The Kamloops Storm rolled to a 4-2, Game 1 win over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the KIJHL final on Friday in Kamloops.
Luke Gordon broke a 2-2 tie 72 seconds into the third period to net the winning goal converting a pass from Bobby Kashuba and Brock Balson in what was a close, tight-checking game.
The Nitehawks Sheldon Hubbard put the Hawks up 1-0 at 16:34 of the first period, but the Storm’s Mitch Friesen would tie it less than five-minutes later. With the score locked at 1-1, the Storm would gather momentum after Hawks forward Dan Holland was sent off for slashing. On the ensuing power play Kamloops d-man Spencer Schoech would score his eighth goal of the playoffs, taking a pass from Gordon and blasting it by Hawks goaltender Brett Clark to give the Storm a 2-1 lead.
But the Nitehawks would reply with a Mitch Foyle goal with 3:44 remaining in the middle frame to tie at two heading into the third.
After Gordon put Kamloops up 3-2, Ryan Keis added an empty netter with eight seconds left on the clock.
Kamloops outshot the Nitehawks 33-24 with Wade Moyls getting the win in net for the Storm.
Game 2 goes tonight at McArthur Park Arena in Kamloops. Game 3 and 4 go Monday and Tuesday in Beaver Valley with the puck drop at 7 p.m.
In the BCHL round robin playoff, the Vernon Vipers scored five times in the second period to beat the Victoria Grizzlies 5-4 and take the early lead in the three-team playoff. The other team in the playoff is the Coquitlam Express, the Mainland division champs. The top two teams play in a best-of-seven final to decide the BCHL champion.
The Grizzlies outshot the Vipers 43-23, including 21-9 in the third period, but Snakes goalie Austin Smith survived the onslaught as the Grizzlies battled back from a 5-1 deficit to make it close.
NCAA: The Quinnipiac Bobcats with Trail’s Travis St. Denis and Montrose twins Connor and Kellen Jones were unceremoniously ousted from the sweet-16 of the NCAA playoffs after a 4-0 loss to Providence on Friday in Brideport, Conn. The Bobcats outshot Providence 37-26.
Former Trail Smoke Eater Scott Jacklin and Robert Morris University take on Number 1 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers tonight in NCAA action.