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Nitehawks win OT thriller over Border Bruins

Hawks forward Griffin McCulloch nets first goal of season in exciting OT win
Beaver Valley Nitehawks pulled off a dramatic 5-4 overtime win over the Grand Forks Border Bruins on Tuesday. Photo: Jim Bailey

Beaver Valley Nitehawks defenceman Griffin Mcculloch scored in overtime to lift the home team to victory over the Grand Forks Border Bruins on Tuesday at the Hawks Nest.

Mcculloch, a 17-year-old Coutts, AB product, tallied his first of the season on a setup from Beau Manegre 2:09 into the 4-on-4 overtime period for the Hawks second straight win.

The loss for its Murdoch Division rival Grand Forks leaves the Border Bruins with a 1-2 record to start the 2022-23 campaign.

Beaver Valley and Grand Forks were tied 1-1 through 20 minutes with Boris Hristov tallying his first marker for the Hawks.

Kaleb Brown made it 2-1 B.V. on a power play goal at 6:40 of the second period, but goals from Bruins Chad Bates and Tyson Tokarz made it 3-2 Grand Forks.

The Nitehawks continued to press outshooting the Border Bruins 17-8 in the period, and were finally rewarded when, with one second left in the second period, Eithan Grishin tied the game at 3-3.

Ben Edwards gave the Bruins a 4-3 lead just two minutes into the final frame, but the Nitehawks battled back with Lucas Gartner finishing a setup from Hristov and Joel Smyth to tie it at four with just over three minutes remaining in regulation.

Grand Forks had their chances in the extra frame firing five shots on the B.V. goal, but goalie Connor Stojan kept the Hawks in it just long enough for Mcculloch to beat Bruins goalie Zoltan Bencsik.

Beaver Valley outshot the Border Bruins 48-32 and went 1-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

The Nitehawks will travel to Castlegar to play the Rebels on Thursday night at the Castlegar Rec Centre with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

The team will return to the Hawks Nest on Saturday, Oct. 1 for a match against the Kimberley Dynamiters at 7 p.m.

Beaver Valley will honour the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation at Saturday’s match, with a new Indigenous jersey and a pregame ceremony. The Nitehawks ask fans to show their support and wear orange in recognition of Orange Shirt Day.

Story to follow or check out Sports in the Trail Times Sept. 29 issue.

Jim Bailey

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