While the Grand Forks Border Bruins are enjoying life at the top of the Murdoch Division standings and a three-point cushion on Beaver Valley, if all goes according to plan, the Nitehawks will look to reel them in on Saturday.
B.V. travels to Fernie tonight for a tilt against the Ghostriders, before facing off against the Border Bruins at the Hawks Nest in their first 2017-18 regular-season battle. With a win over the Fernie Ghostriders combined with a Bruins loss to the Nelson Leafs tonight, the Hawks can overtake Grand Forks with a victory Saturday.
“It’s another big weekend,” said Nitehawks coach and GM Terry Jones. “We go to Fernie, and then Grand Forks, and our division is tight. I think every weekend is another opportunity to keep getting better and start growing our team, and keep up with that disciplined set of habits that it takes to win.”
The Nitehawks are coming off a solid 3-1 victory over the Castlegar Rebels on Saturday, a day after falling to the Creston Valley Thunder Cats 4-3 in OT. While, a let down in the second period against Creston hurt their results, the Hawks bounced back with one of their best games of the young season against the Rebels.
“I thought our effort Saturday night against Castlegar was outstanding,” said Jones. “We had a really good skating effort, a good disciplined effort and nice to get those two points against Castlegar.”
Grand Forks meanwhile walked over the Spokane Braves 9-1 and 7-2 last weekend to put their record at 5-2-0-0 and padded their scoring stats with Jordan Robertson and Trey Mason leading the KIJHL scoring race with 18 and 17 points respectively.
The Nitehawks are still playing captain Sam Swanson and Nolan Percival on defence, and icing affiliate players in every game this season, but hope to fill those gaps this week.
“I haven’t got anything concrete yet. We’ve made arrangements to make a trade with a team if we need to, but I’m just waiting on a couple junior A teams still this week, so I should hear something and I hope by Friday we’re able to get back to a normal set of defenceman.”
The Nitehawks face Grand Forks in Fruitvale on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the B.V. Arena.