The Beaver Valley Nitehawks home and home battle with division rival Castlegar Rebels had the defending league champs flying high and undefeated on the weekend.
The Nitehawks used the backs of the Rebels to springboard out to an undefeated-in-regulation mark four games into the KIJHL season (with two wins).
On Saturday in Fruitvale at the Beaver Valley Arena, the Nitehawks had a pair of power play goals—and three points from Ryan Edwards (two goals)—to sink their Neil Murdoch Division rivals 5-1 in front of 290 fans.
The two teams combined for 48 minutes in penalties, with the the Nitehawks winning the special teams duel, scoring twice in nine opportunities on the man advantage, while the Rebels could not manage a goal in five tries.
Nitehawks Dan Holland had a goal and an assist, while Riley Brandt and Kurt Black also scored for the home club. Nick Perez and Connor Brown-Maloski each added two assists.
The Nitehawks had a shooting gallery set up on Rebels goaltender Jordan Gluck, who stopped 43 of the 48 shots the Hawks sent his way.
First star and Hawks goaltender Zach Perehudoff was nearly perfect, allowing only one goal on the 33 shots he faced.
On Friday night the two clubs skated to a 3-3 draw in Castlegar at the Castlegar Complex before 234 fans.
The teams took 43 minutes in penalties, including two 10-minute misconducts assessed to Hawks Riley Brandt for cross checking nine minutes into the second period, and Rebels’ Dylan Sibbald for a blow to the head six minutes later.
The same action drew only a five-minute penalty from Hawks Walker Sidoni with just over two minutes left in the period, but he was assessed a game misconduct.
The Nitehawks were again effective on the power play, scoring once on their two chances in the game, keeping the Rebels out of the running in their four attempts on the man advantage.
The Rebels outshot the Nitehawks in the game, 38-30, including a 15-shot barrage in the third period at Nitehawks goaltender Perehudoff. Rebels goalie Connor Beauchamp stopped 27 of 30, and was named the game’s first star.
Holland, Brown-Maloski and Perez scored for the Nitehawks. Perez added an assist.
The Rebels drop to 1-1-2-0 after the weekend and sit one point behind the Nelson Leafs in third in the division. The Nitehawks (2-0-1-1) are first with six points.