The Beaver Valley Nitehawks lost their second game in a row this week and surrendered their claim on top spot of the Neil Murdoch division, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Fernie Ghostriders on Friday.
The Nitehawks line up has been rocked by injury and illness of late with regulars Ryan Edwards, Russell Mortlock, captain Archie McKinnon, Kyle Hope, Jacob Boyzuk, and goaltender Grayson Sharpe still ailing. The Hawks travelled to Fernie with just 13 regulars and AP s Mitch Titus and Jake Yuris in tow, and despite outshooting the Ghostriders, 31-27, too many penalties eventually took its toll.
Fernie’s Dylan Robertson scored the winning goal on a power play at 3:47 of the second period to break a 1-1 deadlock and lift the Ghostriders to the win. After Fraser Stang was sent off for a slash, Robertson converted a pass from Josh Terves to give the Ghostriders a 2-1 lead.
Fernie enjoyed 10 power-play opportunities to the Nitehawks three, and cashed in on two, just enough to give them the victory.
The Hawks Dallas Calvin opened the scoring at 7:37 of the opening frame, sending a Taylor Stafford pass by Fernie goalie Austin Wells. Calvin has scored three of the Nitehawks four goals in the team’s latest two losses against Creston Tuesday, 7-3, and Fernie Friday.
The Ghostriders would tie it at 11:03 of the second when Joel Burgess made a great individual effort and beat the Hawks goalie Brett Clark to tie it at 1-1. After Robertson’s go ahead tally and 13th goal of the season, Aaron Neufeld would add the insurance marker on another PP midway through the third to draw Fenie to within one point of second place Kimberley Dynamiters in the Eddie Murdoch division standings.
Meanwhile in other KIJHL action, a six-point weekend from Trail native and league-leading scorer Jamie Vlanich helped lift the Nelson Leafs to a four point lead in the Neil Murdoch division over the Nitehawks.
Vlanich had a goal and an assist in a 6-2 win over the Spokane Braves on Friday and followed that up with a two-point night in a 5-1 win over Fernie Saturday, to give the Leafs 73 points to the Hawks 69. However, B.V. has an all-important two games in hand.
With just seven games remaining in the regular season, Beaver Valley have a crucial home-and-home series next weekend against Nelson, in what could be a deciding factor in the race for the division title.