Grand Forks Galliart steals game

Nitehawks look to wrap up series at home

It was only a matter of time before Grand Forks Border Bruins goalie Anthony Galliart stole a game from the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

The Border Bruins stayed alive with a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 4 of the best-of-seven Neil Murdoch division final on Wednesday in Grand Forks.

The Nitehawks hoped to eliminate the Border Bruins after taking a 3-0 series lead, but Galliart stopped 40 shots to backstop his team to a 2-1 overtime win.

The winning goal was scored on the power play after McKoy Hauk was called for a delay of game penalty late in the first overtime. Chad Grambo beat Tallon Kramer with 1:05 remaining to give the Bruins their first win in the second round playoff, and issue the Nitehawks their first loss in eight playoff matches.

Keillan Olson put the Hawks up 1-0 on the power play at the 3:43 mark of the opening frame, finishing a nice setup from Brett Roberts and Devin Nemes as B.V. blasted 15 shots at the Grand Forks net while the Bruins managed just four against the Hawks in the period.

The Border Bruins found some life in the second period and Austin Dean tied it on a power play at 7:13, scoring his fifth goal in the postseason. The teams traded chances in the second and throughout the third as the spirited game turned into a game of next-goal wins.

However, both Kramer and Galliart would not be beat in the third period despite each team trading power-play opportunities.

B.V. held a 13-8 edge in shots in the period and outshot Grand Forks 41-23 in the game.

The Hawks’ power play was humming along at an 8-for-27 clip or 30 per cent success rate in the playoffs, but were just 1-for-9 on the  power play on Wednesday, while Grand Forks was 2-for-6.

Away from home, the Hawks PP is 3-for-17, or 17 per cent, while at the Hawks Nest it’s 6-for-19, 31.58 per cent. Solid special teams are vital to a successful playoff run and so far, BV has been up near the top of the list in power play and penalty kill.

Their PK is almost perfect at home, 1-for-18, and slightly worse away from home, 3-for-19.

Meanwhile, in the other Kootenay Conference match up, the Kimberley Dynamiters swept the Creston Valley Thundercats in four straight with a 4-3 overtime victory, while in the Okanagan-Shushwap Conference Wednesday, the Summerland Steam beat the Osoyoos Coyotes 5-4 in OT to even their series at 2-2.

The Nitehawks return to the Hawks Nest on Friday for Game 5 against the Border Bruins at 7:30 p.m. If necessary, the teams will play a Game 6 in Grand Forks on Saturday, with Game 7 scheduled for Monday in Beaver Valley.

The winner of the series faces the Dynamiters for the Kootenay Conference championship.

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