The Beaver Valley Nitehawks continue to roll, winning their sixth game in a row with a 4-0 victory over the Castlegar Rebels on Saturday.
The Nitehawks dispatched the Nelson Leafs 4-2 on Friday on the strength of a two-goal night by Tyler Hartman, then road a 41-save performance by Tallon Kramer to the shutout victory over the Rebels.
The return of Kyle Hope from injury injected some added offence into the B.V. line up as the Trail native scored at 7:33, then added the insurance marker at 1:11 to give the Hawks a 2-0 first-period lead. Hope finished off a Dylan Heppler and Ryan Terpsma set up to notch his fourth goal of the season, then added number five on a pass from Nolan Percival that beat Rebels goalie Jason Mailhiot. The 19-year-old forward has been out since Oct. 1 with a lower-body injury.
After the Rebels’ Chance Szott was sent off for hitting from behind, the Nitehawks’ Heppler netted a power-play goal from Kevan McBean and Percival to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead. Percival added his third point of the night when he set up Dylan Ghiradosi with 1:41 to play to give the Hawks its ninth win of the season. Kramer stopped 41 shots for his second shut out of the campaign, and was named player of the game for the second night in a row.
The 9-3-1-1 Nitehawks lead the 8-5-0-1 Leafs by three points in the Neil Murdoch Division, and have opened up a seven-point lead on the 5-6-2-1 Grand Forks Border Bruins, a team mired in a six-game losing streak.
On Friday, Hartman’s pair of goals paced the Nitehawks to a 4-2 victory over the Leafs, but it was Heppler’s short-handed marker at 3:26 of the second period that proved to be the winner. The Warner, Alta. native took a pass from Sam Swanson and McBean and beat Leafs goalie Devin Allen to give the Nitehawks a 3-0 lead. Heppler leads the Nitehawks in scoring with seven goals and 17 points, followed closely by Percival at 3-12-15.
The Hawks came out strong in the opening frame firing 16 shots at the Nelson goal, but only Hartman’s tally from McBean and Damon Kramer at 5:16 beat Allen in the period. Hartman netted his fourth of the season from Kramer and Ghiradosi at 7:17 of the second, and Heppler’s tally before the period was out gave the Hawks enough cushion heading into the third.
The Leafs Dale Howell made it 3-1 scoring a power-play goal at 13:12 of the third period, but 16-year-old Fruitvale native Aiden Browell added some insurance four minutes later with his fifth of the campaign. The Leafs’ Ryan Piva completed the scoring, beating Tallon Kramer with 5:11 to play for the 4-2 final.
The Nitehawks outshot the Leafs 35-26 with both Allen and Kramer named the game’s stars.
The Nitehawks next travel to Creston on Friday to take on the Eddie Murdoch Division leading Thunder Cats, and return to the Hawks Nest on Saturday for a tilt against the 8-5-0-1 Fernie Ghostriders at 7:30 p.m.