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Piva's winner powers Leafs past Border Bruins

Leafs Ryan Piva scored his team leading 17th marker Saturday to power Nelson past Grand Forks in KIJHL action in the Boundary City. — The Nelson Daily file photo

Ryan Piva scored the winning goal midway through the second period sparking the Nelson Leafs to a 3-1 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Border Bruins Saturday night in Grand Forks.

The goal by the Trail native, his 17th of the season, snapped a 1-1 tie and enabled the Leafs to capture its second win of the weekend.

Nelson, now leading the Murdoch Division by four points over idle Castlegar Rebels, opened play Friday with a 4-2 victory over the Braves in Spokane.

Beaver Valley, third in the Murdoch Division — 11 points behind the Leafs —  plays in Spokane Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, the Bruins jumped into the lead when Riley Smoler beat Caiden Kreitz with a power play marker late in the first period.

However, Nelson tied the game before the period ended when Jackson Zimmermann combined with the defensive duo of Dash Thompson and Brendan Mckay.

The goal came after Nelson fired 17 shots in the first period at Grand Forks netminder Ross King.

Piva then scored the winner in the second before Jaiden LaPorte added an insurance maker late in the game.

Nelson, winners of all seven games this season between the two Murdoch rivals, finished the game out shooting the Bruins 55-35.

Kreitz earned his fourth straight win to begin his KIJHL career in goal.

LEAF NOTES: Leaf Captain Sawyer Hunt added an assist on the winner by Ryan Piva to run his point streak to nine games. Hunt leads the Leafs in scoring with 44 points. Ryan Cooper is next with 33 points followed by Piva, who leads the Leafs in goals scoring 17, with 30. . .. Leaf goalie Caiden Kreitz actually leads all KIJHL goalies in average with a sparkling 1.25 goals against, but has only played four games. To be ranked goalies must play at least seven games. Nelson’s Josh Williams, with 25 games under his belt, is tied for the lead with Tanner Douglas of Castlegar Rebels and Levi Mitchell of Creston Valley Thunder Cats, each at 1.78 goals against.