The Niverville Nighthawks gave it a spirited effort on Sunday afternoon at the CRRC but were ultimately thwarted 3–2 by the first-place Steinbach Pistons. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 2–14–2.
It was a very tightly played affair right from the opening puck drop as the teams played to a goalless opening period. Things opened up in the second period as Steinbach scored a pair of counters to lead 2–0.
Brendan Bottem got one back for Niverville—that is, before Steinbach replied with a goal of their own. The Nighthawks’ Michael Debrito scored late in the second period to cut the deficit to 3–2, but that’s as close as Niverville would get.
A scoreless third period ended the game 3–2 in Steinbach’s favour.
Keegan Gordon stopped 30 shots in the Nighthawks’ goal in the loss.
Head coach Kelvin Cech was happy with his troop’s performance on the afternoon, as games like these against a first-place team are often a measuring stick to see where the club is at.
“I was for the most part impressed with our guys tonight,” said Cech. “We made a mistake or two more than the other team, and that was the difference. So we were kind of chasing for most of the game. On the whole, it was a good game. We know got some work to do and it was definitely encouraging.”
The Nighthawks are back in action on January 19 with a road game against the Swan Valley Stampeders. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.
“The biggest thing that’s going to work for us is our team-building and trying to come together as a team,” said Cech. “I think we’ve added five new players from the beginning of December. Everyone will have to give up some of their ice time to be successful, but everyone is on board with that, as we just all want to win as a team. It’s all about the vibes for us.”