The Beaver Valley Nitehawks will look for solace at home as they try to put an end to it’s three-game losing skid when they face the Nelson Leafs on Saturday at the Beaver Valley Arena.
The Nitehawks played a rough stretch of five-games-in-six days last week, culminating in a 7-4 loss to Castlegar Sunday. However, with six days off, they’ll be fresh and looking to make a statement against the Leafs who started the Hawks losing skid New Years Eve handing them a 7-4 loss.
With the time off, the Nitehawks coach and GM Terry Jones’ recipe to end the skid is simple.
“We get back to work,” said Jones. “We haven’t had any practice for a considerable length of time, and so now we have to go and have some good practices. The season gets shorter from here on in and you have to start using your time to get better.”
The Leafs have undergone a bit of a resurgence since a coaching change saw Mario Dibella assume the reigns after former coach David McLellan and assistant Greg Andrusak suddenly resigned.
In addition, forward Rayce Miller and defenceman Max Daerendinger, two key players who had been out with injuries since November, have been cleared to play. The team also has Austin Anselmo back following his two-game suspension. DiBella also called up major midget goaltender Curt Doyle, who was exceptional in the win over B.V., and affiliate player Reese Tambellini.
“They’ve been energized by the coaching change,” said Jones. “I don’t think they’ve made many personnel changes but they’ve got a few guys back from injury, and their top line played extremely well, and I also thought their AP goalie played extremely well, so it gave them a chance.”
The Nitehawks are almost back to health with the return of Kyle Hope before the new year, but captain Lyle Frank is still out with a lower-body injury.
The puck drop for the game against Nelson is 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Hawks will then hit the road for a game against Spokane on Sunday at 2 p.m.