The Beaver Valley Nitehawks were hoping for better results when they faced the top two teams in the Kootenay Conference on the weekend.
However, the Hawks suffered a devastating third period collapse against the Nelson Leafs Friday, and couldn’t recover for its game against Kimberley Dynamiters on Sunday.
After leading 4-0, the Nitehawks allowed six third-period goals in the final nine minutes and 28 seconds in a 6-4 loss to Nelson Friday, then returned home only to have the Dynamiters roll over them in a 6-2 Kimberley win on Sunday.
While the losses are disappointing and frustrating, Nitehawk coach and GM Terry Jones is not pushing the panic button just yet.
“I look at it as a very positive thing,” said Jones following the Kimberley match. “The loss in Nelson we let the game get away from us and that lack of confidence carried into today.”
If anything, the J. L. Crowe teacher is looking at the losses to the top two teams in the Neil Murdoch and Eddie Mountain divisions as a learning experience
“It shows us that in practice we need to work a little bit harder on our details. We are not as good as we think we are, and we have to get back to the drawing board in terms of not only what we’re working on, but how we’re working on those things. It’s a disappointing weekend, we’d like to have won both games and been in first place, but we didn’t, and it exposed our weaknesses so we’re going to have to learn from that. ”
Jared Marchi had three assists and Brandon Bogdanek scored twice, while Jeremy Mousseau stopped 29 shots to carry the Dynamiters to their ninth win of the season, tops in the Eddie Murdoch division.
“We knew this game against Beaver Valley would be a real statement game, what with us being first place in our division, and we watch the stats and see them and Nelson both have good teams, so for us it was a really big win to come into their barn and get the two points tonight,” said Kimberley’s assistant coach Jeff Keiver.
The bounces were going Kimberley’s way right off the bat as they scored two of their first four goals from behind the net on bizarre bank ins off starting Hawks’ goaltender Grayson Sharpe, and the other two on goal-mouth scrambles.
Sharpe gave way to backup goalie Josh Round after Bogdanek made it 3-0 at 5:50 of the first, but Round couldn’t stem the Dynamite attack as it continued its assault on the Nitehawk net making it 4-0 on a goal by Tyson Klingspohn.
B.V. would respond early in the second when Mitch Foyle scored his second of the season, banging in a rebound off a Ryan Edwards shot. But Kimberley would get it back on a shorthanded effort by Marco Campanella who took a nice cross-ice pass from Jason Richter and wristed it into the open net.
Dallas Calvin would score at 5:04 after a slap pass ricocheted off a defender and past Mousseau to make it 5-2, but that’s as close as the Hawks would get.
“I didn’t think we were very good, we were poor in all areas of the ice,” said Jones.
“I mean early on you could say bad goals went in, but I thought our coverage defensively was weak, our forwards didn’t accomplish anything on the forecheck, and everything we talk about and work on we weren’t doing. I just thought to a man we got outworked.”
Tristan Pagura would finish the scoring late in the third keeping on a 2-on-1 and firing it top corner over the glove of Round. The Dynamiters outshot the Hawks 45-31.
As it did in Nelson, frustration got the better of the Hawks in the third period as they took five minor penalties to Kimberley’s one.
“Discipline and our lack of self-control (is a concern) with our yelling and swearing when things don’t go our way,” said Jones. “We’ve got a lot of growing up to do as a team.”
In the Hawks game against the Leafs on Friday, B.V. was leading 4-0 midway through the third period thanks to two goals and an assist by Calvin, but penalty trouble precipitated an unlikely Leaf comeback as Nelson scored six unanswered goals to swipe a 6-4 victory on Friday in Nelson. Travis Wellman scored his second of the night and what proved to be the winner on a powerplay with 1:48 to play in regulation to stun the Hawks.
Former Trail Smoke Eater Linden Horswill finished the scoring with 48 second left in regulation, as the Leafs outshot the Nitehawks 35-14, including 23-2 in the third period.
The Hawks were also called for 41 minutes in penalties, while the Leafs spent a total of four minutes in the penalty box.
The losses mean the Hawks fall to third spot in the Neil Murdoch division with an 8-4-0-0 record, behind Castlegar, 7-5-0-3, and Nelson at 10-0-1-1.
Trail native Jamie Vlanich had a six-point night as he collected two goals and four assists to lift the Nelson Leafs to a 6-5 win over the Grand Forks Border Bruins on Sunday. Vlanich sits second in KIJHL scoring with 29 points. Nelson is still without a loss in regulation and tops the KIJHL with 22 points.