KIJHL: Beaver Valley Nitehawks blank Grand Forks Border Bruins

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks shut out the Grand Forks Border Bruins 4-0 on Saturday.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks shut out the Grand Forks Border Bruins 4-0 on Saturday, thanks in part  to an injection of the new and the old into the lineup on Saturday.

Trail forward Michael Pruss scored on a power play at 16:46 of the first period converting a Jace Weeger pass to put the Hawks up 1-0. The Pruss goal, his second of the season and seventh point,  would prove to be all that B.V. needed.

“We had a solid effort,” said Nitehawks coach Terry Jones. “I’d like to think that we probably could have scored a few more goals in the game, we had a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t give up a lot of opportunities, and when we did Drake (Poirier) was very good so it was great to see him get a shutout.”

The Hawks welcomed back defenceman and Trail native Walker Sidoni to the lineup. A physical and mobile defenceman, Sidoni scored two goals and seven assists in 37 games for last year’s Keystone Cup winning team, while accumulating 68 minutes in penalities. The Hawks also picked up Devin Nemes from the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, who responded with two points in his first game as a Hawk.

“Walker’s first game back was just amazing, just a rock-solid performance,” said Jones. “And Devin Nemes also had a great start getting two assists in his first game.”

Nemes notched his first point setting up Sam Swanson to make it 2-0 at 6:56 of the first, before Mitch Foyle netted his 17th of the season on a short-handed effort to put the Hawks up 3-0 before the period was out.

Jacob Boycuk rounded out the scoring at 3:06 of the second period, with assists to Nemes and Brody Jennings.

The Nitehawks outshot the Bruins 36-24 with Poirier getting his 10th win in net and first shutout of the season.

Beaver Valley also finalized its roster, releasing three players, Alberta natives Kevin Henley and Jarod Broderson, and Vernon’s Hayden Chase, in order to meet the Dec. 1 carding deadline.

“It was really tough,” said Jones. “The guys totally bought into what we’re about and our culture, and how they worked, and were great guys off the ice as well, so it’s always difficult.”

With all the pieces in place, the Nitehawks will look to gain ground on top spot when they face the Castlegar Rebels on Wednesday in Castlegar. The Rebels, at 18-9-1-0-3 for 40 points, are five points up on the Hawks and a point behind division-leading Nelson at 18-7-2-1-3, however, B.V. has three games in hand on both teams.

“I’ve been happy with the group all year,” added Jones. “You hope you don’t have to make big changes, and I think we’re still very happy with our guys’ effort, it’s been unreal all year long. We’re building, heading in the right direction, and the bottom line is that I like how we’re working on and off the ice.”

The Nitehawks return to the Hawks Nest on Friday to host the Sicamous Eagles and travel to Fernie Saturday for a game against the Kootenay-Conference leading Ghostriders.