Once again Hawks find way to defeat Nelson Leafs
By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports
In what is a preview to the first round the upcoming Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Murdoch Division playoffs, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks found another way to defeat the Nelson Leafs.
A goal by Daniel Bishop at 12:42 of the third period stood up as the winner sparking the Nitehawks to a 3-2 KIJHL victory Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.
Nelson opened the weekend Friday with a 6-4 victory over Spokane in the Lilac City.
The win was the sixth in seven games for Beaver Valley, which opens the KIJHL playoffs against Nelson February 14 in Fruitvale.
“I don’t know if there’s any secret, I think we’ve been fortunate in some games, we’ve had great goaltending in some games . . . some games our power play has been good and their goaltending hasn’t been that good,” said Beaver Valley head coach Terry Jones.
“I think (Nelson) is a good team that has added some good players so I feel it’s going to be a close series when the playoffs start.”
Nelson jumped all over the Hawks, out shooting the visitors 15-3 in the opening frame, but once again Beaver Valley backstop Zach Perehudoff shut the door.
Taylor Love opened the scoring before Nelson finally saw some reward for all the hard work with 1:32 remaining in the frame. Cody Abbey, with his first of two, scored on the power play deadlocking the teams at 1-1 at the intermission.
Leaf killer Ryon Sookro restored the Beaver Valley goal in the second with a power play marker. But Abbey once again tied the contest three minutes until recess.
Nelson out shot the Hawks 29-20 in the game but saw it’s wide advantage dwindle in the third when Beaver Valley held an 11-6 margin.
The teams do it all up again this afternoon in Beaver Valley to complete the season series.
Stewart turns the heat up on former Spokane mates
Former Brave Joel Stewart continues to beat up on his old mates.
The Spokane native scored twice to lead the Nelson Leafs to a 6-4 victory in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night in the Lilac City.
The win secures third place in the Murdoch Division for the Leafs. Spokane trails Nelson by 12 points in divisional standings with six games remaining on the schedule. But the Leafs lead the season-series tiebreaker 6-2.
However, Friday’s win was not quite according to way Leaf coach Chris Shaw designed the contest on the drawing board.
Nelson twice overcame two-goal deficits, taking over the game with five goals in the second period. The goals came in a span of 11 minutes.
Of course the 20-year-old Stewart, traded to the Leafs earlier in the season, got the ball going in the right direction with a power play marker five minutes into the second, his second of the game.
Cody Abby, Dallon Stoddart, Marcus Dahl and Walker Sidoni completed the onslaught for the Leafs.
The goal for Stoddart, a grad of the Nelson Minor Hockey system, was his first since November 20 against Kamloops.
Stoddart, finishing with two assists – his second straight two-point game — was his fifth of the season.
Mitch Fowler, Van Stefanou, Rance Hughes and Jesse Collins replied for Spokane.
Taylor O’Neil and Connor Enright each had two assists.
Nelson returns home Saturday to face the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the first game of a two-game home-and-home series. Game time is 7 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: Colton Schell has overtaken injured Gavin Currie for the Leafs scoring lead. Schell has a point Friday in Spokane. Currie has been out of the lineup since December 31 . . .Joel Stewart, with 25 points in 22 games since coming to Nelson, is three points behind Schell. . . .The Leafs won three of four games against Spokane both home and away, out scoring the Braves 30-20. . . . Stewart has eight points against his former Spokane mates.