The Beaver Valley Nitehawks split a pair of games against Neil Murdoch Division teams this past week.
The Hawks beat the Grand Forks Border Bruins 2-1 on Thursday, but fell 5-2 in Spokane to the Braves on Friday. Spokane is in must-win territory as they chase the Bruins for the final Murdoch Division playoff spot, and played desperate hockey against B.V. Friday.
After a scoreless first period, the Hawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Tommy McConnachie at 17:44, however the Braves struck back on the power play with Dawson Tritt tying it with 8:08 to play in the middle frame.
The Hawks Nolan Percival converted a setup from Sam Swanson to give the Nitehawks a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame, but the third period was all Spokane as they scored four goals en route to the 5-2 win.
Paxton Malone, Aaron Morris, Trail Thompson and Tritt’s second of the night into an empty net rounded out the scoring for the Braves, to bring Spokane to within five points of the Border Bruins with four games remaining.
Spokane outshot B.V. 52-49 with Liam Coulter suffering the loss and Trevor Dilauro the victory. The Braves were 2-for-3 on the power play, while the Hawks went 1-for-3.
B.V. was missing key components Jake Yuris and Karsten Jang on defence and Jaxen Gemmell up front.
On Thursday, Sam Swanson scored a power-play goal with 4:21 remaining in regulation to eke out a 2-1 Hawks’ victory over the Border Bruins at the Hawks’ Nest.
Zane Avery gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 4:26 of the first period. The Hawks battled but couldn’t beat GF goalie Quinn Yeager who stopped 24 shots through two periods. But midway through the third McConnachie converted a pass from Bradley Ross to tie the game and set up Swanson’s winner as B.V. outshot the Bruins 16-4 in the third and 40-29 in the match.
B.V. went 1-for-6 and were perfect on the penalty kill in four Bruins chances. B.V. goalie Owen Sikkes earned the win and was named Home Star in his return to the crease after being sidelined with injury for more than a month. Yeager earned Away Star for the Bruins.
The Nitehawks are five points back of the second place Castlegar Rebels with four games remaining, and will host the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday at the B.V. Arena at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday in Grand Forks.