Mike Bhatao scored four goals and added two assists as the Castlegar Rebels routed the Nelson Leafs 9-0 on Wednesday.
Tayden Woods had a hat trick with two assists for Castlegar (19-8-1), Chris Breese finished with a goal and four assists and Darren Medeiros added a single.
Rebels defenceman Nick Headrick chipped in with five assists. The victory increases the Rebels’ second-place advantage over Nelson in the Neil Murdoch Division to 11 points.
The Leafs (13-13-1) wilted early in the game. Woods scored on the power play just 1:59 into the first period and the Rebels took a 4-0 lead into the second. Two power-play goals by Bhatao and another single by Woods gave the Rebels a 7-0 lead after two, while two more goals from each player put an exclamation mark on a hard loss for Nelson.
Leafs goaltender Zakery Babin allowed five goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Patrick Ostermann, who finished with 13 saves. The game was Babin’s first appearance in a Leafs jersey after being acquired from the Princeton Posse on Monday.
Joseph Mcleod earned the shutout with 33 saves for Castlegar.
Nelson finishes its four-game road trip Friday against the Kimberley Dynamiters.