Victoria to earn the win in goal.The Nanton, Alta., native was especially sharp in the first period when he denied Nelson shooters on a two-man breakaway, stacking the pads to stop Brandon Sookro before robbing Travis Wellman from the side of the net.Brad Rebagliati, who made his first start in the playoffs after sitting out the KIJHL playoffs with an injury, took the loss for Nelson in goal.TOURNEY NOTES: The feature game between Nelson and Victoria attracted 724 fans. . . .Prior to the Nelson/Victoria contest, all teams were present on the ice for the opening ceremonies. . . . Members of the RCMP and Nelson City Police paraded the Cyclone Taylor Cup onto the ice. . . . Emcee Gord Davis introduced dignitaries that included the presidents of the three Junior B Leagues — George Richards of the Pacific Junior Hockey League, Joe O’Shea of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League and Bill Ohlhausen of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. . . . Nelson players had not seen game action for more than a month, having resumed skating April 1. . . . There was a moment of silence as the Nelson Leafs honoured Nolan Handley. Hanley, who played for Nelson this season as an affiliate player, was killed in a car accident earlier this week in Trail.last_img

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