Nitehawks make deal for Dynamite forward

Nitehawks add some punch to line up with addition of John Usselman from the Kimberley Dynamiters.

Beaver Valley Nitehawks picked up size and skill from the Kimberley Dynamiters in a deal done at the Dec. 1 roster deadline.

The Nitehawks acquired six-foot-three, 210-pound forward John Usselman from the Dynamiters after the Saskatoon native scored two goals on the Nitehawks in a 6-1 Kimberley win at the Hawks Nest on Friday.

“John’s a big kid, who can play forward and defence,” said Beaver Valley GM Jamie Cominotto. “He gives us some needed size up front, and will be a definite asset to our team.”

Usselman, 17, became available after the Dynamiters picked up Jed Butler from the Spokane Braves and needed to make room for former Kootenay Ice forward Erik Delaire, who has been out with a wrist injury since the start of the season.

The Dec. 1 deadline requires Junior teams to be down to 25 carded players.

“We had to create some room for open cards down the road and also to sign Butler and Delaire so unfortunately we had to move Justin Deeks and John Usselman,” Dynamiters head coach and GM Derek Stuart told the Kimberley Bulletin.

Usselman contributed five goals and eight points in 18 games with the Nitros.

B.V. look to get back on the winning track at home this weekend with three games in three days set for the Hawks Nest.

The Nitehawks are coming off a disappointing 6-1 loss to the KIJHL leading, Kimberley Dynamiters, on Friday at the B.V. Arena.

Kimberley was too strong for a Hawks team that were without top defencemen Brock Wallace and Luke Woodrow, as well as dynamic forwards Ethan Jang and Marcus McEachern.

The Dynamiters outshot the Nitehawks 42-22, and John Usselman scored twice, while Easton Jolie, Cam Reid, Beau Larson, and Cam Russell rounded out the Kimberley scoring.

Stuart was impressed with the win saying, “In my three and a half years here that’s the best I’ve seen a Dynamiters team play in that tiny rink in Beaver Valley and it was very impressive, the guys were phenomenal on Friday.”

The Nitehawks now prepare for three home games in three days with Fernie on Friday, Grand Forks on Saturday, and Spokane on Sunday.

Beaver Valley lost 4-2 the last time they faced the Ghostriders in Fernie on Nov. 2 and are 1-1 in this season’s match up with the Eddie Mountain Division team. The 15-6-0-3 Ghostriders sit in second place in the Mountain division with 33 points, while 14-4-1-3 B.V. also find themselves in second place in the Neil Murdoch Division three points back of the Nelson Leafs, with three games in hand.

The Hawks face Murdoch Division rivals Grand Forks on Saturday. The 9-15-0-2 Border Bruins are in fourth place in the division, but have beaten the Nitehawks in 2-of-3 games this season. Grand Forks had a tough November. The Bruins got off to a good start with a 2-1 win over Kimberley on Nov. 2, but won only one more game during the month and lost nine, including a 4-1 setback to the Nitehawks.

B.V. meanwhile went 5-2-0-1, but have been hit by the injury bug with Brock Wallace, Luke Woodrow, Ethan Jang, and Marcus McEachern missing the Kimberley game due to injury.

B.V. then takes on the Braves on Sunday at the Hawks Nest. The much improved Spokane team holds down third place in the Murdoch Division this season with a 11-12-0-2 record. The Nitehawks beat the Braves 7-2 earlier this month in their only meeting this season.

Bradley Ross leads the Nitehawks in scoring with 17 goals and 37 points, followed by veteran Angus Amadio with seven goals and 20 points in 18 games.

The puck drop for Friday’s and Saturday’s games go at 7 p.m., while the Sunday match up starts at 2 p.m.