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Final Razor Clam Digs of the Season to Start May 20

first_imgFacebook87Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)Clam diggers have one last chance to dig razor clams this season during a final opening set to begin May 20.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved a last round of digs at Copalis and Mocrocks after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed at either beach after noon.All other ocean beaches remain closed to digging.“This has been a great clam digging season, despite getting a late start,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “Diggers have harvested lots of good-sized clams this season.”Razor clam digs at all ocean beaches were delayed during the past season due to elevated marine toxin levels, which began causing problems along the Pacific coast in the spring of 2015. WDFW eventually was able to open Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks for digs. However, toxin levels never dropped below the threshold set by state public officials at Twin Harbors Beach.WDFW routinely closes the razor clam fishery by the end of May to give the clams a chance to spawn. The next season will begin in fall, when the older clams have recovered from spawning and a new generation begins to grow beneath the sand.“This summer, we’ll conduct our annual assessment of razor clam stocks and will hope to open beaches again sometime in October,” Ayres said.The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:May 20, Friday, 6:37 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks, CopalisMay 21, Saturday, 7:12 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Mocrocks, CopalisMay 22, Sunday, 7:47 a.m.; -0.8 feet; MocrocksAyres recommends that diggers arrive at the beaches an hour or two before low tide for best results.Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2016-17 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website and from license vendors around the state.For more information on razor clam digging, visit the WDFW website at read more

June 20 #OlyThirdThursday will Include a Block Party with Live Music

first_imgFacebook236Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Olympia Downtown AllianceDowntown Olympia’s Third Thursdays are a community celebration of Oly’s unique culture, art, food, music and shopping. The summer Third Thursdays — May through September — will also include block parties featuring live music and beverages from Northwest Beerwerks Beer Truck.The June 20 block party, located in the US Bank parking lot on the corner of 4th and Washington, will run from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will open with music by Winehouse, followed by Broadway Olympia Productions and Tsunami Pinata.A fun element of each Third Thursday is the Challenge Game! Stop by our info the corner of 4th & Washington and pick up a Challenge Game or pick up the Challenge Game at a Third Thursday business. Participants can visit each business to get another letter to solve the phrase of the month. Complete the phrase and enter to win a prize! We love to see so many groups of friends and families return month after month to participate in the Challenge Game. Challenge Game prizes in June are from Three Magnets Brewery, Hot Toddy & Compass Rose.Here are a few downtown businesses that are participating in June:Archibald SistersBatdorf & BronsonBelleza RopaBittersweet ChocolatesOlympia Family Theater will be at the June 20 Oly Third Thursday Block Party. Photo courtesy: Olympia Downtown AllianceBrowsers BookshopCaptain Little Toy StoreChelsea Farms Oyster BarChildhoods End GalleryCompass RoseDillinger’s Cocktails & KitchenGallery BoomHawley’s Gelato & CoffeeHoly Lamb OrganicsHot ToddyLe Voyeur Café & LoungeOlympia Family TheaterThe PopinjayRadiance Herbs & MassageState of the Arts Gallery & GiftsThree Magnets Brewing Co.Well 80 BrewhouseWHAT: Olympia’s Third ThursdayWHEN: Thursday, June 20, 2019. The Olympia Downtown Alliance will host an info booth, located in the US Bank parking lot from6 p.m. – 9 p.m. The block party runs from 6 p.m. thru 9 p.m.WHERE: Olympia’s DowntownWHO: Presented by Providence Health Services and brought to the community by the Olympia Downtown Alliance and Mixx96 FM. For more information about Third Thursday events, contact Brit Kramer, (360) 481-5010 or For more information about Olympia Downtown Alliance, contact Todd Cutts, (360) 357-8948 or you to our Challenge Game sponsor, HomeStreet Bank!Thank you to our Third Thursday presenting sponsor, Providence Health Services!Thank you to our Radio partner, Mixx96 FM.last_img read more

33 clubs join eLaLiga Santander 2019/20

first_imgAdvertisement ih6NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs70xWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E79tbum( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 8tc8Would you ever consider trying this?😱5xummsCan your students do this? 🌚wzh8Roller skating! y14pSee more on YT⬇️⬇️⬇️See more21b6yBody tricks that only special people can do pt-1kfwpHow though? 🤔😂#AdrenalineJunkies18A visualization of how Karma works 8937d9kbPowered by Firework The third season of eLaLiga Santander, the official competition of the EA SPORTS TM FIFA 20 Global Series in Spain, has confirmed 33 clubs from LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank will participate. The firm commitment of LaLiga clubs to eSports shows its remarkable growth since the project first began in 2017/18, during which only 10 clubs participated, compared to last year’s 2018/19 season, where 17 clubs participated.Advertisement  Advertisement LaLiga, through its constant evolution and search for new opportunities in this sector as well as others, embarked on this new adventure together with Electronic Arts (EA Sports), holder of the official license of FIFA 20 Global Series in Spain, thanks to the collaboration between both entities that currently marks its third year with an updated image and nameThe Association of Clubs decided to immerse themselves in the universe of esports two seasons ago with the aim of reaching a younger and more enthusiastic fanbase in the esports sector, adapting the elaborated contents and bringing together football values​​such as team spirit, improvement, integrity, transparency, authenticity, and evolution.Advertisement  eLaLiga Santander, the FIFA 20 national league with the highest economic awardWith a prize pool tallying €100,000, the 2019/20 season will have a great appeal for the fans, who will have the prestige of wearing the colors of a club in an official competition.eLaLiga will kick-off in January with an online qualifying stage in which thousands of fans will compete to become part of a LaLiga Santander or LaLiga SmartBank club. In addition, as of today, all those fans who want to participate in eLaLiga Santander can now register to be part of the clubs participating in the competition who have opened the online qualifier, through the official website of the competition ( This stage of online qualifiers will begin on January 11 and will continue until February 9. The website, in addition to having the utility of serving as a registration tool, will also be one of the sources to keep updated throughout the competition.On February 15, Madrid will host the Kick Off tournament of the season in which the representatives of LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs will compete to start accumulating points in the leaderboard. Over the following weeks, two online tournaments will be held in which players can register via the following website: and participate in the fight to reach the the live Mid Season event, which will be held in Barcelona during the month of April.eLaLiga Santander will come to an end in May after celebrating its third online tournament during the month of April. On May 9, Madrid will host the grand final of the official competition of EA SPORTS ™ FIFA 20 Global Series in Spain where the champion of the third season will be revealed. Advertisementlast_img read more

Red Bank Asks For More Time To Study Charter School Expansion…

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK — Borough officials are hoping to delay a plan to double the size of the Red Bank Charter School until they have a chance to study the plan’s impact on public schools and borough taxpayers.Last Wednesday, Jan. 13, the Borough Council unanimously approved a non-binding resolution asking state Education Commissioner David Hespe to delay his decision on the Charter School’s proposal.Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, more than 200 residents marched in frigid temperatures from the Red Bank Middle School on Harding Road to the municipal complex on Monmouth Street, protesting the plan that they say would hurt the public schools.“Obviously, the turnout this evening is an indication of the extraordinary importance,” of the state educational official’s determination, Menna said, giving further weight to the council’s request that a decision be pushed back.More than 200 local residents marched from the middle school, carrying signs supporting the public schools and chanting “No Way We Won’t Pay!” an apparent reference to the now-regularly expressed fear that the charter’s school expansion plan would result in large property tax increases and/or draconian cuts to public school programs, as voiced by public school officials.In response to the keenly followed debate in the community, along with seeking the delay on the final decision, Menna announced the formation and members of his “blue ribbon committee” which has been tasked with looking at the plan.The committee is made up of seven borough residents – of more than 15 who volunteered and sent the mayor their resumes, according to Menna.The members are: Barbara Loversidge, an educator; lawyers Jan. L. Wouters and Richard J. Angowski, who have both represented both charter schools and public school boards of education; Judy DeHaven, a writer and journalist, who is currently a vice president for corporate communications for the CBS Corporation; Jesse Garrison, a retired supervisor for the borough Department of Public Utilities and active on a number of community fronts; Michael Stasi, a local business owner and an early member of the charter school board of trustees, serving for a number of years as the board’s president; and Jennifer Garcia, a business owner and a “forceful advocate” for the Hispanic community, according to Menna.Along with these members, Superintendent of Schools Jared Rumage and Charter School Principal Meredith Pennotti are to serve as ex officio participants, according to the mayor. (Pennotti, however, told the Two River Times last week she hadn’t yet been approached about serving on the committee and wasn’t aware of it until a local reporter asked her about it.) Borough chief financial officer Eugenia Poulos will also sit on the committee and Councilwoman Kathy Horgan will serve as the council’s liaison.Menna said he was looking for and found a “panel of individuals who had some degree of knowledge and common sense.”“We’re open to frank discussions about the ramifications,” of this proposal, Horgan said. She also recommended that Rumage meet with Commissioner Hespe at the soonest opportunity.The window of opportunity for public input to the state is open until Jan. 31, Menna said, prompting the request to the state Department of Education to extend the period and delay a decision and to give his committee a chance to study the issue and draft its report.A department spokesman said the commissioner is expected to render his decision in late February.On Wednesday DOE spokesman David Saenz said the department was aware of the council resolution and “Any district or community comments will be reviewed before the commissioner’s decision is rendered.”The department this Wednesday did not immediately offer a response to whether Hespe would grant the borough’s request.State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11), a borough resident and its representative, last week sent a letter to Gov. Chris Christie in Trenton detailing the Red Bank public school district’s dramatic state underfunding, believing if additional state aid isn’t possible the charter school expansion should be denied at this point, given the potential impact to taxpayers.For more than an hour the mayor and council heard from impassioned residents who spoke about the issue.Red Bank resident Marybeth Maida tells the Red Bank Borough Council that she is opposed to the proposed Red Bank Charter School expansion plan to double its enrollment. Maida and many other residents filled the council chambers on Jan. 13 to express their concerns over the plan and what it could be for public education and taxes. Photo: John Burton“We can’t afford it,” said Branch Avenue resident Marybeth Maida. “Two school districts in this tiny, little town is ridiculous.“We are killing our schools,” Maida warned.The committee scheduled its first public forum on Friday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m., to be conducted at the Red Bank Middle School auditorium, due to its ability to accommodate the expected large crowd.Those unable to attend can still offer comments on the issue by email at; or in writing, mailing them to the Borough Clerk’s Office, 90 Monmouth St., Red Bank, NJ. 07701, or dropping them off in person. Comments must be received by Monday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m.The Red Bank Charter School, 58 Oakland St., submitted its proposal in December to the DOE in Trenton seeking to increase its enrollment from its current 200 students to 400 over a three-year period. Charter school representatives believe this is an opportune time for the expansion to benefit the entire school population, offering families a choice from either the traditional public schools, which charter school proponents maintain, have failed to substantially improve in the nearly 18 years since the charter school was established; and private schools and their costs.Public school officials have argued the expansion would have a devastating impact on the public school budget, forcing school officials to cut programs and staffing to the students’ detriment and dramatically raise property taxes to fund the expansion.“I’m steadfast in my opinion that this is bad for Red Bank,” Rumage reiterated at last week’s council meeting.last_img read more

Dancing In The Dairy Aisle

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |FAIR HAVEN – We need more fun in our lives.The daily routine can be a chaotic tug-of-war between work and personal responsibilities, with compounded anxiety from hostile headlines on TV news networks, talk radio and social media. If only there were a place to shed the negativity, let loose and find a little joy.For one Fair Haven woman that happy place is the dairy section of her local ACME, where she’s leading a revolution of laughter and delight, and hoping community members will join her for a dance.It all started just before the Christmas holiday, when Lauren Mattia and her son Oliver ventured to the River Road ACME in search of ingredients for a festively decorated fudge cake. A middle school student, Oliver strolled the aisles still dressed in his Pajama Day attire, complete with a floppy elf hat. When the pair entered the dairy section, the tune blaring through the market’s sound system was a dreary, elevator-jazz rendition of “Jingle Bells,” but it struck them with inspiration.“Grocery store music is bad in general, but this was on another level. We were sitting there listening to this silly, comically bad version of ‘Jingle Bells’ and we just dropped everything, set up a cell phone in the milk and just started dancing,” Mattia recalled.“Oliver was hopping around and his hat was flopping everywhere. The jingle bells on his hat were going nuts. It was completely silly. But it was so much fun,” she added.It’s the spontaneity, genuine absurdity and pure bliss expressed by the mother/son duo that has resonated with Mattia’s neighbors and is bringing a community closer together.“Everybody is so miserable all of the time. Everyone is on the edge of taking each other’s heads off. It’s just nice to have something to be happy about,” Rumson resident Jeanne Wagner said. “Lauren is showing us that joy doesn’t have to be expensive. You can choose to let down your guard and just dance, no matter how bad a day you’re having. We need more of this in the world.”Mattia’s dairy aisle dance party antics have not been limited to that bit of pre-Christmas prancing, as the professional filmmaker and actress has returned to the ACME several times over the last six months to strut her stuff amongst the milk and mozzarella, sometimes cranking out a guitar solo on a plastic tennis racket she pulled from the toy aisle, or fashioning a frozen tube of crescent rolls into a makeshift microphone.Mattia has even shot dance videos with her daughter Lia in a Newark Liberty International Airport terminal and a Colorado hotel resort. The Good Karma Cafe in Red Bank has played host to the pair, as has the parking lot outside Woody’s Ocean Grille in Sea Bright.But it’s the chilly caress of the ACME dairy section that has proven to be Mattia’s favorite stage, and the videos she shoots there are gaining traction, with a couple of June displays which have combined for more than 3,000 views on her Facebook page.The growing social media statistics are nice, but it’s the stories she hears from strangers, tales about how her videos help improve lives, that have been most stirring.“I was driving my daughter’s friend home from school the other day and this little girl turned to me and told me how much she enjoyed the videos,” said Mattia. “She’s a grade schooler. I have no connection to her. But she said, ‘When I’m having a really bad day, I watch your videos with Lia and they make me happy.’ It was so touching, and we need more of that.”Her dancing is also impacting the store’s employees, as a recent Instagram photo shared by Fair Haven resident Thomas Pantaleo showed a pair of ACME workers using their 15-minute break to cut a rug.“What Lauren is doing is sensational and has really caught on in our community,” said Pantaleo. “The power of social media has helped spread the idea and people around the neighborhood and employees of the store are responding.”“The employees have told me how much fun they’re having with it and how much positive publicity it’s bringing to the store. Personally, I have two left feet, so you won’t catch me dancing with them,” he added. “But I can’t help but smile each time I walk into the dairy section these days. I’ll never look at my 2 percent milk the same again.”Mattia is taken aback by the positivity her videos have created, but given her background, she had always hoped to create something that did.“I never thought that these videos would have any sort of meaning to people in my community, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t hope that they would,” she said. “I hoped that it would make people smile. I hoped that those smiles would catch on like wildfire. And that’s what’s happening. It’s silly, it’s fun, but it could be important. I hope it helps people find some joy.”This article first appeared in the June 28 – July 5, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

Rupert, Andrusiak power Chiefs past Leafs

first_imgBy Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsLandon Andrusiak and Dane Rupert made their respective returns to the NDCC Arena memorable for all the right reasons.The two former Nelson players had the last laugh, combining for seven points in an 8-6 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Leafs Friday night in the Heritage City.“It was sure a different feeling entering the arena . . . I never changed in this (visitor’s dressing) room before,” said Rupert, who spent most of his junior hockey career in Nelson  before having his rights dealt to Kelowna before the season started.“I spent three years (in Nelson) before and now I’m on the opposite side of the game.”“It feels pretty weird but at the same time I was excited at the opportunity,” he adds.Andrusiak got the Chiefs started off fast, scoring on the power play three minutes into the contest.”It was definitely a different feeling . . .  definitely funny,” he said. “I had a lot of good memories here and a warm feeling coming back to Nelson.”But Nelson rebounded to grab a 2-1 lead before the period ended.Kelowna, second in the Okanagan Division of the KIJHL behind league-leading Osoyoos Coyotes, then used a five-goal second period to turn a close game around into their favour.Chiefs Colton DeFrias, combining with line mates Andrusiak and Jordan Wood, for a pair of goals got the visitors going.Kyle Clerke, with an assist from Rupert, increased the lead to 4-2 before Joel Stewart scored his first of two in the period.Jordan Salahor restored the two-goal advantage for Kelowna. Then in the final 24 seconds of the game, momentum changed in a blink of an eye.Stewart scored to shave the lead to 5-4. However, Kelowna got Big “M” back when DeFrias completed his hat trick by scoring with 12 seconds remaining in the period.In the third, the teams traded goals with Rupert collecting his against his former team.Leaf captain Taylor O’Neil, Dustin Johnson, Colton Schell, finishing with three points, and Cody Abbey also scored for Nelson.Stewart finished the game with four points.Tanner Clarkson completed the Kelowna scoring.The Leafs get right back at it Saturday with a key in Murdoch Division battle against Beaver Valley Nitehawks. Game time is 7 p.m.OVERTIME: Leaf defenceman Blake Arcuri was back on the shelf for Friday, re-injuring his shoulder Thursday in Grand Forks. . . .Nelson’s Gavin Currie, also nursing a shoulder injury, will start skating Monday. . . .Nelson goalie Darren Hogg is making a surprising recovery from a knee injury and could be back in the lineup this season after it was first thought the Leaf netminder could be gone for the season. . . .Trail midget goalie Justin Mandoli has been backing up Marcus Beesley. . . .The Nelson handout fridge-magnet schedule shows the Leafs playing Creston in a two-game series Feb. 11-12 in Whitehorse. That trip has been postponed indefinitely. The teams will now play a home-and-home series to complete the season. The KIJHL was bumped by a WHL game Feb. 12 between Vancouver Giants and Kamloops Blazers. sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Taylor opens NCAA’s with up and down round

first_imgBy The Nelson Daily SportsPortland State freshman Lauren Taylor of Nelson shot two over-par nine-hole rounds to finish with a 5-over-par 77 during round one of the NCAA Division One Women’s Golf Championships Thursday at the Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, WA.Taylor finished the day in a 12-way tied for 54th while the Vikings as a team remain in 12th spot, four shots out of fourth.Taylor struggled off the first tee, carding a bogey on hole two and a double bogey on the 516-yard par five fourth hole.But the pride of Nelson scored birdies on two of the next three holes to finish out the round at 38.Three straight bogeys to start the back nine put a damper on the back round. Taylor rebounded to par out the day for the 77.Senior Kalyn Dodge led the Vikings of Portland State, finishing the first round of the 54-hole tournament with a total score of 305. Dodge finished the day carding a 1-over par 73.The scores of the remaining Vikings had Britney Yada 54th, while Tiffany Schoning and Alexia Brown finished tied for 66th.The top eight teams in the 24-team field advance to the NCAA Championship, May 18-21, at the Traditions Course in College Station.Taylor, 19, is back on the 7,304-yard, par 72 Washington National course for round two at 8:55 a.m. Round three of the tournament the Granite Pointe golfer tees off at 1:25 p.m.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Seven West Kootenay players selected to Team Kootenay bid at the B.C. Winter Games in Vernon

first_imgJesse Cooper and Merissa Dawson of Nelson each scored singles but that was not enough as Kelowna dumped the West Kootenay Wildcats 5-2 in semi final play at the recent Nelson Bantam House Minor Hockey Tournament.The Cats finished the round robin with a 2-1 record.West Kootenay bounced Kimberley 6-0 as Stephanie McAuley of Trail scored three times for the victors.Molly Benbow, Kara Deane and Dawson added singles.The Cats then rode the two-goal performane of Nelson’s Jena Wheeldon to edge Nakusp 5-2. Dawson, Madelaine Vockeroth and McAuley also scored.West Kootenay concluded the round robin with a hard-fought 4-3 loss to Nelson Bantam House. McAuley, Cooper and Dawson scored for the Wildcats. The West Kootenay will be solidly represented at the upcoming B.C. Winter Games in Vernon in the sport of girl’s hockey.No less than seven players caught the eye of evaluators and were selected to Team Kootenay to play in the U16 girl’s hockey tournament following the weekend camp in Invermere.Nelson headlines the contingent with three players, forwards Jesse Cooper and Emma Hare along with rearguard Merissa Dawson.Also on the team are forward Kira Steliev of Nakusp, forwards Stephanie McAuley and Julie Sidoni Trail and netminder Catalina Hartland of Kaslo.All seven players from the West Kootenay are members of the West Kootenay Wildcats Female squad.The balance of the teams is made up of players from the East Kootenay.The Winter Games run February 23-26.Girl’s hockey is being held at the Wesbild Centre in Vernon.The Winter Games is part of B.C. Hockey’s Female High Performance Program, which was established to identify and train athletes and team personnel for possible participation at Provincial, National and International events. West Kootenay Wildcats drop semi final heartbreaker in Nelson tournamentlast_img read more

Women’s Roller Derby returns Saturday in Castlegar

first_imgThe West Kootenay Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League resumes play Saturday in Castlegar with the Inglorious Bashers evert at the Community Complex. First act on the Inglorious Bashers Derby card is the Nelson Killjoys taking on Trail’s Bad News Betties at 6 p.m.The feature show follows with Slocan Valley Vendettas and the Nelson Lumber Jackies.Doors open at 5 p.m.Tickets are available at the door or online at or in Castlegar at Mountain High Lighting, in Trail at Gerick, Salmo  at West Kooteneay Scuba or in Nelson Phat Angel.last_img read more

Let The Games Begin — Leafs open season Friday at home against Nitehawks

first_imgWhile it may be only September, and the last time hockey fans looked the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Championship Trophy is hoisted in March, there remains a sense of optimism coming from inside the NDCC Arena as the Junior B League kicks off the season Friday on several fronts.A new-look management team combined with a solid returning core and a strong recruiting class has Nelson Leafs head coach Mario DiBella feeling confident as the Leafs join 19 other teams in the run up to the KIJHL Championship.“I feel as a team we’ve done a great job recruiting,” DiBella said, tipping his hat to new GM Lance Morey for leaving no stone unturned this offseason in an effort to put the best team on the ice.“We’ve got several AAA Midget kids coming in and have been able to source a number of other players. So, we ‘re just really excited about the group of players and team that we have.”The addition of Morey during the offseason allowed DiBella to reduce his own travels schedule to spring and summer camps.And why not?Morey has a wealth of hockey contacts and experience as scout for the West Kelowna Warriors of the BC Hockey League.And did we tell you that these are the same Warriors that won the BCHL Fred Page Cup Title in 2016.“Lance Morey has been a tremendous help,” DiBella exclaimed.“He spent countless hours on the phone and email getting these players here and confirming that they’re coming. . .. Offering them Plan B when they’re Junior A aspirations didn’t turn out that Nelson was a very good second option.”“And that’s been a very huge load off the rest of us,” DiBella added.DiBella, a goaltender by trade, said the Leafs will be strong between the pipes with former Leaf Josh Williams back in the fold after spending last year in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. However, DiBella believes he has a 1A netminder in backup Quinn Yeager, who is expected to push Williams this season to the top spot between the pipes.“Quinn is a phenomenal goalie,” DiBella said, glowingly comparing Yeager to Beaver Valley’s KIJHL champion backstopper of last season, Tallon Kramer.“He’s quick, agile and always square to the puck.“Quinn has proven in training camp that everything we saw of him during the spring is the package we’re getting here.”The defence is going to be just as strong as the Leafs welcome Michael LeNoury, Zack Morey and Brendan Makay back from last season.Add in rookies Michael Bladon and Ethan Land and as well as the return of stalwart rearguard Dash Thompson back from Junior A, and the Leafs have quite the solid blueline core.The forward line is just as strong with Sawyer Hunt, back for his final season, joined by Ryan Piva, Logan Wullum and Jack Karran.Rookie Ryan Cooper, a scoring machine from AAA Midget, and Nelson Minor Hockey grad Justin Podgorenko who played last season in Castlegar, gives the Leafs a forward line that should improve the 13th ranked offence of a year ago.However, Leaf faithful have seen this movie before . . . since 2010, the last time Nelson advanced to the KIJHL final before losing to Revelstoke Grizzlies in five games.Friday, it all starts for real when Beaver Valley Nitehawks visit the NDCC Arena for a 7 p.m. puck drop.Saturday, Kimberley Dynamiters complete the two-game opening weekend for the Leafs.Next week, Nelson concludes the four-game home stand with games against Fernie Friday, September 15, and Columbia Valley, Saturday, September 16.“Sure it’s early, but we have a good product on the ice so we want to take advantage of our training camp and put some points up on the board during this early home stand,” DiBella said.“We had good exhibition season,” he adds.“But now that we’re keeping score for keeps so we need to make sure that we’re ready to play and get the results that we’re looking for.”BLUELINES: The Leafs have unveiled their leadership team for the upcoming season. Right winger Sawyer Hunt is back as captain with defencemen Zach Morey and Michael Lenoury as well as forward Logan Wullum the assistants.last_img read more