KIJHL: B.V. Nitehawks hit the road before break

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks finish on the road before Christmas break as they travel to Grand Forks tonight and Fernie on Saturday.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks finish on the road before Christmas break as they travel to Grand Forks to face the Border Bruins tonight and Fernie on Saturday to play the Ghostriders.

The Nitehawks have yet to lose in the month of December, but will face a Border Bruins team that has had their number of late, winning three straight against the Hawks.

“We play to win, especially in our own division,” said Hawks assistant coach Bill Birks. “Friday is a big game in Grand Forks, they’ve kind of had our number and we have to turn the table on them. They’ve been unreal this year, definitely improved.”

The 14-16-0-1 Border Bruins have made huge strides this year and are currently in third place in the Neil Murdoch division, but are on a three-game slide after losses to Nelson, Golden, and Columbia Valley last week.

The Bruins also suffered a major setback on Saturday against Columbia Valley when a melee broke out in the third period involving the Bruins’ top scoring forwards Dylan Haney and Jordan Robertson. Both were ejected with less than two minutes remaining for fighting, given game misconducts, and will miss tonight’s match up against the Nitehawks.

The Nitehawks will face a former teammate in Nelson native Coleton Dawson who was released at the Dec. 1 deadline, but was picked up by Fernie last week.

The 18-9-0-3 Ghostriders are tied for second in the Eddie Mountain division of the Kootenay Conference and are coming off a pair of convincing wins over Golden and Spokane last weekend. Their only loss in the past eight games was a 4-3 overtime setback to the Castlegar Rebels on Dec. 5. The Hawks will also have to neutralize the league’s top scorer in Cole Keebler who has 24 goals and 48 points in 30 games.

Beaver Valley seems to be settling in now having finally settled its goaltending tandem, and getting Sam Swanson back from injury.

The addition of goaltender Tallon Kramer has solidified the back end, and with the return of Kyle Hope, Ryan Neil, and Lyle Frank imminent, the future looks bright for the surging Hawks.

“It’s nice to have two goalies,” said Birks. “It’s nice to have Tallon Kramer coming in, he’s got some Alberta Junior experience and the two games he’s played he’s played unreal. He works hard in practice, a good kid in the room, and it helps he has some buddies from Grande Prairie on the team to make him feel a little more comfortable, he’s a good addition for sure.”

The Nitehawks next home game goes at 7 p.m. on Dec. 29 against the Castlegar Rebels.