Beaver Valley Nitehawks faced off against the Rebels in Castlegar on Tuesday. Photo: Jim Bailey

Beaver Valley Nitehawks faced off against the Rebels in Castlegar on Tuesday. Photo: Jim Bailey

B.V. Nitehawks win shootout thriller against Castlegar Rebels

Austin McLean scores on fifth shootout attempt to lift Nitehawks to 5-4 victory over Rebels

Austin McLean scored the game winning goal in a shootout to lift the Beaver Valley Nitehawks to a 5-4 victory over the Castlegar Rebels on Tuesday at the Castlegar Rec Complex.

An exciting end-to-end match up came down to a shootout and even then the two teams went goal for goal and save for save until the Nitehawks fifth shooter decided it.

Tied at four heading to the 3-on-3 overtime, the Rebels outshot the Nitehawks 6-1 in the final five-minute frame, but goalie Owen Albers, fresh off a third-star debut with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL, was the difference.

Both teams scored twice in the best of three shootout forcing sudden death. After both goalies made saves on the fourth shooter, Albers stoned Rebels forward Mason Hartman, opening the door for McLean, who beat Rebels goalie Matteo Hueston for the win.

The Nitehawks jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first with goals from Hunter Burgeson, Cooper Ross, and Hayden Stocks.

But the Rebels battled back in the second period with goals from Mitch Daines and Tymon Sanikopoulos to tie it at 3.

Hawks forward Austin McKenzie netted his 18th of the season with just 21 seconds remaining in the second period to give B.V. a 4-3 lead.

The home team persisted, and Hartman tied it up at 4-4 at 11:18 of the third period on a setup from Nathan Dann and Tyler Ralph.

The shots on goal were even at 34, with B.V. going 0-for-3 on the power play, and the Rebels 1-for-5.

McKenzie, a Fruitvale product, earned the game’s first star with a goal and two assists, while Daines, a Trail native, was named second star with a goal and an assist for the Rebels.

With the victory, the Nitehawks improve to 20-17-2-0 and take the season series against the Rebels 6-3-0-0, while the Rebels fall to 14-21-1-1.

The 2 and 3 seeds in the Neil Murdoch Division have clinched a playoff spot and will play each other in the first round of the playoffs starting Feb. 22.

B.V. has a two-game stand in Grand Forks this weekend playing both Friday and Saturday vs the Border Bruins with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

Read: Leafs late flurry grounds Nitehawks

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Junior B HockeyKIJHL