The soaring Beaver Valley Nitehawks won its 10th match in a row with a pair of 3-1 wins over the Nelson Leafs and the Kimberley Dynamiters on the weekend.
Kyle Hope scored twice including a shorthanded winning goal as Beaver Valley knocked off the Kootenay Conference leading Dynamiters 3-1 at the Beaver Valley Arena on Saturday.
“I think right now we’re finding ways to win,” said Nitehawks assistant coach Jeremy Cominotto. “Tonight wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t ugly either, we’re finding ways to get the job done.”
Beaver Valley killed off two five-minute majors in the second period, and Hope netted the winner early into the second one, scoring his eighth of the season to put B.V. up 2-1 at 8:59 of the middle frame. Twenty-two seconds after Devin Nemes was given an automatic five for goalie interference, a determined forecheck from Tyler Hartman behind the Kimberley net knocked the defenceman off the puck and the rugged forward sent a centering pass in front to Hope who snapped it by Kimberley goalie Cody Campbell for a lead the Hawks would not relinquish.
“I thought all the guys did a great job in coming together and getting those kills for us,” said Cominotto. “Hartsy’s (Hartman) been a workhorse for us all year, and tonight’s just an example of how good he can be. This is the game a guy like Hartman is going to succeed, he’s a gritty guy, he gets in the corners, he really gets us going and when we have that forecheck – like he said, him and Hopey are plus-5 on the PK so I don’t think I’m going to stop going there.”
Kimberley went up 1-0 at 13:20 of the first when Tyler Von Steinburg beat Hawks goalie Tallon Kramer, as the teams set a torrid pace in the opening frame. The Hawks drew even at 18:11 of the second period when Hope took a drop from Damon Kramer and whistled a shot from the top of the circle over the glove of Campbell to tie it at one.
After Hope made it 2-1, Kramer and Campbell were perfect the rest of the way, as Kramer, the KIJHL’s Player of the Month for October, earned his 10th win of the season, allowing just seven goals in his past seven games, and making a number of key stops in the final minutes against the Dynamiters.
“It started out pretty rough for me and I had quite a few turnovers, but luckily the team bailed me out and we came out on top,” said Kramer. “But give credit to Cody Campbell down there – he also played in Grande Prairie where I played last year – he had a good game. But special teams, two five-minute majors killed in the second period – that made the difference.”
McKoy Hauk scored into an empty net after Kimberley pulled Campbell in favour of an extra attacker in the final 65 seconds of the match.
B.V. outshot Kimberley 37-27 with Hope getting player of the game for the Hawks and Campbell for the Dynamiters. The victory puts the Nitehawks in a tie with Kimberley and Creston for top spot in the KIJHL with 28 points.
“I thought for the most part we did a pretty good job of getting pucks in deep, and we were able to establish forechecks,” said Cominotto. “When we got into trouble it was strictly because we stopped moving our feet and stopped moving the pucks when we’re open, we’d hang on to it a little bit too long.”
On Friday, two goals from 16-year-old rookie Aiden Browell catapulted the Hawks to a 3-1 victory over the Nelson Leafs at the Nelson Civic Centre.
“Aiden is a very skilled guy, and we like to consider him as untapped oil, because he has untapped skill and potential that we’re just starting to see now, he’s a great player,” added Cominotto.
Hauk put the Hawks up 1-0 on a power play with 1:48 to play in the first period, but the Leafs’ David Lenzen tied it in the second. Browell netted the winning goal at 17:02 of the final frame then added and insurance marker four minutes later. B.V. outshot Nelson 36-24 on the night with Browell named player of the game for B.V. and goaltender Jason Sandhu getting the nod for Nelson.
B.V.’s next home games go on Thursday against the Grand Forks Border Bruins and and Saturday versus the Spokane Braves.