Special teams were key on Monday as the Kamloops Storm downed the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in Game 3 of the KIJHL final with a 5-3 victory at the Beaver Valley Arena.
The Nitehawks usually solid penalty kill gave up four goals on seven power play opportunities for the Storm as seven of the eight goals were scored on the power play on the night, including the eventual winner from Mitch Friesen at 4:45 of the second period.
Hard hits by the Beaver Valley Nitehawks early, turned into penalties and an early 1-0 lead for the Storm. But Kamloops would find themselves in penalty trouble at the end of the first and power play goals by Ryan Edwards and Braden Fuller would put the Hawks up 2-1 going into the second.
The Nitehawks looked flat coming out in the second period and it wouldn’t take long before Spencer Schoech would rip one blocker side on Hawks goalie Brett Clark, after Archie McKinnon was sent off for hooking, to tie the game five minutes into the second period. Felix Larouche would score the only even-strength goal on the night, finishing a nice centring pass from Dan Buchanan. Friesen would make it 4-2 heading into the third as the Storm outshot the Nitehawks in the middle frame 15-9.
The Nitehawks would come out in the third with more jump and Fuller would draw the Hawks within one on a two-man advantage at 18:22 of the final frame. But that would be as close as the Nitehawks would get as Liam McLeod shut the door, making several big saves in the late going, including a robbery off the stick of Ryan Edwards on a breakaway late in the game.
Luke Gordon would finish the scoring at 3:45 on another PP marker, in a game that saw 63 minutes in penalties. Both the Storm and Hawks fired 40 shots on the net, with the Storm going 4-for-7 on the PP and the Hawks 3-for-8.
Game 4 goes tonight at the Beaver Valley Arena at 7 p.m.