Trail product Keenan Crossman led the Nelson Leafs to a 5-3 Game 2 victory over the Kimberley Dynamiters on Saturday in Kimberley.
After a massive 8-0 win for the Dynamiters in Game 1, Kimberley coach and GM Derek Stuart knew they would be up against a very different Nelson Leafs team in Game 2.
“When the puck drops tomorrow, tonight’s [8-0 win] means absolutely nothing,” said Stuart following Game 1.
That principle applied to both teams. The last time Nelson was shut out was Oct. 28, and they went on a seven-game win streak.
The Leafs’ Crossman led the charge in the first period, scoring the Leafs first goal of the game and series. Former Leaf, Ryan Keilty responded for the Dynamiters, tying the game at one. But Nelson dominated the first period, and Ryan Cooper made it 2-1, before Crossman scored his second of the game for a 3-1 Leafs lead before the first period was complete.
“In my opinion our confidence turned into cockiness.” Stuart said, “It seemed like we thought we could simply show up and it would be easy. That’s the only explanation I have for perhaps our worst first period of the season.”
The Leafs attack was relentless, as Jaiden LaPorte scored on the power play 58 seconds into the second period.
Kimberley’s Brandt Bertoia was able to cut the Leafs lead in half, making it 4-2 at the end of the second and Cam Russell gave the Dynamiters hope as he brought them within one goal of the Leafs at 11:57 of the third period.
In the final two minutes, the Nitros were called for high-sticking and another Trail native, Ryan Piva, put the game away for the Leafs, scoring on the power play with 48 seconds left.
Game 3 was played on Monday night in Nelson but the score was unavailable at press time. Tuesday’s Game 3 goes at 7:30 p.m. at the Nelson Rec Complex.