The Beaver Valley Nitehawks forward Dan Holland rips a shot at Nelson Leaf goalie Marcus Beesley

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks forward Dan Holland rips a shot at Nelson Leaf goalie Marcus Beesley

Nelson Leafs fall from top spot after Beaver Valley sweep

With a pair of wins over Nelson, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks made up some crucial ground in the race for the Neil Murdoch division title.

Keanan Patershuk’s season debut highlighted the Beaver Valley Nitehawks dominating performance as the Hawks took two giant strides towards the Neil Murdoch division title on the weekend.

The Hawks swept the Nelson Leafs in a pair of home-and-home games Friday and Saturday, with 5-2 and 5-3 wins respectively, drawing to within one point of the second place Leafs and two of the now

division-leading Castlegar Rebels.

On Friday, in his first game with the Hawks this year, the 19-year-old Kelowna native made his aggressive presence felt scoring a goal and adding an assist while being named the game’s first star. The powerful forward played in 19 contests last year before leaving the team at Christmas for personal reasons. Patershuck also played for B.V. in 2010-11, and counted 11 goals, and 14 assists in 41 games.

Dallas Calvin netted the winner when Ryan Edwards outskated the Nelson defender for the puck and quickly sent it out front to a waiting Calvin who banged it past the Leafs Marcus Beesley to give B.V. a 3-1 lead at 15:17 of the second period.

It was Calvin’s 31st goal of the season and he now sits tied with Jordan Salahor of the Kelowna Chiefs for top

spot in league tallies with 73 points.

The Hawks’ Edwards opened the scoring with a short-handed marker at 8:90 of the first period, stealing the puck from the Leafs D, and dancing in all alone on Beesely.

Michael Bell made it 2-0 at 5:55, taking a slick pass from Patershuk from behind the net and sliding it under the Leafs’ netminder.

The Leafs’ leading scorer Colton Schell made it 2-1 on a nice give-and-go with Aaron Dunlap early in the second, but Patershuk made it 4-1, breaking in on a 2-on-1 and snapping a Calvin pass by a

helpless Beesley.

Dustin Reimer drew the Leafs to within two, but Danny Vlanich iced it with an empty netter. The Hawks’ Zach Perehudoff was stingy in the net, stopping 23 of 25 shots, several of the magnificent variety, to backstop B.V. to the win. Beesley made 25 stops in the Leafs’ goal.

On Saturday, the Leafs scored early, but the Nitehawks rang off four straight goals on their way to a 5-3 victory. The power play sputtered for both teams in the first period, but after Nelson took a too-many-men penalty, Luke Reimer blasted a Arie Postmus pass by Nelson goalie Brett Soles, in what proved to be the winning fourth goal.

Dunlap opened the scoring for the Leafs, but goals by Riley Brandt, and two from Dan Holland put the Hawks up 3-1 early in the second. Following Reimer’s marker, the Leafs quickly answered with a pair from Damin Devlin, and a power-play goal from Carson Willans.

But that’s as close as the Leafs would get, and Connor Brown-Maloski finished the scoring off for the Hawks in the third converting a Kurt Black pass, to give the 16-year-old a three point night and his 50th point of the season.

Jarrod Schamerhorn was solid in the Hawks net, turning aside 21 of 24 shots on the evening while Soles blocked 21 for the Leafs.

The wins coupled with a Rebels 3-2 overtime loss to Columbia Valley Friday, tightened the race so that the Rebels lead the division by one point over Nelson and two over B.V. The Hawks now prepare for what could be the division-deciding series with a home-and-home this coming weekend against Castlegar.

See more on the Nitehawks in Tueday’s Trail Times.