KIJHL: Nitehawks take 2-0 series lead against Leafs

Beaver Valley scored two quick goals in the second to defeat Nelson 4-2 on Wednesday.

The Leafs gave up two quick goals in the second period against the Nitehawks.

Sixty minutes of hockey, the proverbial complete game, is starting to become the Nelson Leafs’ white whale.

The Leafs matched Beaver Valley step for step in the third period, and appeared to be wearing the Nitehawks down by the time the game ended. Too bad that wasn’t the case for all of Wednesday’s game.

Beaver Valley scored a pair of quick go-ahead goals in a lopsided second period and went on to win 4-2, as well as take a 2-0 lead in the Neil Murdoch Division semifinal series.

Leafs captain Rayce Miller said his team waited too long to start playing hard in Fruitvale.

“You can’t be the victim of physicality, you have to give it back, and I felt like we responded really well [in the third period.] But we have to be like that the whole game,” he said.

It was the little things that beat Nelson against a Nitehawks side that hardly looks invincible. Too many penalties, too much hesitation, too little urgency.

“I thought there were certain players who were going and there were certain players who were just along for the ride,” said Leafs head coach Mario DiBella, who made a point of singling out Miller, Brendan Smith and Jordan Davie for their hard effort.

Michael Pruss, Ryan Terpsma, Nolan Percival and Allan Pruss scored for Nitehawks. Tallon Kramer finished with 27 saves.

Eamonn Miller and Rayce Miller had a goal apiece for the Leafs. Patrick Ostermann, who got the start in place of Game 1 starter Josh Williams, stopped 36 shots.

That mythical complete game? Nitehawks head coach Terry Jones said his side had it.

“We got down early and we just didn’t panic,” said Jones. “I really like the fact that we didn’t panic. Big goal from Terpsma to tie it up and then I thought the second and third period we did really quite well.”

The series returns to Nelson for Game 3 and 4 on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

A breakdown in defence in front of the Nelson net led to Beaver Valley taking an early lead. Michael Pruss was left alone on the doorstep where he made no mistake just two minutes into regulation.

Nelson didn’t wait to respond. Eamonn Miller shot the puck, which rebounded into the air off Kramer. Miller batted the puck mid-air back over Kramer to tie the game at one at 16:48.

The Leafs were killing off a penalty when they took their first lead of the series. Rayce Miller stripped the puck at the Nitehawks blue-line, fought off a pair of defenders and fired a shot over Kramer’s shoulder.

Miller said it wasn’t the best goal of his career. “Maybe the luckiest,” he quipped.

Nelson gave up a series of penalties and Beaver Valley capitalized. Terpsma sent both teams into the intermission tied at two after he fired a point shot past Ostermann with defenceman Kyle Chernenkoff in the penalty box for slashing.

Beaver Valley came out firing in the second period.

Percival caught Ostermann well outside his crease for an easy goal 59 seconds into the frame. Ostermann, who replaced Josh Williams early in Game 1 and kept Nelson in the game despite being outshot 18-9 in the second period, took ownership for the bad goal.

“That’s my fault,” said Ostermann. “He kept walking around. Nothing the [defence] could have done, that’s completely on me.”

That lead was increased to two less than a minute later as Allan Pruss circled around the net and slid a sharp-angle shot behind the Leafs goaltender.

The series saw its second penalty shot in as many games after Eamonn Miller was brought down on a breakaway. Miller looked to have Kramer beat but whiffed on the shot.

The Nitehawks held the line in the third. Nelson ramped up the physical play and nearly had a goal with Ostermann pulled late in the third, but Kramer made a diving save that stole a goal and ended with two players on top of him.

The Leafs still believe they can win the series despite being down 2-0. Provided, of course, that they play all 60 minutes.

“We don’t feel like we’ve lost two games,” said Ostermann. “It feels like they’ve gotten lucky and won two.”

Leaflets: Nelson’s injury ward remained unchanged. D Dash Thompson (upper body), F Blair Andrews (upper body), D Max Daerendinger (upper body) and D Aigne McGeady-Bruce (illness) were out Wednesday. The Leafs don’t expect Daerendinger or McGeady-Bruce to return for the playoffs.

Just Posted

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

1919: Hudson’s Bay Company gets an addition, council votes to exclude ‘undesirable enemy aliens’

Greg Scott brings us five Nelson Daily News stories from a century ago

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Man found dead identified as Andreas Pittinger

Pittinger was known locally for hosting a radio show

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read