Beaver Valley Nitehawks forward Craig Martin climbed out of a mini-slump scoring five goals and nabbing an assist in two wins against the Nelson Leafs on the weekend.
The Nitehawks returned to form with a pair of close 4-3 victories on Friday and Sunday.
Following an embarrassingly close win against Grand Forks on Tuesday, the Nitehawks coaching staff was looking for a better effort in the upcoming games against Nelson and Castlegar.
Martin had only one assist in his last four games before collecting two points against the Leafs Friday, and after lacing them up for the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday as an AP, he scored all four goals against Nelson on Sunday.
The Leafs led the Nitehawks 3-2 midway through the second period, when Martin popped the tying and winning goals before the end of the period.
With the Leafs J. J. Beitel in the penalty box for boarding, Martin buried a setup from Ryan Edwards and Dallas Calvin on a power play to tie the game.
Then with a two-man advantage, Martin knocked in a pass from Tyler Collins to count the winner.
The 16-year-old Fruitvale native scored 40 seconds into the first period to give the Hawks the lead, but Nelson replied two minutes later to tie it. The Leafs then took the lead on a Dallon Stoddart goal before Martin tied it 2-2 with just over six minutes left in the first.
The Leafs’ Max Mois beat Hawks goalie Mike Vlanich at the 14 minute mark of the second to go ahead 3-2. But the lead was short lived as Martin netted his third and fourth of the night before the buzzer.
The Hawks limited the Leafs to seven shots in the third period with Vlanich getting the win as the Nitehawks outshot the Leafs 33-26. Vlanich made his fourth start in a row and was named first star Friday with a 22-save performance.
Craig Martin picked up first-star honours for his four-goal game Sunday.
In Friday’s game, the Nitehawks held a tenuous 1-0 lead heading into the third.
But Mason Spears added his second of the night and Martin potted the Hawks third goal to go up 3-1. Dallas Calvin added some insurance 35 seconds later when he jumped out of the box, picked up a pass from Jake Boyzcuk and went in alone to make it 4-1 with under four minutes remaining.
Nelson scored two quick power-play goals but, with just over a minute to go, the falling Leafs ran out of time.
The Nitehawks extend their winning streak to 13 games while the Leafs are mired in a four-game losing skid.
The Princeton Posse defeated the Kamloops Storm on Friday, 5-3, which means the Nitehawks take over first place in the KIJHL. The Hawks and Storm each have 54 points but the Nitehawks have three games in hand.
Beaver Valley will be hosting its alumni game on Friday at the Beaver Valley Arena.
The Hawks next home game goes Dec. 30, a home-and-home with Castlegar.