The Beaver Valley Nitehawks won their fifth straight game with a 3-1 victory over the Castlegar Rebels on Saturday. File photo.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks won their fifth straight game with a 3-1 victory over the Castlegar Rebels on Saturday. File photo.

Beaver Valley Nitehawks sweep division rivals

B.V. Nitehawks forward Morgan Peace tallies a hat trick against Border Bruins

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks swept their Murdoch Division rivals in a weekend homestand beating the Grand Forks Border Bruins 7-3 on Friday followed by a 3-1 defeat of the Castlegar Rebels on Saturday.

With the win over the Rebels, the Nitehawks celebrate their fifth straight victory, and climb to within two points of the Nelson Leafs for top spot in the division, following a Leafs 4-2 loss to the Columbia Valley Rockies on Saturday.

“I really like where we’re going as a team,” said Nitehawks head coach Terry Jones. “We’re seeing lots of improvement in lots of areas – really liking our team discipline, and I think every weekend we’re getting a little more structure to our game and we’re growing as a group, so at this point I’m very happy with where we are.”

The Nitehawks Brock Wallace was named the Game Star for his two assists in the 3-1 victory over the Rebels. With 11:52 to play in the opening period, Wallace made a slick pass to Paul Leroux who wired the puck off the crossbar and in for what proved to be the game winner and a B.V. 2-0 lead.

Beaver Valley improves to 6-2-0-0, while Castlegar has struggled this year with a 1-5-0-0 record. The early results bode well for a Nitehawks team that has come together since losing two of its first three games this season.

Related read: Nitehawks win big on road

“The games we lost against Columbia Valley and Nelson, they certainly exposed some of our weaknesses, and I think we’ve done our best to shore some things up,” said Jones. “I think we still have a long way to go. I really believe the league is wide open right now, and it’s going to come down to which team keeps getting better.”

Related read: B.V. grinds out two points from weekend tilts

Nitehawks forward Angus Amadio squeezed a shot through the five-hole of Rebels netminder Davyn LaRocke to put B.V. up 1-0 at 13:03. The goal was Amadio’s team-leading seventh of the season, as Beaver Valley outshot the Rebels 14-8 in the period.

The Nitehawks dominated the middle frame outshooting Castlegar 13-3 with a couple of power plays, but LaRocke stood tall in the Rebels net and gave his team a chance to respond in the third.

About five minutes into the final stanza, the Rebels Kole Halvorson tallied his first of the year with assists to Reid Wilson and Dallas Goodwin to cut the lead to 2-1. But, Hawks goalie Jacob Romanowski was sharp the rest of the way, earning his second win of the season, as Simon Nemethy iced it with an empty netter with 12 seconds to play.

Beaver Valley outshot the Rebels 39-20, went 0-for-5 on the power play, and were 1-for-1 on the PK.

On Friday night, the Border Bruins set the tone even before the puck drop taking a team-penalty for a warm-up violation. The rest of the game saw a steady stream of Bruins’ players head to the box, as Grand Forks racked up over 100 minutes in penalties, and gave B.V. 14 power-play opportunities to just five for the Bruins.

“I thought they were very undisciplined and I was actually ‘disappointed’ was the word I came up with,” said Jones. “They’re frustrated, obviously, but it’s something any team has to battle through. They took some ridiculous penalties, and it was a big factor in the game.”

Trail native Morgan Peace emerged from a slow start with conviction, netting a hat trick to lead B.V. to the 7-3 win.

The Nitehawks Bradley Ross and Leroux scored to put B.V. up 2-0 before Yoan Rodrigue replied for the Bruins with a first-period buzzer beater.

Dylan Kent made it 3-1, and Peace scored his first of three to give the Hawks a 4-1 lead midway through the second period. Briar Whyte replied for Grand Forks to make it 4-2 heading into the third as B.V. outshot the Bruins 23-11 through two.

Peace scored his second power-play goal at 4:31 to make it 5-2, but Rilee Poffenroth kept Grand Forks in it with his first of the season. However, the Nitehawks put the game away when Peace completed the hat trick with 2:42 to play and Ryan Crisalli made it 7-3 with just under a minute left.

“Morgan’s a great guy, and it’s nice to see him have some success. He works so hard, he’s a great leader, he gives it all he’s got all the time, so it was really nice to see him have that success, and there was some great plays made by his linemates to get him those goals.”

B.V. outshot the Bruins 42-20 and went 5-for-14 on the power play, while Grand Forks was 0-for-2. Peace broke out of an early slump with the hatty, while four other players also had three-point nights including Leroux (1G 2A), Michael Hagen (3A), Crisalli (1G, 2A), and Kent (1G, 2A).

B.V. hosts the Osoyoos Coyotes on Friday and the Nelson Leafs Saturday at the Hawks Nest at 7:30 p.m., before travelling to Grand Forks for a Sunday afternoon tilt versus the Grand Forks Border Bruins.