Nitehawks forward Joel Smyth battles for the puck in the Nelson end. Photo: Jim Bailey

Nitehawks forward Joel Smyth battles for the puck in the Nelson end. Photo: Jim Bailey

Nitehawks bounce back for big Game 4 win over Leafs

Beaver Valley Nitehawks even series with 5-2 victory over Nelson Leafs on Tuesday

Nathan Dominici and Hunter Stocks each scored twice to lift the Beaver Valley Nitehawks to a 5-2 victory over the Nelson Leafs on Tuesday in Game 4 of the Neil Murdoch Division final.

Hunter Burgeson scored the game winner with 2:50 to play in the second period, as the Hawks stormed back from a 2-0 first period deficit to take a 3-2 lead.

The win evens the series at two games apiece with the Nitehawks rebounding from an 8-1 drubbing to the Leafs in Game 3 on Monday at the Hawks Nest.

The opening period Tuesday looked like the Nitehawks were in for another tough night, as Leafs forward Rhett Hamilton opened the scoring driving to the net and beating Hawks starter Owen Albers three minutes in.

Nelson then made it 2-0 on a power play goal at 12:05 when Bryce Sookro’s wrister beat Albers glove side, and sent the Hawks goalie to the bench in favour of Kevin Engman.

The turning point came minutes later when Nelson went on a two-man advantage after penalties to Ethan Jang and Austin McKenzie. Engman was stellar stopping the Leafs on numerous chances, including a spectacular pad save off a Nelson forward knocking at the backdoor, and another stop on the goal line with help from his defenceman to keep the deficit at two.

Trail native Dominici scored 5:21 into the middle frame to get the Nitehawks on the board with a top corner snipe over the glove of Leafs goalie Tenzin Mint.

Dominici then notched his sixth of the playoff on the power play with 7:14 remaining to tie it at 2-2.

After Burgeson made it 3-2 on an unassisted effort, he set up Hayden Stocks with 41 seconds remaining for a 4-2 Nitehawks lead heading into the final frame.

Stocks added his sixth of the playoffs breaking in and beating Mint with a shorthanded goal at 13:27 of the third period for the 5-2 final.

The Nitehawks shut down the Leafs potent offence in the final two periods allowing just 13 shots, and played more disciplined, defensive hockey in Game 4.

Beaver Valley outshot Nelson 42-24 and went 1-for-6 on the power play while Nelson was 1-for-5.

In Game 3, Nelson scored three power play goals on nine opportunities and a shorthanded marker to lead the Leafs to an 8-1 victory.

Ryan Quast scored three times, Simon Nemethy tallied two goals, and Liam Noble, Sookro, and Hamilton completed the damage for the Leafs. Burgeson scored the lone Nitehawks goal.

Game 5 will go in Nelson on Thursday, Mar. 10 at 7 p.m., then return to the Hawks Nest on Friday at 7 p.m. Game 7, if necessary, is scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 12 in Nelson.

Read: B.V. Nitehawks even series with Game 2 win over Nitehawks

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