Memories of a Game 1 cakewalk are long gone for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
The team took a 2-0 series lead in the Neil Murdoch Division semifinal to the Nelson Leafs’ home rink on Friday and by Saturday night it was lone gone.
A brand new series, deadlocked at 2-2, goes tonight with Game 5 at the Beaver Valley Arena at 7 p.m.
The Leafs began the climb back to even ground with a 5-3 win on Friday.
Nelson’s Colton Schell scored with two minutes and 43 seconds left in regulation time to propel Nelson to its first win of the series.
Dan Bishop, Tyler Collins and Chris Derochie scored for the Hawks. The Leafs launched 38 shots at Beaver Valley goaltender Mike Vlanich.
That only proved to be a prelude to the onslaught Vlanich and his relief Zach Perehudoff would have to endure on Saturday.
Nelson scored four times in the second period and three more in the third en route to a 9-1 rout of the Nitehawks.
It was 5-0 in the latter stages of the second period before Mason Spear notched the Hawks’ lone marker.
By the end of the night, Nelson had four power play goals, one shorthanded marker and the stench of an embarrassing 13-2 loss in Game 1 all in the history books.
Leafs goaltender Marcus Beesley told Nelson Star reporter Andrea Klassen it was important not to get too excited about the lopsided win on Saturday.
“We’ve seen what happens when they blew us out. It didn’t change the series dramatically, and we were able to come back. We want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen in reverse now and that should keep us on out toes.”
Game 5 goes tonight in Fruitvale with Game 6 in Nelson on Tuesday.
Game 7, if necessary, is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Beaver Valley Arena.