Beaver Valley Nitehawks road warriors

KIJHL: The Beaver Valley Nitehawks win three on road to take over top spot in Murdoch Division

Beaver Valley Nitehawks rookie forward Philippe Lessard couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first goal of the season.

The Edmonton native scored the game winner on Sunday in a 5-3 victory over the Summerland Steam to cap off a three-wins-in-three-days road swing through the Okanagan.

Related read: Beaver Valley Nitehawks tame Grizzlies

The Nitehawks were winless on the road prior to the weekend, losing in overtime to Kimberley and Grand Forks to start the season and once in regulation to the Border Bruins. However, a trip to the Okanagan took care of their road woes with B.V. skating to a 3-2 victory over the Princeton Posse on Friday, a 6-2 drubbing of North Okanagan Knights Saturday and a come-from-behind 5-3 win over the Summerland Steam on Sunday.

The Hawks trailed the Steam 3-2 heading into the third period, but a three-goal outburst lifted the Nitehawks to the victory with Lessard scoring the game winner by tallying his first of the season midway through the final frame for a 4-3 B.V. lead.

Summerland jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Morey Babakaiff beat Hawks goalie Kevin Engman 64 seconds into the first period.

The Nitehawks drew even on the power play with Nathan Ingram scoring on a set up from Marcus McEachern and Jess Ihas at 12:18. Ingram and Angus Amadio then assisted on a shorthanded goal by Bradley Ross, his eighth of the season, at 9:38 for a 2-1 B.V. lead.

However, the Steam continued to press in the Nitehawks zone and with 8:23 left in the period Austin O’Neil scored his fourth goal of the campaign to tie it.

Lane French put the Steam ahead 3-2 with just over four minutes to play in the opening frame, as Summerland outshot B.V. 13-9.

After a scoreless second period, in which the Hawks turned the tables and fired 17 shots at the Steam net, B.V. battled back in the third.

Hawks veteran Angus Amadio tied the game at 12:22 beating Summerland goalie Darby Tipton with assists to Ross and Zachary Park.

Luke Anselmo and Morgan Peace set up Lessard for the game winner at 10:01, and Amadio added his second of the night scoring on the power play for the 5-3 final at 8:20.

B.V. outshot the Steam 37-35, went 2-for-6 on the power play, and 5-for-6 on the PK, with Amadio earning game star for the Hawks.

The 6-1-0-2 Nitehawks take over sole possession of first place in the Neil Murdoch Division, having earned at least a point in eight of the nine games played this season. Ross, a Trail native, is tied for the league lead in scoring with eight goals and 18 points, and Amadio, a Calgary product, is not far behind with five goals and 14 points.

On Saturday night, B.V. faced the Bill Ohlhausen Division leading Knights in Armstrong. The Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead on goals from Marcus McEachern and Ross.

The Knights Kyle Bax cut the lead in half, but Zachary Park restored the two goal lead on a power-play goal late in the second frame. Tyler Cheetham brought North OK to within one at 15:24 of the third period, but goals from Ross, Simon Nemethy, and Brock Wallace sealed the win for the Nitehawks.

The Knights outshot the Hawks 30-27 with B.V. goalie Hunter Young getting the win. The Nitehawks went 2-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the PK. Ross scored twice and added an assist, while Wallace pitched in with a goal and two assists.

In addition to Nemethy, the Nitehawks have also enjoyed the return of veteran defenceman Wallace to the lineup after missing the first five games with injury. The six-foot-five Grande Prairie native has five points in four games and bolstered the backend with 14 penalty minutes. His goal on Saturday also equalled his goal-scoring total from last year (2).

On Friday night, Amadio scored twice and Wallace netted his first of the season to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead heading into the final frame against Princeton. The Posse netted two in the third, but B.V. held on for the 3-2 victory. Saran Virdee earned the win stopping 25 shots while former Kootenay Ice netminder, Jaysen MacLean, stopped 27 for the Knights.

Beaver Valley returns to the Hawks Nest this weekend and host Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday and the Chase Heat on Saturday, with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

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