The Castlegar Rebels skated to a 4-2 victory over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in Fruitvale on Tuesday night.
The Rebels broke a 2-2 tie at 14:30 of the third period when Jacob Moldenhauer beat Hawks goalie Kevin Engman for the game winner.
The game was the Rebels first of the exhibition season, with the team only playing in three pre-season games before the regular season start on Oct. 1.
Rebels forward Mitch Daines opened the scoring, when he sniped a shot from the high slot over the glove of Engman with 3:07 to play in the first period.
The Nitehawks tied it 85 seconds later, when Ollie Clement banged in a Joel Smyth rebound.
However, Jesse Courville-Lynch restored a one goal lead 33 seconds after that, when he stripped the Nitehawks defenceman of the puck, walked in alone and lifted the puck over the B.V. goalie for a 2-1 lead.
Following a scoreless second period, B.V. carried the play in the third and Isaac Knight finished a setup from Nathan Dominici to tie the game at two at 16:25.
Two minutes later, Moldenhauer notched the game winner, and Cody Quinton added an empty netter with 28 seconds remaining.
The Nitehawks outshot the Rebels 37-23 and went 0-for-5 on the power play, while Castlegar was 0-for-7.
With the loss, the Nitehawks pre-season record falls to 1-3, as the B.V. coaching staff continues to ice a majority of first-year players in preparation for the KIJHL real season. Currently the Hawks are carrying about 30 players and more than half of those KIJHL rookies.
B.V. opened the exhibition season against the Creston Valley Wild Cats, falling 7-1 on Sept. 15, then split a home-and-home with the Nelson Leafs last weekend.
The Nitehawks beat the Leafs in a thrilling 4-3 victory on Friday, Sept. 17 at the Beaver Valley Arena, with a last minute goal by Hayden Stocks and some brilliant netminding from Owen Albers in an entertaining yet physical tilt.
The game saw Leafs centre Joe Davidson crosscheck a Nitehawks player on the face-off resulting in a match penalty and a four-game suspension. That was followed up by another attack from Nelson’s Tyson Lautard who punched his opponent in the head twice before being restrained. Lautard also received a match penalty for head contact and was issued a two-game suspension by the league.
The rivalry continued Saturday in Nelson, however, the Leafs emerged with the win, scoring a late empty-net goal for the 3-1 victory.
B.V. lost at least one key player due to its opt out last year, when veteran Nitehawk Simon Nemethy signed with the Leafs. This year, the Hawks are combining a group of talented young rookies with veteran players like Jesse Ihas, Ethan Jang, Lucas Anselmo, Jarred Macasso, Nate Ingram, and Kevin Engman.
Beaver Valley traveled to Creston to play the Wild Cats on Wednesday but the score was unavailable at press time.
The Hawks return home on Friday for a game against the Grand Forks Border Bruins with the puck drop at 7 p.m., before wrapping up its pre-season play in Grand Forks on Saturday, Sept. 25.