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A winning start to 2020-21 season for Beaver Valley Nitehawks

B.V. Nitehawks beat Leafs in shootout, comeback for 6-3 win over Border Bruins to open KIJHL season
Beaver Valley Nitehawks goalie Kevin Engman stymies a Nelson forward on a breakaway, as the Nitehawks picked up four points on the weekend with victories over the Nelson Leafs and the Grand Forks Border Bruins. Photo: Steve Piccolo

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks kicked off their season in dramatically thrilling fashion with a pair of victories over the Nelson Leafs and Grand Forks Border Bruins on the weekend.

In their home opener on Saturday, the Nitehawks Ollie Clement broke a 3-3 tie at 9:50 of the third period to give B.V. their first lead over the Border Bruins on their way to a 6-3 victory.

After a scoreless first period, Grand Forks jumped out to a 3-1 lead before the midway point of the second frame on goals from Jackson Smith, Brydon Bell and Jameson Flint.

Judah Makway got the Nitehawks on the board at 5:36, before charging back with power play goals from Jesse Ihas and Hayden Stocks to tie the game at three heading into the third period.

After Clement’s game winner, the Nitehawks scored two shorthanded goals from Makway and Gavin Tritt 90 seconds apart just after the midway point of the third to ice it and skate away with a 6-3 victory.

The Nitehawks outshot the Border Bruins 41-27 with Kevin Engman earning the win in the Nitehawks net. B.V. went 2-for-7 on the power play while Grand Forks was 1-for-8.

After splitting a pair of physical games against the Leafs in the pre-season, there was no love lost between the bitter rivals come the opening game on Friday.

The Nitehawks and Leafs exchanged goals throughout the game to enter overtime tied at 5-5. With nothing solved in the extra frame, the game went to a shoot out.

Austin McLean put B.V. up 1-0 in the shootout, but the Leafs third shooter Simon Nemethy tied it to force sudden death.

After the Leafs missed, Makway came through again beating goalie Tenzin Mint on a slick deke for the game winner in the 6-5 victory.

Makway had a goal and an assist in the game, with Joel Smyth, Ethan Smyth, Kaleb Percival and Austin McKenzie scoring for the Hawks. Rhett Hamilton had two for the Leafs.

The shots were even at 26-26. B.V. went 2-for-8 on the power play, and Nelson 2-for-9.

The Nitehawks will host the Creston Thunder Cats on Friday at the B.V. Arena with the puck drop at 7 p.m. They are on the road on Saturday visiting Invermere for a tilt versus the Columbia Valley Rockies.

Jim Bailey

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