As with so many of the Nighthawks’ games against the Steinbach Pistons last season, the latest matchup was a close and dramatic affair. Ultimately, the Pistons came out on top.
The first period was almost scoreless, until a flurry of activity in the closing minutes got the ball rolling. For the first time this preseason, Niverville wasn’t the first team to score, perhaps forecasting the outcome. Rather, it was Steinbach’s Hunter Degelman who potted home a goal at 18:10.
To Niverville’s credit, they rebounded fast with the tying goal coming from Bryce Warkentine at 19:40, assisting by Kaycee Coyle. It was Warkentine’s third goal of the preseason.
Unfortunately, the tie didn’t last long. Steinbach scored a buzzer-beater at 19:58 to regain their one-goal lead.
Once again, Niverville was quick to answer. Just 46 seconds into the second period, forward Nathan Brown found the back of the net, unassisted. It was his first goal of the preseason.
That’s when the wheels came off the wagon. The rest of the second period was a nightmare for the Nighthawks, with Steinbach scoring four times unanswered, gradually building up to a forbidding 5–1 lead.
That may have been insurmountable to some teams, but the Nighthawks have shown their ability to mount big comebacks—and this was almost one for the record books.
Carter Spirig scored on the power play at 6:03, backed up by captain Brett Tataryn and Ty Kennett. Then, at 10:40, Tataryn scored his own, assisted by Kyle Bochek.
And in the final minute of play, back on the power play, it was Tataryn again, this time with assists from Carter Spirig and Kaycee Coyle, who made it close.
Despite three third-period goals, the final score was 5–4 for Steinbach.
But if this was a preview of things to come, then fans may be in for another year of white-knuckled games against the Pistons.
Just one preseason game remains on the schedule: a rematch against the Pistons in Steinbach on Saturday, September, at 7:30 p.m.
Evan Braun – Niverville Citizen