The game was everything you would expect from a Leafs/Nitehawks contest — intense action, hard hits and an emotionally charged building.
All of the scoring came in the middle frame.
Beaver Valley took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Sam Swanson, but the Leafs Brandon Sookro tied it a few minutes later.
The Nitehawks regained the lead thanks to a powerplay tally by Ryan Edwards, but once again Nelson battled back.
Jamie Vlanich scored a powerplay goal of his own to tie the game at two. After that the goaltenders took over.
Brad Rebagliati was strong in net for Nelson, and was named player of the game.
“It wasn’t a single man effort out there, it was a team game. That’s what the coaches were preaching before the game tonight, they said we’ve got to stick together and play as a team and that’s what I think we did tonight,” said Rebagliati.
At times the action was fast and furious as both squad raced back and forth down the ice forcing plenty of scoring chances.
“Anytime we play BV it’s going to be an intense game. We’re rivals throughout the season and throughout the playoffs and that carries over here.
“Yesterday we were a little slow, we didn’t have our game, but I thought we started to find it in the third period and that carried over into tonight.”
Hopefully the Leafs can continue to find their game as they must win their contest against the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Saturday night and hope that Beaver Valley defeats the Victoria Cougars Saturday afternoon.
If both squads win, they will meet again in the cup final Sunday.
“I never thought I’d see the day that we’d be cheering for Beaver Valley, but if that is the case, we will definitely be rooting for them,” said Rebagliati.
Beaver Valley will play Victoria at 3:30 p.m. while Nelson takes on Aldergrove at 7:30 p.m. Both games are at the Nelson and District Community Complex.