Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
It was another rough night for the Niverville Nighthawks on the road as they fell to the Swan Valley Stampeders by a dominant 6–1 score. With the loss, the Nighthawks slid to 24-27-4, which remains good for fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division—and four points up on the Selkirk Steelers, who are chasing them in the standings as the regular season nears its end.
For those wondering where the team sits in the playoff picture, the Nighthawks will likely have to win at least one of their final three regular season games if they want to secure the final playoff berth in the MJHL’s postseason.
From the Nighthawks’ point of view, there isn’t much to say about the Swan Valley game, unfortunately. Swan Valley scored only 12 seconds into the contest and didn’t look back from there. It was 3–0 in the first period until Brett Tataryn was able to get one back for Niverville.
Swan Valley was relentless for most of the game and scored three more times throughout the contest to pull out the lopsided victory.
“It was the worst possible start we could have had, and there are some hard lessons in there early,” said head coach Kelvin cech. “And it takes a bit to come back from those, but we have to keep going.”
Despite the second straight tough loss on the road, there are some positives the Nighthawks can take away from it.
“We talk a lot about building our chances and our game shift by shift,” says Cech. “Especially in the second period today, we did that. We were chasing the whole game, and you just have to try and focus on your next shift. And for that second period, we were able to roll all of our lines, and we hope the score takes care of itself. It didn’t work out tonight, but other nights it might, and that’s the mindset we need to have.”
The Nighthawks are back in action on Wednesday with a road game against the league-leading Portage Terriers in what will likely be a preview of the first round of the MJHL playoffs. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
“We know exactly where we’re at in the standings and have known it for two months,” said Cech. “The guys are battling in practice and pushing each other. They’re incredibly resilient. So we’re fighting tooth and nail to get a couple of points and secure our spot.”