The Beaver Valley Nitehawks erupted for four goals in the second period to overcome a 2-1 first-period deficit on their way to a 7-2 drubbing of the Grand Forks Border Bruins Saturday at the Hawks Nest.
After dropping a close 2-1 decision to the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Friday, the Hawks recovered their scoring touch as Spencer McLean picked up four points including the winning goal, and the Hawks netted two short-handed markers from Tyler Hartman and Brayden Horcoff to get their 14th win of the season.
“It was a good to see a positive response to the result on Friday we weren’t happy with,” said assistant coach Kevin Limbert.
McLean broke in on a 2-on-1 with Tyler Hartman, and after taking the Hartman pass, the 16-year-old Montrose native wired a snap shot over the blocker of Bruins goalie Jacob Mullen to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead at 12:43 of the second period. It was McLean’s biggest output of the season, adding three assists to go along with his winning goal, for five goals and 12 assists this year.
“He’s a kid that’s continually working hard and doesn’t always get the bounces or the points that he maybe deserves, but it was really good to see his hard work pay off,” said Limbert.
McLean set up Hartman on the Hawks first goal, a short-handed effort at 16:02 of the first. But Reid Robinson’s shot off the backboards took a funny bounce and caromed in off the back of the Hawks’ goalie Carson Schamerhorn to tie it at one.
The Border Bruins would take the lead at 5:47 of the first period, when Lincoln Lane ripped a wrister from the slot that deflected off the defender and in the net to make it 2-1.
Schamerhorn shut the door after that, and Jacob Boyczuk would tie it four minutes into the second, breaking down the right side then firing a quick snapshot top corner on Mullen to net his first of two goals in the game.
After McLean made it 3-2, Braydon Horcoff would outrace the Grand Forks defenceman and beat Mullen on a breakaway for the Hawks second short-handed goal of the night and a 4-2 lead.
McLean would set up Mitch Foyle who blasted a shot through traffic to round out the second period scoring as the Hawks outshot the Bruins 24-7 in the period.
Foyle and Boyczuk would each add their second goal of the night in the third to ice it. Foyle, a Fruitvale native, netted his 16th of the season to go along with 13 assists, already surpassing his 10-15-25 total from last year. The Nitehawks went 0-for-2 on the power play and outshot the Border Bruins 55-27.
On Friday, the Nitehawks started strong but couldn’t maintain their first-period intensity, falling to the Thunder Cats 2-1 to mark the midway point of the season. After a scoreless first period in which the Hawks outshot the Cats 11-4, Lyle Frank opened the scoring 30 seconds into the middle frame on a set up from Boyczuk and Horcoff. However, Alex Wilkinson would tie it 91 seconds later on a power play, and the Kyle Richter would net the winner at 14:15 of the third on another power-play goal to round out the scoring.
“We were a little inconsistent,” added Limbert. “We started out strong, had a good first period, but kind of tapered off as the game wore on; the second was very average and our third just wasn’t good enough. It’s been tough to find that consistency.”
Creston outshot the Hawks 24-23 with Drake Poirier taking the loss in net for B.V. and Mitch Martell getting the win for the Cats.