The Beaver Valley Nitehawks’ forward Jace Weegar scored twice including the winning goal to lead the Hawks to a 7-2 victory over the Castlegar Rebels on Saturday at the Beaver Valley Arena.
Weegar, a six-foot-two Grande Prairie native, finished a pretty cross-ice pass from Michael Pruss, and one-timed it into the open net to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead at 14:49 of the second period.
The Nitehawks dominated Castlegar, bombarding the Rebels net with 60 shots, and going 4-for-7 on the power play, including three extra-man markers in the third period to ice it.
Despite the win, the Hawks slipped into third spot in the Neil Murdoch division standings as the Spokane Braves went on a tear, winning three games this weekend including a 4-3 victory over the front-running Nelson Leafs on Sunday. The Braves also beat Columbia Valley 7-4 Friday, and shut out Creston Valley 3-0 Sunday to leap-frog the Hawks, who played just the one game Saturday, and sit two points back of Spokane with 23 points.
Veteran forward Taylor Stafford had another great game for the Nitehawks opening the scoring on the power play at 4:51 of the first period. Braydon Horcoff wired a pass from Ross Armour, but Rebel goalie Austin Wells made a nice pad save only to have Stafford cash in the rebound. The game remained 1-0 through the first as both Wells and Hawks goalie Drake Poirier made several big saves to keep it close.
The Rebels would tie it just over two minutes into the second period on an unassisted goal by Travis Wilkie whose point shot deflected off a Hawk defender and past Poirier.
But Tyler Hartman and Taylor Stafford would team up for the Hawks second goal, as Hartman banged in a Stafford’s goal-mouth pass at 16:41. Weegar would notch the winner less than two minutes later, and would net his second of the night at 10:17 on a great individual effort, picking up his own rebound and beating Wells with a spinning backhand shot to give the Hawks a 4-1 lead heading into the third.
Three straight power play goals in the third period by the Hawks’ Stafford, McKoy Hauk, and Armour put B.V. up 7-1 before the Rebels Konnor Madson scored the final goal at 4:40.
Stafford’s four-point night led the Hawks, while Horcoff added three assists, and Weegar netted his seventh and eighth goals of the season to go with his first assist. Armour also notched a three-point night with a goal and two assists, while Hartman added a goal and one helper.
Poirier had one of his best efforts in net for the Hawks stopping 37 shots on the night, several of the spectacular variety.