Murdoch Division rivalries heated up over the weekend with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks exchanging blows with the Grand Forks Border Bruins in a 2-2 draw on Saturday in Grand Forks.

Beaver Valley Nitehawks division rivalries heating up

Teams picking up the pace in Neil Murdoch division battles

The Neil Murdoch Division is heating up as the teams jockey for position at the midway point of the season.

The Castlegar Rebels made a statement this weekend with a victory over the division-leading Nelson Leafs, while the Beaver Valley Nitehawks faltered. B.V. fell to the Castlegar Rebels 2-1 on Friday, then skated to a 2-2 tie with the Grand Forks Border Bruins on Saturday.

The Rebels were on fire all weekend and went into Nelson and defeated the Leafs 5-1 on Saturday, then put a big exclamation point on the weekend with a 10-0 blowout of the Golden Rockets.

For the Nitehawks, injuries and a rough November road schedule have also slowed the team after going undefeated through October.

On Saturday, Grand Forks forward Briar Whyte gave the Border Bruins a 1-0 first-period lead, but the Hawks struck back in a very physical second period that saw the Hawks Austin Miller and the Bruins Alex Skinner go toe-to-toe.

Castlegar native Aiden Jenner scored on the power play 3:21 in, and Dylan Kent put B.V. up 2-1 on another extra-man advantage with 8:20 remaining as the Hawks outshot the Bruins 13-9 in the middle frame.

However, the Bruins replied late in the third, when Trey Mason tallied his 10th of the season on the power play with 4:28 left to force overtime.

Beaver Valley owned the two extra five-minute frames firing 14 shots at Grand Forks goalie Quinn Yeager, but the recent addition from the Nelson Leafs was unbeatable.

The Hawks outshot the Bruins 50-30, going 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Bruins were 1-for-5. Yeager earned Game Star for the home team, while his counterpart Liam Coulter got the nod for the Nitehawks.

In Friday’s match up, Chase Daniels broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period on an unassisted effort to score the winner for the Castlegar Rebels.

The weekend wins for Castlegar (16-7-0-1) launched the team past the Nitehawks and into sole possession of second place in the Murdoch division.

Hawks defenceman Karsten Jang wired a shot past Rebels goalie Tanner Douglas for a 1-0 lead midway through the second period. But Castlegar replied less than a minute later on a Brandon Costa power play goal, and Daniels iced it in the third.

Castlegar outshot B.V. 33-19, with goalies Douglas and Owen Sikkes taking the Game-Star honours for the Rebels and Hawks respectively.

The loss for the 14-8-1-1 Nitehawks drops the team to third place and 10 points back of Nelson as they get ready for a return visit to Castlegar on Wednesday night with a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Rebels.

The Hawks next home game goes on Dec. 8 versus the Nelson Leafs.

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