Tale Of The Tape – Battle For The Neil Murdoch

The ‘Quest for the Teck Cup’ continues this week as the Nitehawks get set for their round two match up against the Grand Forks Border Bruins, in a battle for the Neil Murdoch Division Title and the right to move on. It’s likely to be a battle that will push the Hawks harder and further than their round one series against the Castlegar Rebels did. As the Hawks dispatched the Rebels in four straight games. The Border Bruins have been a thorn in the Nitehawks side all season long, including ending their winning run of 16 games near the end of the season. To sum it all up, this is going to be the series to watch in round two of the KIJHL playoffs.

The Season Series

The Hawks saw their fair share of ups and downs in the season series with the Border Bruins. In six meetings this year, the Hawks were 2-2-0-2. The Hawks were also outscored in the season series 25-23. The last two meetings of the season might be the best representation of how this series might go, with both games being decided in a shootout, however there are no shootouts in the playoffs, which means we could be in for some long nights. The Bruins did win both of those shootout meetings however, winning 3-2 and 4-3 in the final month of the season. While very little separated these teams in the regular season, it was the Hawks who claimed first place in the division and home ice, which they will hope to use against the Bruins this weekend.

Knowing the Opponent 

The Bruins finished the regular season with a 28-11-3-2 record, good enough for 61 points and 7th in the league. They also finished out the year 7-2-1 in their last ten games. Jumping into the post season the Border Bruins needed five games to advance past the Nelson Leafs, but it wasn’t without its close calls that could have swung the series in the opposite direction. Two of the first four games needed overtime to be decided with the Bruins winning both. The one loss the Bruins had was in game two as they lost 1-0 to the Leafs who were outshot 39-31 on the night. The Bruins come into their second round series with the second best powerplay in the post season. Operating at 25.9% through five games. They also finished the season in third in the league, just behind the Nitehawks with 24.1% through 44 games, an average slightly higher than the 22.3% they had in the 6 games against the Hawks this season. The Nitehawks themselves also saw a lower average of just 21.7% in the season series against the Bruins compared to a 24.6% season average. Both teams had strong powerplay percentages in their first round matchups and those numbers are likely to become even more crucial as things tighten up in round two.

Head-to-Head Offence

The Hawks scored a whopping 206 goals in 44 games, just two off the league leaders in Princeton who had 208. Meanwhile the Bruins had a more conservative 184 goals, good enough for 5th league wide. The biggest difference though comes on the goal differential side where the Hawks allowed 111 goals, giving them a +95 goal differential. Where as the Bruins allowed 145 for a smaller +39 goal differential. The stats also show the scoring for the Nitehawks has beenspread out evenly throughout the lineup where the Bruins rely on their top guys to produce. The Hawks have a staggering 16 players with 20 or more points, with players like Lohgan Nimmo putting up 19 points in just 14 games not included in the 16 previously mentioned players. On the Bruins side they have just 10 players above the 20 point mark, but do boast four players who reached the 40 point mark, where the Nitehawks have just one in Ollie Clement.

Nitehawks Top 5 Scorers (Regular Season) Border Bruins Top 5 Scorers (Regular Season)
Ollie Clement (18-27-45)

Roan Crowe (17-18-35)

Adam Redding (15-19-34)

Nathan Simm (13-18-31)

Tim Jozsa (14-16-30)

Levi Astill (17-32-49)

JP Desabrais (19-28-47)

Tyler Burke (8-38-43)

Ray Warrack (13-30-43)

Chad Bates (21-17-38)


Nitehawks Goaltenders (Regular Season) Border Bruins Goaltenders (Regular Season)
Connor Stojan 22W – 7L – 0OTL (0.946 SV% / 2.46 GAA)

Landon Uzeloc (10W – 2L – 0OTL (0.916 SV% / 2.23 GAA)

Ethan Shebansky 16W – 8L – 0OTL

(0.925 SV% / 2.87 GAA)

Matthew Dovichuk 11W – 2L – 2OTL

(0.897 SV% / 3.45 GAA)

Gabe Osmond 1W – 1L – 1OTL (0.890 SV% / 3.87 GAA)


Nitehawks Top 5 Scorers (Playoffs) Border Bruins Top 5 Scorers (Playoffs)
Kaleb Percival (0-5-5)

Lohgan Nimmo (2-2-4)

Ethan Smyth (2-1-34

Bobby Hristov (2-1-3)

Adam Redding (2-1-3)

Levi Astill (0-7-7)

Ray Warrack (1-5-6)

Levi Astill (5-0-5)

Ben Edwards (5-3-5)

JP Desabrais (4-0-4)


Nitehawks Goaltenders (Playoffs) Border Bruins Goaltenders (Playoffs)
Connor Stojan 4W – 0L – 0OTL (0.938 SV% / 1.62 GAA)

Landon Uzeloc (N/A)

Ethan Shebansky 4W – 1L – 0OTL

(0.955 SV% / 1.49 GAA)

Matthew Dovichuk (N/A)

Gabe Osmond (N/A)

Regardless of the stats coming into this series, we know its going to be a great one and one you won’t want to miss. The Hawks kick off round two on Friday night at the ‘Hawks Nest’ at 7pm. Doors open at 6pm in what is expected to be a capacity crowd. The Hawks will also have a registration and payment table set up for those wanting to go to Grand Forks on the fan bus, operating for games 3 & 4 on Monday and Wednesday next week. Catch all the games at the rink or on FloHockey. Also follow the Nitehawks on their social media channels for the most up to date news!

We’ll see you Friday night BV!