Hawks have hope

At least in the Kootenay Conference, KIJHL playoffs are proceeding as expected.

At least in the Kootenay Conference, KIJHL playoffs are proceeding as expected.

The top two teams in their respective Murdoch and Mountain divisions are currently competing for the conference championship and the league’s runaway first place squad is ahead of the overall fifth-place team, 3-1.

Beaver Valley fans would be wise, however, not to be too comfortable about the Nitehawks inevitable advance.

Beaver Valley is in the same position they occupied in the last series, with Castlegar. Up two games and going home with a chance to clinch. Memory serves to remind us all that that series went very, very deep into game seven before the Nitehawks, coming back from a two-goal deficit, edged the Rebels for the division crown.

It isn’t as if nobody expected Fernie to be a tough opponent. The Ghostriders swept their first round series, then held off a very strong Kimberley club in seven games, just the way Beaver Valley advanced past Castlegar.

It behooves Nitehawks fans to bring, en masse, a strongly positive vibe into the Hawks’ Nest tonight.

With the other semi-final also having the potential to end tonight, a series-closing Beaver Valley victory tonight could be very helpful, even instrumental, in the Nitehawks getting where they want, and are expected, to go – to a league title and beyond.

On the other side of the playoff split, nothing is as expected. The fourth seeds from both the Doug Birks (Okanagan) and Shuswap divisions, neither of which would have finished above fourth on the Kootenay side of the KIJHL , are currently fighting for the chance to play the Nitehawks/Ghostriders winner. It seems likely, therefore, the winner between Beaver Valley and Fernie will be strongly favoured to advance to the provincial championship round.

All the more reason tonight’s valley tilt is important. A win for the Nitehawks will allow at least as much rest for Beaver Valley players as the Okanagan winner will get, and reduce the risk of injury high-stress playoff hockey presents.

I am sure the Nitehawks are aware of all this, but, given their lethargy in the early half of game seven against the Rebels, it wouldn’t hurt for a big supportive crowd to be on hand to remind them.

On the BCHL front – some seem surprised that the Merritt Centennials, of all teams, swept their playoff round against the Prince George Spruce Kings.

The Kings are big and strong, have the league’s top scorer and three of the top 14. The Kings put an end to the Penticton Vees epic winning streak on the season’s last weekend. Merritt’s top scorer, their only one in the top 20 in the BCHL, sat just above Prince George’s fourth place point getter.

But, it’s a team game. Merritt is better organized and balanced, perhaps a little faster, and with their playoff sweep has handled the Spruce Kings seven straight times.

The surprise in the BCHL is that Penticton, a legendary regular season powerhouse, has its hands full with the fourth place Chilliwack Chiefs, who have actually outscored Penticton, 7-6, in winning two of the last three games in that series, which is tied, 2-2.

During the regular season, Penticton’s top nine scorers all produced more stats than Chilliwacks leading point getter and the Chiefs were the last BCHL team to secure a playoff spot

I still expect the Vees to face the Centennials in the interior finals, but it is not a given, never was.

Just Posted

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

For Your Consideration
Brokeback Facebook: I wish I knew how to quit you!

Thom is inspired by the proliferation of viral inane questions to reevaluate his social media use

The author during GoByBike Week. Taking a break from all that high-flying on the Isador Canyon Trail. Photo: Christina Blaskovich
The auto and the bike: A paean to them both

One becomes an extension of one’s self. The other offers the sensation of flight.

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read