Late goal ends Nitehawks’ unbeaten run

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks got an early-season lesson from the Kelowna Chiefs on Saturday night in Fruitvale.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks got an early-season lesson from the Kelowna Chiefs on Saturday night in Fruitvale.

After stomping the Spokane Braves 7-2 on Friday, the Hawks were 10 minutes away from their fourth-straight win on Saturday against the Chiefs.

However, a 5-4 lead disappeared and Kelowna’s Eric Spring scored with 11 seconds to play in regulation time to lift the Chiefs to a 6-5 victory.

While the loss spoiled the Nitehawks’ perfect start to the season, it was also a reminder of how quickly the tables can turn in junior hockey.

Nevertheless, the weekend was another example of the bevy of local talent in Beaver Valley’s lineup.

Friday in Spokane, six players had multi-point games led by Ryan Edwards who finished with three points. The Nitehawks took a 5-0 lead into the third period as they handed Spokane its third loss in four games.

Saturday on home ice, the troika of Edwards, Craig Martin and Chris Derochie combined for four goals and nine points as Beaver Valley overcame a 3-1 second-period deficit.

Those three players hold the top three spots in KIJHL scoring with a total of 40 points between them in four games.

Two goals in a 43-second span midway through the third appeared to be the perfect cap to Saturday’s comeback but the Nitehawks couldn’t close on Kelowna.

Rookie netminder Travis Beekhuizen took the loss between the pipes in his first start for the Hawks.

Zach Perehudoff remained unbeaten after chalking up his third straight win Friday night stopping 18 of 20 shots.

Beaver Valley will get a chance to erase Saturday’s loss from memory when they host the defending league champion Osoyoos Coyotes next Friday in Fruitvale.

The Coyotes, who lost only two of 50 games in regulation time last year, have already matched that total with a 3-2 record after five games.