KIJHL – Hawks sweep up Leafs, tighten division title race

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks tightened up the race for top spot in the KIJHL’s Neil Murdoch division with two character wins over the Leafs

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks tightened up the race for top spot in the KIJHL’s Neil Murdoch division with two character wins over the Nelson Leafs on the weekend.

Highlighted by the season debut of Keanan Patershuk, the Hawks dominated the game Friday with a 5-2 win, and kept rolling Saturday in Nelson with a 5-3 victory to cut Nelson’s lead over the Hawks to just one point, and Castlegar’s, who lost 3-2 to Columbia Valley in overtime Friday, to just two points.

Patershuk was named first star Friday, scoring a goal and adding an assist, in his return to Beaver Valley, where he played in 19 games last season, and 41 the year before.

“It was great to play with the boys again, it was lots of fun,” said Patershuk, following Friday’s match at the Beaver Valley Arena.

“I was definitely happy with two points, I mean my physicality is the strongest part of my game, but I’ll take the points any day,” said Patershuk.

Indeed, the five-foot-eleven, 220-pound forward brings size and strength as well as speed to the Hawks lineup that is headed into its final four games with the division title still up for grabs.

“From what I’ve seen so far, it’s a great group of guys and seeing where Nelson and Castlegar are in the league, we had no problem hanging with them,” said the Kelowna native. “We’ve got lots of talented guys and now we got a little more size, so I think we’re set.”

The Hawks have a home-and-home with Castlegar this weekend, in what could very well decide the division title. B.V. completes its season with two games against Spokane, while the Leafs and Rebels finish off with a home-and-home.

The Hawks play in Castlegar Friday and return to the Hawks Nest Saturday at 7:30 p.m.