Leafs sweep weekend trips to Spokane, Grand Forks

Nelson now has a four-point lead atop the Neil Murdoch Division

Spare a thought for Ben Waslaski.

The Leafs fired 63 shots at the poor Spokane Braves goaltender, who to his credit stopped all but three of them in a 4-2 loss to Nelson on Friday.

Nelson outshot Spokane each period, 19-7, 24-6 and 21-18, but only David Sanchez, Jack Karran and Justin Podgorenko managed to beat Waslaski. Sawyer Hunt added an empty-net goal to cap the victory in Spokane (10-27-4).

Leafs goaltender Caiden Kreitz meanwhile made 29 saves in net, allowing goals to Spokane’s Campbell Jackson and Paxton Malone.

Kreitz was back between the pipes Saturday for a visit to Grand Forks that featured another opposing goalie victimized by the Leafs’ offence.

Jackson Zimmermann, Ryan Piva and Jaiden LaPorte each scored and Kreitz made 34 saves as Nelson beat the Border Bruins 3-1 for the Leafs’ third straight win.

Ross King was forced to make 52 saves in net for Grand Forks (13-25-3), whose only goal came from Riley Smoler in the first period.

Nelson’s 29-8-3 record leaves the team four points clear of the second-place Castlegar Rebels atop the Neil Murdoch Division with just seven games remaining in the regular season.

Next up for Nelson is a three-game home stand this weekend. The Leafs host the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday, take on Spokane on Saturday and play a matinee Sunday against Castlegar.

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