Nitehawks Austin McLean and the Cats Jack Couthard battle for the puck in Game 5 of the best-of-7 series. Photo: Jim Bailey

Creston Thunder Cats claw way back vs B.V. Nitehawks

Thunder Cats defeat the B.V. Nitehawks 5-3 on Tuesday to force Game 7 match in Murdoch semifinal

The Creston Thunder Cats stormed back to tie the series and force Game 7 in the Neil Murdoch division semifinal against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

Down 3-1 to the Nitehawks, Creston won back-to-back 5-3 matches on Monday in Fruitvale and Tuesday in Creston to tie the series at three games apiece and force the final game of the best-of-7 matchup on Thursday.

In Tuesday’s Game 6, Campbell Mclean tallied the game winner and sixth of the playoff with 4:25 remaining in the third period to give the Cats a 4-2 lead.

The victory coincides with a Nelson Leafs double overtime win over the Castlegar Rebels on Tuesday as well. The Leafs, also down three games to one, stormed back to tie the other Murdoch semifinal series at three and force Game 7.

After a scoreless first period, goals from Cooper Ross and Jesse Ihas gave the Nitehawks a 2-1 lead heading into the third. But Creston battled back with goals from Clayton Brown and Blake Anderson in the first six minutes to give the Cats a 3-2 lead.

B.V. forward Kelton McAuley brought the Hawks to within one with 3:17 to play, but an insurance marker from Nickolai Morrison into an empty net iced a 5-3 victory for the home team.

The Nitehawks outshot the Thunder Cats 36-30, and went 0-for-1 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the PK.

On Monday night, it was the Nitehawks who came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game at the end of 40 minutes.

However, Mclean netted a hat trick scoring twice in the final frame for the 5-3 final and Game 5 victory.

Beaver Valley will host the final match Thursday night at the Hawks Nest with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

Read: Thunder Cats scratch out Game 5 win over Nitehawks