It was crunch time for the Castlegar Rebels Tuesday night at the Beaver Valley Arena as they faced elimination and were looking to extend the Neil Murdoch Division series against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
The Hawks took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven KIJHL second-round series with a 5-2 victory Saturday in Castlegar so the game was a must win for the Rebels.
And extend it they did – all the way to double overtime when Castlegar’s Arthur Andrews put in the game winner at 17:51 on a 3 on 2 break to win it for the Rebels 4-3.
The visitors jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a powerplay when Scott Morisseau sent a wrist shot over the glove of a screened Mike Vlanich. The Nitehawks replied on a powerplay of their own when Dallas Calvin snapped a shot past Jordan Gluck at 11:10 to send it into the second period knotted at 1-1.
The team’s played tight with few scoring chances until Craig Martin was hauled down six minutes in, sending the Hawks on another power play. Beaver Valley controlled the puck looking for an opening, when Dallas Calvin sent a low slap-pass to Jake Lucchini who redirected it in.
But less than a minute later, the Rebels’ Morisseau replied with a strange goal that popped up and over the glove of Vlanich to even it at two.
The Hawks cycled the puck well midway through the second, but Castlegar countered and sent Tyler Robinson in on a breakaway, the forward made no mistake: 3-2 Rebels.
Each team had chances in the final frame including the Hawks’ Max Flanagan who made a tremendous individual effort dangling around two Rebel D only to have his high backhand stopped.
Moments later Vlanich came up big on a 3 on 2 stopping an Anthony Delong point-blank slap shot, then robbing Morisseau who swung and knocked the rebound out of the air.
The Nitehawks finally caught a break, when the puck bounced and Rebels’ defenceman Erik Alden batted the puck with his hand into his own net, tying the game for the Hawks.
The score would stay 3-3 in the third and first OT. Referee Jim Maniago put the whistle away until the Rebels Delong received a four-minute double minor for high sticking. But with eight minutes to go, the Hawks had trouble mounting any real pressure and when they did, they squandered too many opportunities.
Game 6 goes in Castlegar at the Community Complex tonight at 7 p.m.