The Beaver Valley Nitehawks remain undefeated at the expense of the Grand Forks Border Bruins and Summerland Steam at the Beaver Valley Arena over the weekend.
Despite picking up four points, it didn’t look good at times for Beaver Valley on either night as the team trailed the Border Bruins 4-2 on Friday heading into the final frame, and was deadlocked at zeroes with the Steam midway through the third on Saturday.
It took three third-period goals by the Hawks top line of Ryan Edwards, Taylor Stafford, and Michael Bell to lift the home team to a 5-4 victory over a much-improved Grand Forks squad.
“We just didn’t have it (in the first two periods),” said coach Terry Jones. “We were floating out there, and you can’t do that against a team like Grand Forks. They’re a very good team.”
However, Edwards would net the winner with 2:20 remaining in regulation after Stafford out-battled a Bruin defender and passed to a waiting Bell in the slot. Bell then slid a slap pass toward the net and Edwards deftly deflected it over the shoulder of Bruin goalie Dominic Stadnyk for the winner.
“Staff (Starfford) did some great work in the corner, and got it out to Bell,” said Davidson. “I just went to the net, and good things happen when you go to the net.”
Grand Forks opened the scoring when Max Everett walked in alone on Hawks goalie Josh Round, and beat him with a slick deke to the blocker side. The Hawks replied minutes later when Danny Vlanich launched a shot from the point that sailed by a screened Stadnyk, and Sam Barker made it 2-1 early in the second when he banged in a cross-crease gift from Fruitvale native Mitch Foyle who had a solid debut for the Nitehawks. However, the Bruins answered scoring three times on a pair of goals from Connor Gross and another off the stick of Newton to take a 4-2 lead into the final stanza.
The Hawks would shorten their bench and the veteran line replied with Edwards converting a Stafford dish from behind the net five minutes in, to cut the lead to one. Bell then tied it with just under five minutes remaining, taking a feed from Edwards and depositing in the top corner. Bell would then reciprocate by setting up Eddie for the winner.
Edwards, a 20-year-old forward, likes the makeup of the team, saying it has a good mix of talented young skaters and experienced veterans, and should battle for the KIJHL championship and Cyclone Taylor Cup in Nelson this season.
Edwards finished the game with two goals and two assists, while Stafford and Bell had three-point nights. The Nitehawks outshot the Bruins 35-34 in the game including 11-3 in the third.
Against the Steam Saturday, Beaver Valley and Summerland fired 35 shots at each other, but in the battle of the two Bretts, it was the Nitehawks Brett Clark who triumphed over the Steam’s Brett Huber 2-0.
After the Steam’s Braden Saretsky took a penalty for hitting from behind, Stafford broke the 0-0 tie, taking a pass from Vlanich and firing it past a helpless Huber at 11:09 of the third. Sam Barker, a former Steam forward, and a Nitehawk to watch this season, scored into an empty net with 34 seconds remaining to give the Nitehawks their third win of the season.