FRUITVALE — Castlegar scored three times with the man advantage and got a timely deflection from 16-year-old Jesse Knowler to edge the Beaver Valley Nitehawks 4-3 in Game 4 of the KIJHL’s Neil Murdoch division final Tuesday night.
Castlegar is now one win away from the third round of the KIJHL playoffs after winning both games in Fruitvale against the pesky Nitehawks.
After Beaver Valley’s Tyler Collins opened the scoring in the game’s opening minute, Castlegar replied with markers by Ryan Aynsley and Stuart Walton to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Taylor Anderson would add to Castlegar’s lead on another power-play midway through the second period, taking a rebound off the end boards and lifting the puck past Nitehawks goalie Zach Perehudoff, who made 22 saves in his first KIJHL playoff start.
That set the stage for Knowler’s winner.
He tipped home a Tyler Jones point shot to give the Rebels a 4-1 lead before the KIJHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player, Ryon Sookro, scored the first of his two goals to cut the lead to 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Sookro scored the only goal of the third period as the Nitehawks pressed Rebel goaltender Alex Ross for an equalizer.
The Montrose product picked up his second consecutive victory, making 11 saves.
The Rebels’ penalty-kill may have been the difference, though.
Beaver Valley was foiled on nine of 10 power-play attempts, including three two-man advantages, while the Rebels went 3-for-7 in a penalty-filled game.
Castlegar could clinch the series Thursday night on home ice as the series shifts to the Complex for Game 5.