Beaver Valley Nitehawks captain Morgan Peace wasn’t too concerned about the two overtime road losses to start the season, he knew the Hawks would turn it around at home.
The Nitehawks rocketed out of the gate on Friday against the 100 Mile House Wranglers, scoring six goals in the first period on their way to an 8-1 win, then jumped out to a 3-1 first period lead against the Eagles on Saturday and held on for a 4-3 victory.
“We had a lot of guys come back this year, we have a lot of potential, we just need to outwork teams now,” said Peace. “We have the talent, I think, we just have to put our minds to it and put in a full 60.”
Bradley Ross’s game-winning tally came off the draw just past the midway point of the second period when Angus Amadio made a couple slick moves down low and fed Ross alone in front for a 4-1 Trail lead.
The win puts the Nitehawks record at 2-0-0-2, atop the Neil Murdoch Division standings, and although still early in the season, the home team looked poised and confident in their two opening home games.
“We’ve got the size and the speed, and as long as we’re using it all the time, I think we can take anybody in the league,” said Peace.
Brayden Haskell’s power play goal 3:08 into the first period gave Sicamous a 1-0 lead, but the Nitehawks soon responded with a Mathew Babiak goal at 12:19.
After the Eagles Logan Mitchell was sent off for elbowing at 11:43, Quaid Anderson made it 2-1, scoring on the power play on a setup from Peace. Hawks forward Ethan Jang notched his third goal of the season just 35 seconds later for a 3-1 lead.
The 20-year-old Peace served as co-captain with Jake Yuris on last year’s squad and is a three-year veteran of the Hawks. The six-foot-two Trail product will take on more responsibility this year, but has a seasoned cast of assistants to back him.
“This is my last year, so I feel like the team is even tighter this year, and I want to make the last one a good one,” said Peace. “So I’m taking the reins here, doing everything I can in the community that we’re involved in and feel like I’ve taken on a bigger role here as the captain.”
The second period was marked by a string of four Majors including three unsportsmanlike misconducts handed out to a frustrated Eagles team. However, Sicamous goalie Cole Steinke kept his team in the match, making several big saves following Ross’ goal at 7:57.
Sicamous battled back in the third. After a failed clearing attempt, Isaac Thomas’ shot from the point was deflected by Jaimes Guidon to cut the lead to 4-2 at 15:35.
Sicamous continued to press, and with just under five minutes to play Trysten Brookman collided with Engman as he attempted to clear the puck behind net. Brookman gathered up the puck and fired it at the goal. The Trail native made the save but was off balance when Brookman slipped in the rebound.
Engman closed the door after that, earning his first victory as a Nitehawk, as Sicamous outshot the Hawks 13-8 in the third period in a physical and entertaining match up.
The final shots on goal were even at 36-36, with both teams going 1-for-4 on the power play.
Amadio earned home star for the Nitehawks and Steinke for the Eagles.
In Friday’s match, the Nitehawks scored six times on 10 shots to take a 6-1 lead into the second period, on their way to an 8-1 victory. The Hawks line of Ross, Amadio, and Zach Park caught fire combining for 10 points. Ross scored twice and assisted on two goals, Amadio added four assists, and Park two goals, while Jang, Kevin Duguid, Jared Stocks, and Dayton Nelson also scored for B.V.
“We have some unreal rookies coming in,” said Peace. “We have Zach Park who AP’d for us last year, we have Jarred Macasso and Marcus McEachern who are showing lots of potential. Our rookies are looking really good, once they get into the swing of things, I know we’ll really catch fire as a team.”
100 Mile House outshot the Hawks 32-23, and were 1-for-5 on the power play. B.V. went 2-for-6. Ross was named player of the game for B.V. and Quinn Mulder for the Wranglers.
“I’m really excited for this year,” added Peace. “We got Saran (Virdee) back, and he’s looking really good on the back end, and I think we just have a couple of things to take care of then we’ll really take off.”
Beaver Valley’s next game goes on Friday in Grand Forks against the Border Bruins, the Hawks then return home for a Saturday tilt against the Revelstoke Grizzlies.