While you are heading into the Hawks’ Nest tonight, cross your fingers and touch some wood, because the Nitehawks will need all the luck they can get against the Dynamiters.
After Wednesday’s game, the team may not even feel that is enough. Beaver Valley had a two goal lead entering the third, then still had the lead with 1:48 left in the game, but lost by two in regulation. Somehow, the Nitehawks again could not prevent the Dynamiters from scoring four goals against them, no matter the circumstance.
In four games this year, Kimberley has scored four goals three times and six goals (Four in a third period in which Beaver Valley outshot them) once. The Nitehawks have played the Dynamiters almost, but not quite, to a standstill, and have lost all four contests.
To win, it seems Beaver Valley is going to have to score four goals or more, something they averaged throughout the regular season and through their first nine playoff games but have yet to get to against Kimberley, in order to win games in this series.
Puck luck will likely be required. So, bring whatever mojo-raisers you favour, because tonight’s game, by almost all definitions, is a, “must win,” for the Nitehawks.
• Junior hockey used to be a bit of a crap shoot come playoff time. Not any more, it seems. In 18 playoff series involving leagues relevant to this area, there has been exactly one, “upset.”
The Summerland Steam defeated the Osoyoos Coyotes, which finished tops in their conference and second in the league, in the Okanagan-Shuswap conference final. Other than that, every series in both the KIJHL and BCHL post seasons has gone to the top-seeded team.
No more, it seems, “You never know what kids will do.” Apparently, consistency is all the rage among young people these days, especially in hockey.
That does not bode well for the Nitehawks chances in 2016.
I never, however, count them out. Beaver Valley is always well-coached and talented. Behind the proverbial eight-ball right now, but not yet snookered.