The Beaver Valley Nitehawks bounced back from an opening game loss to the Nelson Leafs to even the Neil Murdoch division series at one game apiece.
The Nitehawks lost 6-1, despite a 49 shot barrage on the Leafs goal Friday, but turned the tables with a 5-3 victory Saturday at the Beaver Valley Arena.
Keenan Patershuk scored the winning goal with 1:49 to go in the second period and was a physical force for the Hawks all night. Patershuk gathered up a Walker Sidoni drop pass and air mailed it top corner on a water-bottle popper to give the Hawks a 4-2 lead.
Patershuk dished out devastating hits all night long, and set the tone in the second period, with his aggressive play.
Dalton Stoddard opened the scoring for the Leafs, taking a Matt MacDonald pass and beating Hawks goalie Jared Schamerhorn at 17:26 of the first. But the Nitehawks replied when Michael Bell snapped one by Brett Soles, with assists going to Nick Perez and Patershuk.
However, Nelson’s Aaron Dunlap would reclaim the lead on a nice individual effort to send the game into the second period with a 2-1 lead.
Despite being outshot 11-5 in the first, the Nitehawks killed off four penalties including a late two-man advantage.
They returned in the second with added jump, and punished Nelson with a fierce forecheck, crashing, and banging the Leafs relentlessly. Ryan Edwards passed the puck back to Fraser Stang who tied the game on a shot from the point that found its way passed a screened Soles.
Edwards would give the Hawks the lead when he broke in on a 2-on-1 with Michael Bell, and snapped it over the blocker of Soles at 6:21 of the second to take a 3-2 advantage before Patershuk’s game winner.
The Leafs would make it interesting scoring with just two seconds remaining in the middle frame
on a powerplay when Horsewill knocked in a rebound past Schamerhorn.
The Hawks shut down the Leafs attack in the third limiting the Nelson to just nine shots, as Edwards would seal it with an empty netter.
Schamerhorn was solid in net for the Hawks, stopping 33 of 36 shots, while Soles blocked 29 in the Leafs end. Edwards had a big three-point night for B.V. with two goals and an assist.
The Hawks travel to Nelson to play the Leafs at the Civic Centre Monday at 7 p.m. for Game 3.
See more on the series in Tuesday’s edition of the Trail Times.