Daniel Bishop redirected a Taylor Love centring feed past Alex Ross late in the third period to lift Beaver Valley past Castlegar 5-3 at the Complex.
The Nitehawks built leads of 2-0 and 3-1, only to see them evaporate before the Grande Prairie product tipped home his 17th goal of the season.
Tyler Jones, Diego Bartlett and Tyler Robinson replied for the Rebels (41-8-0-0), who prior to the opening faceoff raised their 2010-11 Neil Murdoch division championship banner to the rafters.
It was a chippy, clutchy-grabby affair to say the least, but just the type of game I'd expect we'll see all through the playoffs.
The Rebels scratched forwards Ryan Aynsley and Spencer Brodt in order to keep them healthy and rested for the playoffs, while defensemen Nick Perez and Josh McKinney missed the game for the Nitehawks. Beaver Valley will also likely be without captain Colton Donselaar for tomorrow's return engagement in Fruitvale after he was tossed in the final 10 minutes for arguing with referee Shawn Peel.
Up Next: As alluded to, these teams meet again tomorrow in Fruitvale.
Out of Town: Fernie clinched the Kootenay Conference with an 8-4 win over Kimberley. As is becoming habit with the Ghostriders, the game sounded like it was quite rough-and-tumble, and I'm sure suspensions will ensue from reading the boxscore and hearing accounts of extremely short benches by the end of the game. Penticton's Jordan McCallum also got this year's first "spitting" penalty in their loss to Kelowna. Grand Forks snapped a 16-game losing streak with a 5-4 win in Golden, while Nelson edged Creston Valley 4-3, Gavin Currie was held pointless in his return from a shoulder injury.