Sports

Beaver Valley Nitehawks even KIJHL final with Kamloops

The Kamloops Storm
The Kamloops Storm's goalie Liam MacLeod robs Beaver Valley Nitehawk forward Riley Brandt on this attempt, but the Hawks would eventually solve the Storm goalie going on to win Game 4 of the KIJHL final 5-3 Tuesday in B.V.
— image credit: Jim Bailey

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks weathered a late tempest by the Kamloops Storm, tying the KIJHL best-of-seven final series at two games apiece with a 5-3 victory at the Hawks Nest in Beaver Valley on Tuesday.

Game 4 was a very different match for the Nitehawks then the previous one, as they played sound defensive hockey and dominated the Storm offensively. After giving up four goals on seven power-play tries in the Game 3 loss, the Hawks shut a vaunted Storm power play down, as Kamloops went 0-for-5 on the night.

The Hawks’ Dallas Calvin would score the eventual winner on a highlight reel goal at 10:39 of the third period to give B.V. a 4-1 lead. Calvin broke in on a 2-on-1 with Braden Fuller, feathered a deft pass to Fuller who drew the defenceman over then saucered it back to Calvin, who undressed Liam MacLeod in the Storm net.

The Hawks opened the scoring in the first period on a power play when Dan Holland snuck it through the pads of MacLeod on a quick dish from Archie McKinnon. The Storm would find the equalizer at 2:19 of the first when Addison Banzian beat Hawks goalie Brett Clark. However, 27 seconds later Ryan Edwards would put the Hawks up for good, when he took a Riley Brandt pass and backhanded it over the glove of the Storm goalie to make it 2-1.

Both goalies put on a clinic in the second period as McLeod and Clark stymied opposition shooters, each stopping 14 shots and making several point-blank saves to keep the game a one-goal margin heading into the third.

However, Holland would find a way to beat McLeod early in the third period. The Boston native won a battle for the puck in the Storm end, wheeled out from behind the net, faked a pass, then wired it off the cross bar to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.

Holland was a force on the evening, whose speed, play-making ability, and fierce determination created open ice and numerous scoring opportunities for the Hawks. However, after the Nitehawks went up 4-1 on Calvin’s goal, the Storm would mount a comeback. Mitch Friesen would score on a rebound off the back-boards to make it 4-2 at 6:24 of the third, and would find the net again, drawing Kamloops within one after banging in a loose puck on a goal-mouth scramble.

But the Hawks defence would play tight, disciplined hockey after that, limiting the Storm to just six shots in the final frame, and Calvin would ice it with an empty netter with 21 seconds to play.

Beaver Valley outshot Kamloops 40-28 on the night, and went 1-for-6 on the power play.

Game 5 will go in Kamloops on Thursday and return to the B.V. Arena on Friday for Game 6 at 7:30 p.m.

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