A prolonged stretch of road games began with a bump as the Beaver Valley Nitehawks fell to the Eddie Mountain Division leading Kimberley Dynamiters on Saturday in its only weekend match.
In the Hawks second trip to Kimberley in as many weeks, the Dynamiters swept the season series by defeating B.V. 4-2.
The Dynamiters jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead on goals from Chase Gedny, Matt Davies and Nicholas Ketola, while dominating the offensive zone and outshooting the Hawks 16-6.
B.V. iced just three lines on Saturday with forwards Sam Swanson and Morgan Peace, and d-men Austin Miller, Evan Gorman, Connor Seib, and Karsten Jang all out with injuries.
B.V. beat Kimberley in Game 5 of the Kootenay Conference finals last season, and went on to win the KIJHL and Cyclone Taylor titles. The two teams have met in the Conference final in each of the past three years, so Kimberley didn’t hesitate to capitalize.
“Even though Beaver Valley was missing some key players on Saturday, it’s always nice to beat the defending champs and the team that ended your season last year.” Kimberley coach and GM Derek Stuart said on the Dynamiters website. “To go 3-0 verses them this season should give us confidence if we happen to meet up in the playoffs.”
After a scoreless second period, the Nitehawks pushed back early in the third when Tommy McConnachie scored his sixth of the campaign on a set up from Angus Amadio and Christian Macasso.
Nicholas Ketola beat Hawks goalie Owen Sikkes at 14:50 of the third to restore the three-goal lead for the Nitros, before Darian Fuller finished a McConnachie pass to cap off the scoring at 10:42.
Sikkes stopped 41 shots in net for B.V. and was named the Away Star, while Ketola earned the Home Star for Kimberley.
Beaver Valley played just three games at home in November, with 5-of-6 of their latest matches against Eddie Mountain Division teams, and are on the road until Dec. 8.
“We knew this was coming,” said Hawks forward Dylan Heppler. “I mean October we were at home a lot, so you look at the schedule and know you’re going to be on the road a lot, but that’s a test of character, and that’ll build for the playoffs.”
For the rest of the month and all of December, the 14-7-0-1 Hawks face a heavy dose of Neil Murdoch Division foes, and will look to catch the division leading Nelson Leafs, 18-3-1-1, a team that is riding a six-game undefeated streak.
The Nitehawks face the Rebels in Castlegar at 7 p.m. on Friday night, then travel to Grand Forks on Saturday. B.V.’s next home game goes Dec. 8 when they host the Leafs.