The Beaver Valley Nitehawks shake hands with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats after taking the Kootenay Conference title with a 6-2 victory on Monday in Creston. The Nitehawks win the best-of-seven division series 4-1.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks shake hands with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats after taking the Kootenay Conference title with a 6-2 victory on Monday in Creston. The Nitehawks win the best-of-seven division series 4-1.

Beaver Valley Nitehawks Kootenay Conference champions

Beaver Valley Nitehawks oust Creston Valley Thundercats in Game 5.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks won the Kootenay Conference title on Monday night following a convincing 6-2 win and a 4-1 series victory over the Creston Valley Thunder Cats at the Johnny Bucyk Arena in Creston.

“It was a great game,” said Nitehawks assistant coach Jamie Cominotto. “We played a full 60 minute hockey game that we’ve been looking for.”

The Hawks jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as the winning goal came in the first period on the power play off the unlikely stick of defenceman Jeremy Lucchini.

With the Cats’ leading scorer Brandon Formosa off for hooking, Dallas Calvin and Braden Fuller would set up Lucchini who buried his first of the playoffs past Creston goalie Brock Lefebvre with under a minute to go in the opening period to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.

“He (Lucchini) made a great read, he came in from the point and Fuller made just a fantastic play over to him and he made no mistake,” said Cominotto.

The Nitehawks opened the scoring with a short-handed goal by Taylor Stafford three minutes in, converting a pass from Ryan Edwards to put the Hawks up 1-0.

“It kind of lifted everyone up. It was good, it set the tone for the rest of the game.”

Trevor Hanna would tie it on a Cats power play 67 seconds later, but Braden Fuller would take a pass from Calvin, and beat Lefebvre to give the Hawks the lead for good.

The pair would team up again putting the Hawks up 4-1 early in the second period, and then the defense took over as B.V. completely shut the Cats down in the middle frame allowing just three shots on goaltender Brett Clark, despite giving up two power-play opportunities.

“Our goaltending has been solid, our defence has really stepped it up, so when our defence plays well and we limit shots to the outside it’s very tough to score against us,” says Cominotto.

Riley Brandt would make it 5-1 at 13:40 in the third period, sending the Thunder Cats into desperation mode. The Cats pulled their goalie midway through the period in an effort to generate some offence but Mitch Foyle would foil their plan scoring into an empty net to make it 6-1 with 8:04 to play.

The Cats Connor Kidd capitalized on a power play with 4:54 remaining but that was as close as Creston would get.

The line of Stafford, Fuller, and Calvin accounted for eight points on the night and has been an offensive force for the Hawks since mid-season.

“I think we’ve been playing together, me, Fuller, and Stafford, I think we’ve been together probably since Christmas and it’s gone really well,” said Calvin.

While Edwards, 13-17-30, and Calvin, 12-15-27,  lead the league in playoff and team scoring, Beaver Valley also has the capacity to spread out the offence when needed.

“We have a really deep set of forwards, and even D-men that are putting pucks in the net,” said Calvin. “We have four lines that score so on the nights where maybe guys like me and Edwards aren’t getting it done, there’s guys that are and we’re still finding ways to win games.”

With the win, the Hawks end the longest run ever of a Creston Valley Thunder Cats team that won it’s first Eddie Murdoch division title this season.

“They battled back from a 3-1 series deficit with Kimberley, so we knew they were never going to give up, so we knew we had to play our best game yesterday (Monday) and fortunately we were able to do that,” added Calvin.

The Nitehawks outshot the Thunder Cats 29-26.

Beaver Valley will meet the Kamloops Storm for the KIJHL title in Kamloops for the first two games on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. The series will go at the Hawks Nest on Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

Most Read