Division title on the line

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks head into the final weekend of the KIJHL regular season in a dogfight for first place with the Nelson Leafs.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks head into the final weekend of the KIJHL regular season in a dogfight for first place with the Nelson Leafs.

However, the Neil Murdoch division championship is their’s to lose, if the Hawks, with a record of 37-10-1-2 for 77 points, can win their final two matches of the regular season versus the Spokane Braves tonight and in B.V. on Saturday against the Leafs that presently lead the division with a record of 37-9-1-4 for 79 points.

“I think it’s important that we finish the weekend on a high note, regardless of where we finish we can play a great game and manage to lose, those things can happen,” said Nitehawk coach Terry Jones. “I think if we play well, we’ll like our result and have a good feeling going into next week.”

The Hawks can tie the Leafs in the standings with a win against the Braves, and then take the title with a victory at the Hawks Nest on Saturday. They can even afford a loss against the Braves and the often unpredictable officiating in Spokane, but must beat the Leafs on Saturday regardless. In the event Nelson and Beaver Valley end up in a tie at the end of the regular season, the Hawks would take top spot by virtue of one more win than the Leafs, 38-37.

“Most wins is the first tiebreaker,” said Jones. “It should be head-to-head, but that’s something that has to be changed.”

With a sweep of the Castlegar Rebels last weekend, the Nitehawks kept pace with the Leafs who took two from the Grand Forks Border Bruins. The Nitehawks also helped out the Braves, as the Rebel losses propelled Spokane past Castlegar into third spot in the division. The Rebels and Braves are separated by just one point with their final games going on Friday. A Braves win clinches third spot, however, a loss coupled with a Rebel win over the Border Bruins would give Castlegar the higher placing.

“It’s in their (Spokane’s) hands too, if they win their game they finish third and that will be a great feather in the cap for those guys too.”

The Hawks are almost healthy with Russell Mortlock still out with injury. Mortlock has been an impact player this season with the Hawks, combing skill and physicality in addition to a veteran presence in the room.

“Russell’s an important guys so we definitely need him back, but otherwise we’re pretty healthy,” said Jones. “He’s a big guy and when he’s in the lineup he makes a big difference.”

The Nitehawks and Leafs have battled tooth and nail all year, with the Hawks holding a 4-3 edge in the series, but the very last game of the season might decide it all. On the line is a division title and all-important home-ice advantage in the second round. The Leafs have already booked their spot in the Cyclone Taylor tournament as hosts, so a Nitehawk victory is even more crucial.

“I think at this time our guys got to motivate themselves to be at their best . . . They’re going to be jacked and ready to play, and as a veteran team that’s what we expect both Friday and Saturday night,” added Jones. “Over the course of 52 games we’ve been a really good team and now were trying to not let anything stop us.”

Just Posted

Feeling the heat

What you see: If you have a recent photo to share email editor@trailtimes.ca

Air time at Trail Sk8 Park

The Trail Sk8Park is located near the Gyro Park boat launch

B.C. MP’s climate-change alarmism challenged

Letter to the Editor from Thorpe Watson, PhD, Warfield

$900,000 grant paves way for affordable housing in Trail

Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society receives funding by BC Housing for new build in Trail

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Expect no quick end to Canada-wide cannabis shortages, producers warn

Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta have all reported varying degrees of shortages

Want to buy your first home? Move to Kamloops or Prince George

Kamloops, Prince George, Campbell River and Langford are the only other markets in the study without gaps between required and actual income in owning a home.

Seniors in care homes may not get referendum ballots in the mail: Seniors Advocate

Voters list was established in May 2017, so if they moved into a care home since then….

Feds give $2 million for anti-extremism programs in B.C.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said supporting efforts locally is key to prevention

Should the legal age for cannabis be increased to 21?

B.C. residents have a more mellow attitude to the age limit for pot – but 23 per cent want the legal age increased

Expect ride hailing in B.C. by 2020, Premier Horgan says

Taxi-style insurance option needed for part-time drivers

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

Most Read