Nitehawks face tough road tests

Nitehawks hit the road this weekend to face off against 100-Mile House and Kamploops.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks embark on their final extended road trip of the season as they prepare for games against 100-Mile House Wranglers and Kamloops Storm this weekend.

Way back in September the Nitehawks dropped a 4-3 home game to the Wranglers and also fell to the Storm by an identical score on Nov. 15 in their only meeting this season.

The Storm lead the Doug Birks division with a 27-10-0-2 record and are currently on a five game winning streak. The match up could be a preview of the KIJHL final, as it was last year when the Hawks defeated the Storm in six games to capture the league title.

“I think that conference is really tight but I think Osoyoos Coyotes seem to be the cream of the crop of the league so far,” said Jones. “I’m not sure how it’s going to play out because there are lots of good teams in our league right now, but it will definitely be a good test for us.”

Kamloops forward Ian Chrystal leads the team in scoring with 31 goals and 51 points, with Felix Larouche right behind them with 17-32-49. Goalie Bailey De Palma has started 25 games for the Storm this season with a 2.76 goals against average and a .891 save percentage.

The Wranglers meanwhile are going in the opposite direction having lost five games in a row. The 19-18-0-5 Wranglers currently hold down the fourth and final playoff spot in the Doug Birks division with a six-point cushion on Revelstoke with 10-games remaining.

Mitch Foyle leads the Nitehawks in scoring, 26-21-47, and has been on fire of late, netting seven points in the last three contests against the Grand Forks Border Bruins, while Tyler Hartman also padded his stats netting six goals and three assists over the same period. Yet, the hottest Hawk of all has been defenceman Reid Anderson who has 10 points in four games, including a fight point game in the 12-3 victory over the Bruins on Jan. 10. The Pruss brothers have been the most consistent point getters with Allan scoring five goals and eight assists in the past seven games, while Michael has a point in five straight matches,  2-6-8.

The Hawks will be without forward Jace Weegar and defenceman Andrew Miller, and Taylor Stafford is questionable (illness).

The Nitehawks travel to Nelson on Wednesday to play the Leafs, and return to the Beaver Valley Arena on Friday to face a surging Spokane Chiefs team. The 27-10-1-4 Hawks sit in first place, seven points ahead of Castlegar in the Neil Murdoch division.