Beaver Valley Nitehawks face Kelowna in KIJHL final

Beaver Valley hosts first two games of league championship

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks begin their bid for the KIJHL title tonight as they host the Okanagan/Shuswap champion Kelowna Chiefs at the Beaver Valley Arena.

The Chiefs are a mysterious entity in the KIJHL, a young team that managed to overcome the top two seeds in divisional playoffs and win their conference.

When Kelowna’s  head coach Ken Andrusiak and assistant Grant Sheridan brought junior B hockey to the Okanagan’s largest city, they figured they were embarking on a three-year plan, but it took just two seasons for the Chiefs to reach the league final.

“It’s very satisfying, compared to where we came from last year,” said Andrusiak. “Our first year, there were a lot of growing pains, just like any new business. This year, we started to get the hang of it, on and off the ice.”

The Chiefs were relocated from Chase for the start of the 2010-11 season and finished fourth in the Okanagan Division but have rolled through this year’s playoffs with three straight series wins. Their 12-4-0 post-season record is the KIJHL’s best.

“They must be doing something right they beat some good teams to get where they are, but so did we.” said Nitehawk assistant coach Jeremy Cominotto.

While the Hawks disposed of Fernie in a quick five-game series to win the Kootenay Conference, a drawn-out seven-game division series against Castlegar took its toll.

The Hawks incurred a few injuries with Scotty Davidson, Mason Spear and Tyler Collins banged up, but the four-day rest will help, says Cominotto.

Kelowna took its last step to the final with a five-game series win over Sicamous in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference championship, which ended with Brent Lashuk’s (brother of the Nitehawk’s Derek Lashuk) overtime goal Friday night at Rutland Arena.

Kelowna Forwards Landon Andrusiak and Dane Rupert have been on fire in the playoffs with 27 points apiece, and, along with Lashuk, should get lots of attention from the Nitehawks.

Kelowna was responsible for one of seven Nitehawk losses this season, beating Beaver Valley 6-5 on Sept. 24. The Nitehawks responded in January with a 4-0 win over the Chiefs in the only other meeting. The Chiefs’ coach is impressed with the Hawks potent offence but is optimistic.

“They (the Nitehawks) have good forwards, they’re very good on the rush, and they can beat you with speed,” said Andrusiak. “We’re going to need to play structured and try avoid getting into a run-and-gun game with them. With the right preparation you can beat anybody . . . The guys are excited to play them.”

Game 2 goes Thursday at 7 p.m. in Fruitvale, with Games 3 and 4 in Kelowna on Saturday and Sunday nights at Rutland Arena.

With files from the Kelowna Capital News

 

 

Just Posted

Photo: Trail Times
Trail RCMP start June by nabbing impaired drivers

Latest brief from the Trail and Greater District police

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

No matter your age, the city’s two skate park hosts Jaryd Justice-Moote (left) and Brenden Wright can help you roll into a new pastime this “Summer at the Skatepark.” Photo: City of Trail
Free coaching at the Trail Sk8Park begins next month

The city is rolling into a summer of inclusive recreation by, for… Continue reading

Pastor Tom Kline
‘Why I became a Christian’ with Pastor Tom Kline

That night, a peace came over my heart that has remained from that day to this, 36 years later.

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters block Castlegar’s main street for 24 hours

Members of Extinction Rebellion stayed overnight in downtown Castlegar

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read