The Beaver Valley Nitehawks broke open a close game with a four-goal third period on their way to a 6-1 victory over the Grand Forks Border Bruins on Monday night at the Hawks Nest.
Nitehawks veteran Simon Nemethy scored the game winner midway through the first period lifting a sharp-angle shot short side on Border Bruins goalie Dillon Beebe for a 2-0 Hawks lead.
Nemethy’s 10th goal of the season was just one of his four points on the night as the Vanderhoof native also added three assists in the Nitehawks first game back since the Christmas break.
The Hawks went into the game with at least four affiliate players in the line up as injuries and suspensions left B.V. with six regulars out of action.
Nitehawks forward Jared Stocks opened the scoring at 13:51 of the first period on a set up from Bradley Ross, followed by Nemethy’s marker at 10:32, as the Hawks outshot the Bruins 13-9 in the period.
Grand Forks dominated puck possession for much of the second period, as B.V. got into trouble early giving the Border Bruins a two-man advantage. The Hawks managed to weather that storm thanks to key saves by goalie Hunter Young. The Okotoks native robbed a Bruins’ forward with the right pad midway through the period, and minutes later made another sprawling stop point-black with the blocker. However, Bruins forward Elvis Slack popped in the rebound to cut the lead to 2-1.
Hawks forward Bradly Ross tallied his 26th of the season, finishing a 2-on-1 with Jared Stocks and sniping a shot top shelf on a sprawling Beebe for a 3-1 lead at 13:19.
B.V. forward Ethan Jang then snapped a quick shot from the left hash mark through the pads of the Bruins goalie to make it 4-1 Hawks midway through the final frame.
B.V. rookie Zach Park scored into an empty net at 3:42, as a desperate Bruins team pulled their goalie in an effort to come back, and Jang netted his second of the night with 2:19 to play, beating Beebe five-hole to make the final 6-1.
Beaver Valley outshot the Border Bruins 37-34, and went 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Nitehawks improve their record to 20-5-2-0-3 and hold a five-point lead over the Nelson Leafs for first place in the Neil Murdoch Division standings.
The Hawks played the Leafs on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in a new year’s eve match up but the score was unavailable at press time. B.V. also hosts the Leafs at the Beaver Valley Arena on Friday night with the puck drop at 7 p.m.