It was a heart-breaking way to lose the opening game of a new playoff series.
The Nelson Leafs and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks opened the second round of post season play on Friday night at the Nelson and District Community Complex. Both squads battled hard and, much like the season itself, the teams jostled for position all night long.
With the score tied 3-3 late in the third, and everyone in the arena preparing for overtime, Beaver Valley’s Archie McKinnon popped in the winning goal past Leafs netminder Patrick Zubick with just 20 seconds left on the clock.
The goal stunned the crowd and the Leafs who had twice battled back from one goal deficits to tie the game at two after two periods.
The Leafs took the lead 3-2 in the third when Troy Petrick put the puck passed Brett Clark in the Beaver Valley net.
Austin Seaman and Nick Trefry where the other Nelson goal scorers.
The Leafs will play Beaver Valley again tomorrow night (Saturday, March 8) at the NDCC beginning at 7 p.m.
Seaman said the Nelson squad has to put the loss behind them right away.
“That’s the thing about playoffs, you have to focus, you can’t dwell on the past, you have to focus on tomorrow and play a strong game,” said Seaman.
He felt the Leafs played well most of the night, but towards the end of the third, it just got out of hand.
“Unfortunately in the last five minutes of the game, the bounces weren’t going our way and we couldn’t get the puck out.”