In Game 2 of the Neil Murdoch Division battle, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks fought back all game to finally win it in overtime against a determined Castlegar side last night at the Beaver Valley Arena.
Ryan Edwards swooped in on a breakaway four minutes into overtime but was stymied by Castlegar goalie Jordan Gluck. However, in the ensuing scramble in front of the net, Edwards calmly tapped in the loose puck to win the game 5-4 for the Hawks.
Whether it was fatigue or nerves, the Nitehawks play was less intense than Game 1, the hitting less fierce.
“I’m pretty disappointed in our effort so far, through two periods,” said Hawks assistant coach Jeremy Cominotto before the start of the third. “We’re lacking composure. Every little thing that goes wrong is a big deal whereas last night we just shrugged it off and kept on playing and playing.”
The Nitehawks struck first in the match, when Tyler Collins walked out from behind the net and lifted a backhand over the shoulder of the Castlegar goalie.
However, 5:34 into the first Ryley Henderson tied it, scoring on a power play as he snapped a puck past a screened Zach Perehudoff.
With another man advantage, the Rebels went up 2-1, when Brendan Heinrich batted a puck in off a blocked shot, much to the surprise of the Hawk netminder.
Castlegar reciprocated, when Scott Morisseau took a penalty for roughing and an erratic Hawk powerplay eventually paid dividends. With 2:11 remaining in the opening frame, Christian Johnson banged in a rebound off an Arie Postmus point shot, making it 2-2 heading into the second period.
Penalties killed the Hawks again, for the second game in a row Nick Perez took a boarding penalty and for the second time in as many nights a Rebel player drifted a shot from the point passed a screened Perehudoff to take the lead 3-2.
But with 4:18 left in the period, the prettiest goal of the series came on a Hawks power-play.
Chris Derochie controlled the puck in the corner and sent a centering pass to Craig Martin who made a quick short pass to Edwards waiting at the side of the open net. Edwards made no mistake, sliding it by a helpless Gluck.
Despite the pretty goal, the Hawks were lucky to still be in it.
“I’m happy the score is only 3-3 . . . a little bit of urgency in the defensive zone, we need to tighten up or they’ll have the opportunity to blow this thing wide open.”
The Hawks finally came to life only after Castlegar went up at 15:46 of the third. This time, Peter Mingus floated in a point shot that Perehudoff was unable to control, and a waiting Anthony Delong knocked in the rebound to put the Rebels up 5-4
With time winding down, the Hawks enjoyed a two-man advantage midway through the period but were unable to capitalize.
Dallas Calvin then finally broke loose with eight minutes to play, swept in on a break away, but Gluck made a nice blocker save. The intensity returned for the Hawks, but Gluck shut the door, making several key saves including a great pad save on a point-blank slap shot from Justin Niminiken.
It looked to be Castlegar’s night, yet with 1:23 left in the period, the Rebels’ Tyler Jones inadvertently shot the puck over the glass in his own end, giving the Nitehawks another man advantage.
With 38 seconds left on the clock, Tyler Collins scored his second of the night tapping in a cross-crease pass from Dallas Calvin, to send it into overtime and Edwards heroics.
The Nitehawks outshot the Rebels 40-29.
The Nitehawks travel to Castlegar for games Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Castlegar Complex.