Beaver Valley’s Braden Fuller scored twice on Saturday

KIJHL: Kootenay’s top teams serve up playoff appetizer

KIJHL division leaders square off as Kimberley edges Beaver Valley in double overtime.

With less than a month left in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League regular season, the top two teams in the Kootenay Conference served up a perfect playoff appetizer Saturday night in Fruitvale.

In a game that featured big hits, big goals and big saves it came down to an untimely mistake by the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and an opportunistic goal by the Kimberley Dynamiters as they headed back to the East Kootenay with a 4-3 double overtime win.

Kimberley’s Sawyer Hunt scored twice including the game winner with two minutes gone in the three-on-three sudden death period to give the Kootenay Conference-leading Dynamiters its league-leading 36th win.

Hunt, who also opened the scoring Saturday night, knocked a clearing attempt by Nitehawks goaltender Tallon Kramer out of mid-air and quickly snapped it by the Beaver Valley netminder to stun the big crowd in Fruitvale.

It was a tough way to end a game dominated by great goaltending at both ends of the rink by Kramer, who made 29 saves, and Kimberley’s Tyson Brouwer, who turned aside 50 shots.

The showdown between the conference’s top two teams had all the makings of a battle for supremacy with the type of tempo usually reserved for playoff games.

“We’re just trying to get firing on all cylinders for the playoffs,” explained Dynamiters coach Byron Garrels, who was filling behind the bench while head coach Jerry Bancks attended a weekend wedding.

“We had lost our last two games coming into this one so it was a gut check game for us.”

Meanwhile, Beaver Valley head coach Terry Jones took solace in the loss pointing to his team’s solid effort.

“When you’re playing a good team like Kimberley it’s a measuring stick to see where you are. I was happy with the way we played. I thought we played a pretty complete game.

“We had 60 hits. That’s a good indication we’re doing things the right way.”

Braden Fuller for Beaver Valley and Kimberley’s Hunt scored as the teams skated to a 1-1 draw after 20 minutes.

But Fuller potted his second goal on a great solo effort just 54 seconds into the middle frame to give Beaver Valley a 2-1 lead heading into the third.

The score could have been much more if not for the goaltending at both ends of the rink that included highlight reel stops. Both Kramer and Brouwer flashed great glove saves and foiled quality scoring chances throughout the night.

Eric Buckley scored five minutes into the third for the Dynamiters to knot the game at 2-2 but minutes later Brett Roberts blasted a shot by Brouwer to put the Hawks up 3-2.

It stayed that way until Kimberley wasted little time cashing in on a power play with Jared Marchi finishing off a perfect cross-ice pass leaving Kramer little chance to prevent the tying goal with 11:46 to play.

Jones pointed to that goal, and his team’s inability to capitalize on its power play chances, as the difference in the game.

Neverthelss, Beaver Valley had the best opportunities in the overtime including a great chance by Fuller, who was looking for the hat trick goal, but the Hawks couldn’t beat Brouwer to pull out the victory.

“We’re lucky to have Tyson Brouwer back there,” said Garrels. “He’s a big game goalie and he showed it tonight.”

Jones wasn’t going to let one miscue by his goaltender spoil an otherwise strong performance by his club.

“If we play every game from here on in like that we’ll be doing pretty good.”

The Nitehawks have six more games left in the regular season including three at home. They’re right back on home ice tonight when the Nelson Leafs come to town.

Just Posted

15 new mayors to take office across the Kootenays

Here’s a look at the highlights from across the Kootenay region in B.C.

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

The new mayor of Trail is …

Preliminary results after voting closed Saturday at 8 p.m., includes results from two advanced polls

Kootenay Boundary referendum, pass or fail?

Polls closed at 8 p.m. Saturday night

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

Most Read