The Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Grand Forks Border Bruins finished the season at opposite ends of the Neil Murdoch division standings with the Hawks doubling up on the Bruins 8-4 on Sunday after splitting a home-and-home with Castlegar on Friday and Saturday.
In their last game of the season, Fruitvale’s Mitch Foyle scored twice and added an assist to sneak into the KIJHL’s top 10 In scoring with 33 goals and 59 points. The outburst put the 18-year-old forward in a tie for ninth, 11 points back of league leaders Kimberley’s Jason Richter and Osoyoos’ Aaron Acevedo with 70 points.
After beating Castlegar 5-2 at the Hawks Nest on Friday, B.V. would fall to the Rebels Saturday 6-4, before ending the season on a winning note in Grand Forks Sunday. The victory gives the Hawks 75 points on the regular season, the third best record in the league behind Osoyoos Coyotes 81 and Fernie with 78. The Hawks won their first Neil Murdoch division title since 2011-12 when they led the league with 87 points, and would go on to capture the KIJHL championship.
In Sunday’s match, the Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals from Tyler Hartman and Spencer McLean, before the Bruin’s Nico Sidoni of Trail would make it 2-1. Allan Pruss would restore the two goal lead at 7:59 but Sidoni again would cut it to one before the period was out.
The Hawks would stretch the lead to 5-2 in the second on goals from Jacob Boyczuk and David Nemes with Kyle Hope setting up both tallies. Foyle would net two in the third, with Nemes also adding his second of the game to pace the Hawks to the 8-4 win. Hope ended up with three assists on the night while B.V. outshot the Border Bruins 52 to 28, with Carson Schamerhorn getting his 15th win in net.
On Saturday, the Rebels scored four goals on 23 shots in the second period to jump out to a 5-1 lead before a Nitehawk comeback would come up short in a 6-4 loss. Foyle scored twice for B.V. while Ross Armour had three assists in the losing cause. Konnor Madsen had two goals for the Rebels while Neil Hedrick picked up three assists. B.V. outshot the Rebels 45-42.
In a physical Friday night tilt in Fruitvale, Andrew Miller returned to the Hawks lineup after being out for over a month. The Trail native scored twice in the first period to give B.V. a 2-0 lead, then Braden Horcoff, Foyle, and AP Blake Sidoni would round out the scoring as the Hawks took a 5-1 lead heading into the third. Darren Medeiros and Mike Bhatoa scored for the Rebels. B.V. outshot Castlegar 45-35 with Drake Poirier picking up his 19th win of the season for Beaver Valley.
The Nitehawks begin their playoff run against the Nelson Leafs on Friday at the Hawks Nest with the puck drop at 7:30 p.m.