The Beaver Valley Nitehawks defeated the Grand Forks Border Bruins 5-2 at home on Friday before falling hard on the road against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, 6-0.
The Thunder Cats win comes three weeks after their last meeting, when B.V. savoured a 5-1 home victory.
“Creston was pretty hungry to play well against us, and it’s on the road, and things are always a little tougher on the road,” said Nitehawks head coach and GM Terry Jones.
After a scoreless first period, Creston native Vin Jackson scored the game winner 37 seconds into the second period.
The Nitehawks tried to rally but could get nothing by Cats goalie Harmon Laser-Hume, as their power play struggled going 0-for-6 on the night.
Adam Redding gave Creston a 2-0 lead heading into the third period, when the home team exploded for four goals in the final frame for the shutout victory.
“I felt we had a good first period, and came out in the second period, and we just didn’t play with the intensity we needed to,” said Jones. “They got that first goal, and we did good in responding to that. We hung around, but we didn’t play with the same level of intensity we need to.”
Beaver Valley is missing key veteran players Jesse Ihas (suspension) and Kaleb Percival (injury), but Jones expects Percival back this weekend and Ihas on Saturday.
In addition, teams are keying in on leading scorers Hayden Stocks and Judah Makway, who were shut down on the weekend.
“They had a great start, and now teams are getting a little more physical with them, and more aware of them so that holds them back and makes it frustrating. But they have to learn to get past that too, that’s part of how the league changes and adapts to players. I’ll expect them to get that back, and I expect other guys to reach a higher level too.”
Creston outshot Beaver Valley 32-22, and went 2-for-4 on the power play.
On Friday, the Nitehawks skated to a 5-2 victory over the winless Border Bruins.
B.V. forward Hunter Burgeson notched the game winner at 18:10 of the second period to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead. The Airdrie native finished a slick centering pass from Austin McLean and Nathan Dominici for his third goal of the season.
Beaver Valley opened the scoring with 5:33 to play in the first period when Ollie Clement found a loose puck in front and beat the Bruins goalie.
Just over a minute later, Dominici scored a shorthanded goal on a nice pass from McLean to make it 2-0 Hawks.
Grand Forks got on the board at 8:07 of the second on a goal from Ray Warrack, before 16-year-old defenceman Brody Martini tallied his first of the season 23 seconds later on a feed from Isaac Knight.
McLean made it 4-1 with a power play goal at 8:48 of the third period, and the Border Bruins’ Jameson Flint finished the scoring in the final minute for the 5-2 final.
Kevin Engman got the win in net for B.V. as the Nitehawks outshot the Bruins 49-26 and were 1-for-4 on the power play, while Grand Forks went 2-for-7.
With the weekend split, the 6-3-1-0 Nitehawks continue to lead the Murdoch Division, two points up on the Nelson Leafs who have a game in hand. Given the Nitehawks new and younger line up, Jones says he’s happy with the start.
“It’s not where I expected us to be, I expected us to be much lower,” said Jones. “If you look at the league’s season in 10-game segments and if we went 6-3-1 in every one, I’d think we’d feel pretty good about it.”
Beaver Valley travels to Golden on Friday to play the 5-4-0-0 Rockets and is in Invermere Saturday for another tilt against the Eddie Mountain Division leading Columbia Valley Rockies at 7-3-0-1.