Hawks looking good down the stretch

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks will round out its January at home this weekend to face Creston Valley and Grand Forks.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks will round out its January at home this weekend to face the Creston Valley Thundercats and the Grand Forks Border Bruins.

The first month of 2016 got off to a rocky start for B.V. with losses to Kimberley and Castlegar, but the Nitehawks then reeled off five straight victories before getting upended by Columbia Valley Rockies 5-2 on Saturday in Invermere. The Hawks sit atop the Neil Murdoch division with 64 points, eight points up on Castlegar, and 22 on third place Grand Forks.

B.V.’s last meeting with the Thundercats was a forgettable 10-2 loss on Nov. 27 in Creston, and B.V. Will look for a different outing this time around. The 25-14-1-2 Cats hold down second place in the Eddie Mountain division, but have stumbled of late losing three of their last four matches, including a 7-2 thumping at the hands of the Castlegar Rebels last week.

B.V. then faces the always troublesome Border Bruins on Saturday. Grand Forks, at 19-20-0-4, clinched its first playoff berth in 20 years earlier this month, and have won three in a row, with consecutive wins over the Spokane Braves, Fernie Ghostriders, and Kelowna Chiefs.

The Nitehawks leads the season series 4-3, and Saturday’s game will be the final regular-season match between the two teams. Grand Forks has won all three of its games by 3-2 scores, two in overtime, thanks in large part to goaltender Anthony Galliart who took player of the game in each of the three matches, stopping 119 of 125 shots for a .952 save percentage.

With just nine games remaining the Hawks will look to finish January strong heading into the final month of the regular season.

The puck drop for the Creston game is 7:30 p.m. on Friday and the same time Saturday against the Bruins.