With 3 games in 4 nights, Beaver Valley had a great chance to inch closer to division leader, Nelson Leafs. Drake Poirier and Carson Schamerhorn ( I almost typed Jarrod) shared the tendy duties over the weekend allowing only 2 goals total over the 3 games with Schamerhorn getting the shut out against a determined squad from Columbia Valley on Saturday night. The weekend also saw the Nitehawks offense start to gain momentum as they scored 13 goals over the weekend to finally bring their +/- into the positive side!
Nov 7/14 – Postgame: Nitehawks – 6 / Braves – 1
The Spokane Braves had been red hot in the last few weeks, so the Nitehawks knew they had their work cut out for them on their trip south of the border.
The first period did not disappoint as both teams had some great chances early on. It took half of the first period before a goal was put up on the board. Spencer McLean started the play with a diving poke check in the Braves zone that sent the puck straight to Mitch Foyle who in turn slipped it quickly over to Ross Armour where it was promptly deposited in the net to take the lead. The goal seemed to both spark the Nitehawks, and slightly deflate the Braves as BV began applying the pressure two-fold. Foyle put the visitors up by 2 just three minutes later with his almost perfected wrist shot through the defense mans legs and BV would take the lead into the intermission thanks to some very nice saves by Poirier.
In the second, it was the “Poirier Show” as he made highlight save after highlight save allowing Beaver Valley to go up by 3 with 7 minutes left to play in the period on a goal mouth scramble that is finished off by Jarod Broderson for his first career KIJHL goal. BV would get out shot by a 20-14 margin in the middle frame, but they carried the majority of the play through the period that saw Brody Jennings square off with Dillon Bogart for a no-decision by the prestigious panel of coaches in the booth.
Back and forth play to start the third period ends in another goal mouth scramble with 12 minutes to play. This time its Braydon Horcoff with the conversion and the 4-0 Nitehawks lead. Spokane would finally get on the board just 1:22 later, but Beaver Valley regained their 4 goal lead exactly 1:30 after that. Kyle Hope with the shot, grabbed his own rebound and buried it chasing Jon Manlow. After having the only penalties all game up to this point, Beaver Valley finally gets their chances late as Spokane took 4 straight penalties in a 6 minute span to finish out the game. Andrew Miller puts the Nitehawks up by 5 on their second opportunity with a point shot that had so much power behind it, the back up goalie had no chance of even seeing it, let alone stopping it. Putting that much sauce on the shot sent Miller to his knees on the follow through like you see NHL players do from time to time when they really lean into a shot.
BV would hold on for the 6-1 win and snapped the 4 game winning streak for Spokane. Player of the game for the Braves was Tanner Stolz. Deservedly, Poirier got the PoG nod for BV considering the countless so called “game-saving” stops throughout the game.
Nov 8/14 – Postgame: Rockies – 0 / Nitehawks – 3
Columbia Valley paid the Nest a visit with hopes of erasing a loss to the Border Bruins the night prior, but it was clear early on that it was BV who was in charge. A scoreless first period came to pass, but so did the controversial 18-8 shot differential in favor of the Nitehawks. For the second consecutive night, BV was the lone team to have a few visits to the sin bin.
It wasnt until the 4:37 mark of period 2 that the Nitehawks would finally get the man advantage. They didnt waste it. Braydon Horcoff with a smart snapshot found the far corner giving the home team the much sought after lead despite controlling the play, for the most part. Spencer McLean, with a seeing-eye wrister, gave BV the 2-0 lead that they would take into the break.
The third period was an exercise in patience as both teams got a bit scrambly. Mitch Foyle put the Nitehawks up by 3 with 8:37 to play with a power move to the front of the net and sliding it under the goalie. The 3-0 goal proved to be too much for CV as they took several penalties in succession due to frustration at not being able to post up a valid defense to a highly confident Beaver Valley team. In all truth, Brody Nelson (CV Goalie) was the number one reason the game wasnt much, much worse. His play kept the Rockies in this game right to the end.
Both teams goalies would get Player of the Game accreditation. As alluded to prior, with the win, Carson Schamerhorn picked up his first career KIJHL shut out.
Nov 10/14 – Postgame: Border Bruins – 1 / Nitehawks – 4
This was a tougher game than the score implies. Grand Forks came to play, and play hard! Beaver Valley got on the board with a change up slapper from Reid Anderson on the power play 7:13 into the game and Taylor Stafford snagged the 2-0 lead with a stick side wrister. The Border Bruins got one back on their own power play when a weird bounce took the puck up and over the glove of Poirier effectively cutting the lead in half. This was as close as Grand Forks would get.
With a slick wrister that beat Matsuba, Sam Swanson regained the Nitehawks 2 goal lead midway through the second period shortly before Hayden Chase dropped with local boy, Nico Sidoni. It promised to be an interesting dance until the Border Bruins captain, Tucker Brown, knocked Chase down with a crosscheck just as him and Sidoni were squaring off. This caused the two to lose balance and both went to the ice swinging wildly. Brown SHOULD have received a third-man-in penalty, but went overlooked by officials.
In a relatively uneventful third period, that is until McKoy Hauck launched a scud missile from the point that decimated the net and gave BV the 4-1 lead, Taylor Stafford went toe-to-toe with BOTH towering defensemen for Grand Forks. Reid Robertson(6’4″, 205 lbs) and Lucas Robinson(6’5″, 205 lbs) did their best to draw out the 5’11” 170lb “JackHammer”, but just like the last few years, he kept his cool and merely resorted to some pushing and shoving resulting in minors for all with Stafford receiving a double. I tell ya, it would have been a heck of a sight to see either one try and take a shot at the title!
Grand Forks goalie, Kiernan Matsuba gets the Away Player of the Game after hanging in despite being hit in the mask with a very hard shot from Jacob Boyczuk. Sam Swanson in the Home Player of the Game for his resolute play all game.
After sweeping the weekend, Beaver Valley now sits alone in second place in the Neil Murdoch Division with 29 points, just 2 points behind Nelson, and 2 points up on Castlegar with a game in hand on CG.