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B.V. Nitehawks fall to Leafs, after shootout win over Wranglers

Beaver Valley Nitehawks remain in first place in Neil Murdoch Division with 2-1 record this week

A shorthanded Beaver Valley Nitehawks team fell to the Nelson Leafs 4-3 on Sunday, after a thrilling shootout win over 100 Mile House Wranglers on Friday.

The Leafs battled back from a 2-0 deficit scoring four straight on their way to their first victory over their Neil Murdoch Division rival this season.

Caden Still tallied his first of the season and what proved to be the game winning goal on a set up from Parker White and Crae Dawson, beating Nitehawks goalie Connor Stojan with 6:25 to play in the third period for a 4-2 lead.

The Nitehawks were without at least six players due to injury, illness, suspension and the KIJHL Top Prospects game. Trail defenceman Will Caputo and forwards Nathan Simm from Rossland and Fruitvale’s Connor Drake were selected to Team KIJHL and left for Kamloops to play in the Top Prospects match on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Nelson had no players selected, but will be represented by assistant coach Briar McNaney and manager Lance Morey.

In addition, the Hawks are without defenceman Brody Martini for at least a month with a lower body injury, top forward Ollie Clement, who received a two-game suspension for boarding on Nov. 24, and Joel Smyth with illness.

The Nitehawks opened the scoring when Jake Geronazzo banged in a rebound off a Roan Crowe shot at 3:55 of the first period.

The play went end to end until Hawks defenceman Lucas Gartner sniped a shot top shelf for a power-play goal with 2:26 to play in the first period for a 2-0 lead.

The Leafs mounted their comeback in the second, with Nolan Wytrykusz scoring 44 seconds into the period on a centering pass from Dawson Davis.

The teams went back and forth for the rest of the period, until the Leafs’ Jackson MacIntosh scored his first of the season with eight seconds left in the middle frame to tie it.

Nelson came out determined in the third, and took the lead on a goal from Xaiden Bignell 7:25 in.

After Still netted the fourth Leafs goal, the Nitehawks struck with Cade Reder tallying his fifth to cut the lead to 4-3 with just over two minutes remaining. However, that is as close as the home team would get.

Nelson outshot B.V. 36-29 and were 0-for-5 on the power play, while the Nitehawks went 1-for-4.

In Friday’s match, Adam Redding scored in a shootout to lift the Nitehawks to a 3-2 victory over the Wranglers.

The Nitehawks held the edge in play through two periods but trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes.

Beaver Valley tied it when forward Hunter Hansen notched his fifth of the campaign less than a minute into the final frame. The Hawks stormed the Wranglers net in the third, outshooting 100-MH 22-3 but goalie Ivan Tolsma came up big through the rest of the period and OT.

In the first round of the shootout, the teams each scored one forcing sudden death. Nitehawks starter Landin Uzeloc stymied the fourth and fifth Wrangler shooters, setting up the game winner for Redding.

The Nitehawks outshot 100 Mile House 50-23 and went 0-for-3 on the power play, and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Beaver Valley is in first place in the Murdoch Division at 14-6-0-1, while the 9-11-1-0 Leafs remain in fourth.

B.V. will host the Grand Forks Border Bruins on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and travel to Creston Saturday for a match against the Thunder Cats.

READ: Trail Smoke Eaters go to OT versus Vipers and Cents


Jim Bailey

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