Beaver Valley Nitehawks forward Dylan Kent scored twice and added three assists in a 9-3 drubbing of the Nelson Leafs on Friday at the Hawks Nest. Jim Bailey file photo.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks trounce Nelson Leafs

The B.V. Nitehawks returned home Friday with a decisive 9-3 win over division leading Nelson Leafs

After spending more than a month on the road, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks returned home and treated their fans to a decisive victory over the Neil Murdoch Division leading Nelson Leafs on Friday at the B.V. Arena.

Nitehawks forwards Dylan Heppler and Nolan Percival, a Nelson native, put on a playmaking clinic in their first game back to the Hawks Nest since Nov. 6, exploding for five points apiece in a physical 9-3 drubbing of the Leafs.

The Hawks jumped out to a 4-0 first-period lead on goals from Tommy McConnachie, Dylan Kent, Aiden Browell, and Bradley Ross to chase Nelson goalie Sam Burford from the crease at the end of one. But not before Nelson replied with tallies from Michael LeNoury and Nicholas Wihak to make it 4-2 heading into the second.

After Leafs Ryan Cooper was sent off for slashing, Heppler made it 5-2 on a pretty set up from Percival and Kent. Wihak notched his second of the night at 15:44 to draw the Leafs within two but that was as close as Nelson would get.

Percival netted his second goal and 16th point of the season at 12:55 with assists to Heppler and Kent to increase the lead to 6-3. Nelson’s LeNoury went after B.V. forward Damon Kramer and earned a fighting major, an instigating penalty and 10-minute misconduct with 4:38 on the clock in the middle frame, while Kramer was given a two-minute roughing penalty and 10-minute misconduct.

Heppler made it 7-3, and the Hawks most recent acquisition Erik Bocale wired a shot by Nelson goalie Josh Williams on the ensuing power play with 1:21 left in the period. Sam Swanson finished the scoring in the third on another power-play goal for the 9-3 final.

B.V. outshot the Leafs 31-18, going 5-for-10 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill. Heppler scored twice and added three helpers for his team-leading 37th point, Percival added a goal and four assists, and Kent had a four-point game with one goal and three assists.

The victory keeps the Hawks in third place in the Murdoch division eight points back of Nelson, but with a game in hand. The Hawks next game goes in Spokane on Friday, before returning home for a match against the Grand Forks Border Bruins at 7 p.m. on Saturday and a tilt versus the second place Castlegar Rebels on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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