The Beaver Valley Nitehawks dropped the second game of the Neil Murdoch division series against Castlegar Rebels 4-2 Tuesday, but have to be content with returning to the Hawks’ Nest tonight with a split.
Despite the loss, the Hawks are on even terms with this year’s KIJHL champion, the Castlegar Rebels, and, with two wins at home, can take a stranglehold on the series. The Hawks won Game 1, 3-2, in Castlegar effectively wrestling home ice advantage away from the Rebels.
But Castlegar evened the series on the strength of a 30-save performance from Jordan Gluck, and three third-period goals including a rare winning marker from defenceman Aaron Brewer.
Brewer, a Castlegar native, notched his first goal of the playoffs at 15:49 of the third period, taking a pass from Travis Wellman and beating Hawks goalie Jarrod Schamerhorn to give the Rebels a 3-1 lead.
The Rebels led 1-0 after the first, but Beaver Valley poured it on in the second, and with two Rebels in the penalty box, Dan Vlanich would tie it blasting a shot past Gluck.
Castlegar struck quickly in the third. Less than three minutes in Diego Bartlett netted his fourth of the playoff with Brendan Heinrich and Erik Alden getting the assists. After Brewer extended the lead by two, the Hawks would get it back when Nick Perez ripped a pass from Connor Brown-Maloski past Gluck to make it 3-2.
But the one goal deficit was very short lived as Jamie Vlanich would team up with Bartlett 11 seconds later and beat Schamerhorn at 14:33 for the insurance marker.