The Beaver Valley Nitehawks took the good with the bad this week as it reclaimed a veteran forward, but also lost a talented new recruit.
Like a shot of B-12, Dallas Calvin injected some needed experience into the Nitehawks youthful lineup when he returned to the Hawks’ nest earlier this week.
“I’m really happy to be back with the Hawks and excited to get playing and do whatever I can to help the Hawks win another league title,” said Calvin in an email.
The 17-year-old Calvin played the past two seasons with the Hawks, amassing 117 points in 84 games.
“A guy like Dallas is so skilled and he makes everyone around him better,” said Hawks assistant coach Jeremy Cominotto. “He’s just a great kid off the ice as well, so he’ll be a huge boost for our team in the dressing room as well as on the ice.”
However, the Hawks did lose Woburn, Mass. native Dan Holland who returned home this week. The 19-year-old forward scored four points in four games with the Hawks this season.
“He had an opportunity back in Boston to play with his brother, so he thought at this time it was his best opportunity to play at a high level.”
With 13 rookies in the Beaver Valley line up, question marks loomed as to how good the Nitehawks would be this year. The team responded by picking up six of a possible eight points to start the season.
“We’re pretty happy with our start so far,” said Cominotto. “When you have to rebuild your team like we have, you have to be happy with that, it’s been a great response from the boys.”
Defenceman Nick Perez leads the team in scoring with two goals and four assists, followed by impressive rookie Connor Brown-Maloski with five points. But the veteran defenceman’s offensive output is not surprising, says Cominotto.
“Nick’s a fairly offensively gifted guy, he’s got a great shot, he sees the ice well, and right now he’s playing with tremendous confidence, so when you can put all those three things into one basket, the skies the limit for him.”
The Hawks also reaped the rewards of the return of Ryan Edwards to the ice against Castlegar Saturday. Edwards missed the opening three games with a lower-body injury, buy made up for it, scoring twice and adding an assist in the B.V.s 5-1 win over the Rebels.
The Nitehawks play a home-and-home this weekend with the Nelson Leafs, who enjoy a relatively healthy return of veterans including one of their best players last season, Colton Schell. The 20-year-old was their third leading point-getter with 23 goals, 42 assists for 65 points in 48 games, and he leads the team in scoring this year with a goal and five assists in four games.
Joining Schell are 11 other veterans including Carson Willians, J. J. Beitel, Linden Horswill, Mathew Naka, James Sorrey, and Blake Arcuri. The Leafs are a point behind the Hawks with two wins, a loss, and a tie, and Castlegar currently tied with the Hawks for top spot in what should be a very tight and entertaining Neil Murdoch division in 2012-13.
“Nelson’s got a good team and they have a few returning guys as well. We expect Nelson, Castlegar to be a battle every night. It’s good for the league and it’s something that our team needs early on so the young guys get a taste of what its like to play in our division and to play at a high level.”
The Nitehawks host the Leafs at the Beaver Valley. Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and will travel to Nelson on Saturday.