It didn’t look good for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks after 40 minutes of play with the Grand Forks Border Bruins holding a 4-2 lead heading into the final frame at the Beaver Valley Arena Friday night.
“We just didn’t have it,” said coach Terry Jones. “We were floating out there, and you can’t do that against a team like Grand Forks. They’re a very good team.”
But the Hawks would not be denied as the top line of Ryan Edwards, Taylor Stafford, and Michael Bell scored three unanswered goals in the third period to lift the home team to a 5-4 victory over a much-improved Grand Forks squad.
Edwards would net the winner with 2:20 remaining in regulation after Stafford out-battled a Bruin defender and passed to a waiting Bell in the slot. Bell then slid a slap pass toward the net and Edwards deftly deflected it over the shoulder of Bruin goalie Dominic Stadnyk for the winner.
“Staff (Starfford) did some great work in the corner, and got it out to Bell,” said Davidson. “I just went to the net, and good things happen when you go to the net.”
Grand Forks opened the scoring when Max Everett walked in alone on Hawks goalie Josh Round, and beat him with a slick deke to the blocker side. The Hawks replied at 5:58 of the first period when Danny Vlanich launched a shot from the point that sailed by a screened Stadnyk , and Sam Barker made it 2-1 early in the second when he banged in a crpss-crease gift from Fruitvale native Mitch Foyle who had a great debut for the Nitehawks.
However, the Bruins answered scoring three times on a pair of goals from Connor Gross and another off the stick of Newton to take a 4-2 lead into the final stanza.
The Hawks would shorten their bench and the veteran line replied with Edwards converting a Stafford dish from behind the net five minutes in to cut the lead to one. Bell then tied it with 4:58 left, taking a feed from Edwards and depositing in the top corner of the net. Bell would then reciprocate by setting up Eddie for the winner.
Edwards finished the game with two goals and two assists, while Stafford and Bell had three-point nights. The Nitehawks outshot the Bruins 35-34 in the game including 11-3 in the third.
The Nitehawks play the Summerland Steam tonight at the BV Arena at 7:30 p.m.
See more on the Hawks in the Trail Times Tuesday edition.