Nelson forward Johnny Carmichael tries a wrap around on B.V. Nitehawks goalie Kevin Engman. Photo: Jim Bailey

Nelson forward Johnny Carmichael tries a wrap around on B.V. Nitehawks goalie Kevin Engman. Photo: Jim Bailey

Nelson Leafs late flurry grounds B.V. Nitehawks

The Leafs came back from a 3-2 deficit scoring four times in final five minutes for 6-3 win

The battle between the top two teams in the Neil Murdoch Division saw a high-paced match up end in a flurry.

After Trail native Ethan Smyth put the Beaver Valley Nitehawks up 3-2 with 5:40 to play in the third period, the Nelson Leafs scored four goals in the final 4:45 for a stunning 6-3 Leafs victory on Tuesday at the B.V. Arena.

“We played well,” said Nitehawks assistant coach Shane Drake. “We got pucks in deep, a couple lucky bounces for them at the end, but that happens. It’s one of the better games we’ve played.”

Former Nitehawks forward Simon Nemethy scored the game winner for Nelson with three minutes remaining, taking a centering pass from Bryden Pow and firing a low shot through traffic and past goalie Kevin Engman to give the Leafs a 4-3 lead.

B.V. defender battles for puck with Nelson forward. Photo: Jim Bailey

The win is Nelson’s ninth straight and improve to 26-9-0-1, while 19-16-2-0 B.V. suffered it’s second consecutive loss after falling 4-3 to Golden Sunday, which ended a four-game win streak.

Nitehawks forward Nathan Dominici opened the scoring 1:27 into the first period, redirecting a Jesse Ihas pass by Nelson goalie Tenzin Mint.

But Nelson tied it when Pow kept the puck in at the Hawks blue line, spun and fired a low shot glove side on a surprised Hawks goalie with 6:08 to play.

Liam Noble gave Nelson a 2-1 lead, jumping on a rebound off a Pow shot and batting it in for a 2-1 lead 90 seconds later.

The second period was an intense back-and-forth, fast-paced 20 minutes that saw Hayden Stocks score the only goal when he intercepted a clearing attempt by the Leafs goalie and shot it into an empty net at 11:26 to tie it at two.

The third period started off with both teams tentative until each received a minor penalty seconds apart opening up ice during the 4-on-4 play.

Smyth banged home a rebound off an Ethan Jang shot to give the Nitehawks a 3-2 lead.

However, just a minute and 15 seconds later, Lane Goodwin tipped a point shot from Brockett past Engman to tie it, setting up Nemethy’s game winner with 3:01 to play.

Nitehawks forward Austin McKenzie waits for the puck in front of Nelson goalie Tenzin Mint. Photo: Jim Bailey

The Nitehawks tried to rally but an innocent looking shot from the point was redirected off a Hawks player and in for a 5-3 Leafs lead with 2:11 remaining. Brockett added insult to injury with an empty netter with just over a minute left in regulation for the 6-3 final.

It was a disappointing finish for a Nitehawks team playing their last regulation season home game at the Hawks Nest on Tuesday. But a good effort for 55 minutes.

“We just have to work on what we need to work on and play our game, play hard and play a full 60 minutes,” said Drake. “We’re a young team and it’s hard to get the full 60 sometimes, but it’s coming.”

Nelson outshot Beaver Valley 36-28 and went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Hawks were 1-for-6.

Beaver Valley still have five road games remaining before the start of the playoffs on Feb. 22. They have clinched the second seed in the Murdoch Division and will play the Castlegar Rebels in the first round.

The Hawks will look to gain some playoff momentum in their final five, starting in Nelson on Saturday for a 7 p.m. faceoff vs the Leafs, and then another Tuesday tilt against the Rebels in Castlegar on Feb. 8.

Read: Nitehawks beat Rebels, stymied by Golden goalie

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Junior B HockeyKIJHL