KIJHL: Nitehawks win thriller over Chiefs

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks had a solid start to the 2015-16 season, going unbeaten in KIJHL action on the opening weekend.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks had a solid start to the 2015-16 season, going unbeaten in KIJHL action on the opening weekend, with a 5-3 win over the Spokane Braves on Friday, followed by a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Kelowna Chiefs on Saturday at the Beaver Valley Arena.

Nitehawks forward Devin Nemes broke a 2-2 tie on a power play with 4:20 remaining in the third period to give the Hawks their second victory in as many days. The Nitehawks enjoyed a two-man advantage after the Chiefs took back-to-back delay of game penalties, and just as the first one was expiring, Hawks defenceman Jake Yuris sent a pass to Allan Pruss who found Nemes in front of the net for the winner.

Brandon Wells earned his first win in goal for the Nitehawks in a game that saw Wells and Chiefs’ goalie Brady Lenardon come up big and receive player-of-the-game nods, as the Hawks outshot the Chiefs 38-36.

Jace Weegar opened the scoring with a power play goal at 7:25 of the first with assists going to Yuris and Dylan Heppler. The Chiefs drew even when Josh Johnston beat Wells on the power play less than three minutes later to tie it at one heading into the second

The Hawks outshot Kelowna 18-11 in the second frame, but managed just one goal when Nelson native Coleton Dawson beat Lenardon with 5:13 remaining in the period to give B.V. a 2-1 lead.

Less than 90 seconds into the third, the Chiefs tied it on a Jonathon Lee goal, but Wells shut the door the rest of the way to ensure the victory.

Kelowna beat the Leafs, 4-3, in Nelson the previous night and will likely be a serious contender for the Okanagan Conference title this season.

On Friday, the Nitehawks fired 63 shots at Braves goalie Trevor Dilauro and escaped from Spokane with a 5-3 victory.

With the score tied 2-2 on goals from Yuris and Weegar heading into the third, the Nitehawks blasted 29 shots at the Braves netminder in the final frame. When the smoke cleared, goals from Yuris and Nemes put the Hawks up 4-3 and Ryan Terpsma’s tally into an empty net with 41 seconds left to play, iced it for B.V.

Spokane scorers include a pair from Kurtis Redding, and one from Mason Jones. Hawks netminder Drake Poirier stopped 24 of 27 shots for the win, while Braden Fuller added two assists.

The Hawks’ next game goes on Friday in Grand Forks before hosting the Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.