The Beaver Valley Nitehawks weathered an intense Kamloops Storm team on Friday in a 2-1 victory at the Hawks Nest, but followed that up with a tough 4-2 loss to the Ghostriders in Fernie on Saturday.
Beaver Valley dominated the Storm, as far as scoring chances go, but an undisciplined Kamloops team lost their cool in the third, as the Hawks stayed disciplined in handing Kamloops its 11th loss of the season.
“I thought we really held our discipline on Friday for the most part,” said Nitehawks head coach Terry Jones. “Unfortunately, we lost Brock Wallace in the last minute, which ended up being a suspension for Saturday, and that had some impact (on the loss to Fernie) for sure… It’s the time of year now where teams get a bit closer and teams are a little bit more competitive, rosters are being settled, so I think that’s where we’re at.”
Ethan Jang scored the game winner at 17:29 of the third period, taking a breakaway pass from Lucas Anselmo and wiring a shot past Storm goalie Ethan Paulin-Hatch for a 2-1 lead.
With the weekend split, the 10-3-1-2 Nitehawks trail the Murdoch Division leading Nelson Leafs, 11-2-0-3, by two points.
“I just think we have to worry about us,” said Jones. “They (the Leafs) have been on a roll, but we’ve only played them once, we’re going to play them five more times, so it’s just about us becoming better and focus what we’re doing. As I reflect on our weekend, there’s lots of little things we just need to get better at.”
The Hawks have been plagued again by injury with captain Morgan Peace, Marty Ingram, and Hunter Young out of the line up, and top forwards Simon Nemethy and Angus Amadio just back from injury.
“We always seem to have too many guys banged up and our injuries certainly are a factor and we need to get some health back.”
After a scoreless first period, Jared Stocks put Beaver Valley up 1-0, flying in on a breakaway and lifting a backhand over the pad of a sprawling Paulin-Hatch at 14:50 of the second.
Kamloops tied it, however, with three minutes left in the middle frame, as Yewta Plamondon beat Hawks goalie Kevin Engman.
Paulin-Hatch kept the Storm in the game as B.V. outshot the visitors 14-2 in the final frame, and threw 45 shots at the Kamloops net, compared to 12 for the Storm.
The visiting coach and players came unhinged in the third, with Plamondon getting ejected for two misconducts and a non-fighting game misconduct early in the third, and the Storm’s Brett Mero drew Wallace into a fight in the final minute for the one-game suspension. The Storm racked up 81 minutes in penalties, compared to 33 for B.V.
On Saturday in Fernie, the Nitehawks battled back from a 2-0 deficit on goals from Marcus McEachern and Zachary Park. However, Fernie’s Aiden Gleisner scored with 42 seconds remaining in regulation to score the game winner, and Daniel Lindeman iced it with an empty netter with 26 ticks left on the clock.
The shots on goal were 36-36, with Chance Griffith earning the win, and the Hawks Saran Virdee the loss.
Despite the setback, Jones is confident the team will rebound when they face off against the Thunder Cats in Creston on Friday and the Border Bruins in Grand Forks on Saturday.
“As a team you have to play the right way, and I thought our practices have lacked the urgency to do things right,” said Jones. “When you’re 10-2 you can get a little complacent, so I believe losing is a good thing, and teaches you a lot. We’ll get back to the drawing board this week, and we’ll be better.”