In KIJHL Neil Murdoch division action, a shorthanded Beaver Valley Nitehawks squad triumphed over the Nelson Leafs 3-2 in overtime on Friday in Nelson before falling to the Grand Forks Border Bruins by the identical score in an extra frame on Saturday in Grand Forks.
“It’s putting 60 minutes together,” said Hawks coach Terry Jones. “We’re just not, and there’s lots of little things, there’s discipline, there’s mental mistakes, and sometimes physical mistakes, and sometimes it is guys are tired because of personnel. There’s no excuses, it’s just that there are different factors contributing.”
The Border Bruins won their third straight match over the Nitehawks when Dylan Haney scored with 18 seconds remaining in the first overtime period to hand the first-place Murdoch division Hawks their fourth loss of the season.
Anthony Galliart was again heroic in the Bruins’ net stopping 39 B.V. shots and getting player of the game honours, while Drake Poirier was very good in the Hawks crease stopping 30 on the night and earning PoG for the Nitehawks.
The Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Garrett Brisbois and Josh Hammett, but the Nitehawks came back to tie it in the second period with Braden Fuller scoring on the power play and Jaxon Joseph tying it with 3:47 to play in the middle frame, as the Hawks fired 20 shots at the Bruins net in the period.
However, the teams didn’t solve anything in the third as Poirier made several big stops in his second straight start since missing a month of work due to illness, as the Border Bruins outshot the Hawks 13-7 in the final frame.
“They (Grand Forks) are resilient, and their goaltending has been great,” said Jones. “We’ve hit a lot of goal posts, and been undisciplined at times . . . and the momentum turns at the wrong times, when you’re all over them and then someone takes a stupid penalty. Those are the things that kill you.”
The Nitehawks welcomed the return of Fuller but iced a short line up with injuries to Sam Swanson, Kyle Hope, and Lyle Frank still plaguing the team.
“You miss the consistency of the character too. It puts pressure on other guys, which is good because they need to step up and perform, and take on a bigger role.”
On Friday, Blake Sidoni scored the overtime winner to lift the Hawks to a 3-2 victory over the Leafs in Nelson. A back and forth game saw Nelson take the lead at 4:47 on a Matthew Sokol goal, but Fuller tied it on a power play just 17 seconds into the second.
The Leafs regained the lead before the period was out when Jordan Davie beat Poirier on an unassisted effort.
The Nitehawks hung in and would tie it at two on a Michael Pruss goal with just under three minutes to play to send it to overtime. B.V. outshot the Leafs 34-28 including a 15-7 advantage in the third period, and went 1-for-7 on the power play while killing all six penalties. APs Bradley Ross and Connor Seib filled in for the injured players, and performed well.