Head Coach & General Manager | Kelvin Cech
“Our team is being built on character and competitiveness. This is how we’re going to go about the recruiting process. We are looking for those men who have good character, who will be good teammates on and off the ice. It’s important to me because I believe we can search for success in a non-traditional way.”
Kelvin Cech was born and raised in Sherwood Park, Alberta. He played hockey in Sherwood Park and Strathcona County as a kid and moved into coaching after college because someone told him he was a better coach than a player.
After serving as a head coach and assistant coach for a some U15 and U18 teams in the Vancouver area, Cech went on to become an assistant coach of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds for three seasons. He later was named the head coach of the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers for the 2019–20 season.
Assistant General Manager & Director of Scouting | Mike McAulay
“I spent three seasons with the Winkler Flyers as their assistant general manager and head scout working alongside a good friend and mentor Jeff Jeanson, who gave me my start in administration and scouting at the Junior A level. It was in Winkler where I also had the chance to work with Coach Cech, so the transition to the Nighthawks has been relatively seamless. It’s a privilege to have an opportunity to be a part of something this special.”
Mike McAulay was born in Winnipeg and currently resides in La Salle. He counts his minor hockey days as some of his most cherished, particularly a provincial championship in Stonewall, three Zone Four championships in Carman, and a silver medal in the Western Canadian Championships with the St. Malo Warriors under legendary coach Ralph Collette.
His playing career wrapped up at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, where he considers his career to have come full circle after winning an MCHA championship.
Together with his scouting team, McAulay was successful in finding and recruiting players to the MJHL who have gone on to make impressive contributions in their junior days and beyond.
Assistant Coach | Ben Micflikier
Ben Micflikier was born and raised in Winnipeg. He played AAA hockey for the Monarchs and Wild, for St. Paul’s High School, and then for two years of junior hockey mainly with the Winkler Flyers of the MJHL.
Micflikier was the defensive assistant coach for St Paul’s and helped them win both city and provincial championships in 2018.
In the 22/23 season he was the offensive assistant coach for the St. Boniface Riels of the MMJHL, who made their first playoff appearance since 2018.
“I’m incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the Niverville Nighthawks and continue building a successful team culture of accountability and support. Leading up my hiring I heard so many great things about the players, staff, volunteers, community, and organization in general. I really can’t wait to get to work!”
Assistant Coach | Tyler Anderson
Tyler Anderson was born and raised in Niverville. The chance to contribute to the new team and his community is one he’s not taking for granted. Anderson played for the Eastman Selects when he was growing up and now he gets to help usher in the next wave of young players moving into their junior hockey years.
“I’m looking forward to grow the player development side of the game, especially in young defensemen.”
A defenseman himself, Anderson graduated from Eastman and moved on to Junior A with stops in the SJHL with the Kindersley Klippers and the BCHL with the Prince George Spruce Kings and West Kelowna Warriors, a team with which he won a national championship.
Following junior hockey, Anderson attended a Washington Capitals development camp before embarking on a Division 1 college career with the Superior State Lakers, a team that won the GLI Cup.
“It is awesome to finally have a team here in Niverville. As a local, it’s something I wish we would have had back in my junior days. I think it will really bring the community together and it will be a fun night out on the town for local families. It’s especially important for the younger kids to see this quality of hockey and look up to it. Billets will have a player move in, who will turn into an older brother for the young kids living in the house, and you’ll have a friend for life. This will help put Niverville on the map.”
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach | Crystal Stott
Crystal Stott was born and raised in Niverville. She has always loved the game of hockey and has been a fan since she the time she was a kid. She has enjoyed watching her daughters play the sport as well throughout the years.
Stott’s favourite hockey moment was attending the 2005 World Juniors bronze and gold medal games.
The Nighthawks hired Crystal Stott to be the team’s head strength and conditioning coach in the spring of 2022. Her hiring represented an official partnership between the team and ShopGym, the facility that Stott owns.
ShopGym has a distinct college-like atmosphere, which is ideal for Junior A hockey as most players are looking to move on to college hockey in the future.
Stott has owned and operated ShopGym for 12 years and has trained numerous AA and AAA hockey teams. A certified functional strength and nutrition coach, she has a special focus on hormone health and nutrition for athletic performance.
“To be involved with a team from the ground up is a real honour,” said Stott. “I am so excited to be able to contribute to the team’s and individual athletes’ success in their inaugural season and I can’t wait to get started.”
Head Physiotherapist | Justin Giesbrecht
Justin Giesbrecht was born and raised in Niverville. He grew up playing for the Eastman Selects and then played four years of Junior A hockey in the MJHL for the Winkler Flyers and Swan Valley Stampeders, as well as in the SJHL for the Yorkton Terriers. Giesbrecht then played two years at Briercrest College in the ACAC and then some semi-professional hockey in the SPHL (Mississippi) and FHL (Connecticut and New York).
“On my return home, I began coaching in the Niverville/Eastman area, coaching the U18 Eastman Selects and most recently with the U15 Female Eastman Selects team.”
Giesbrecht is excited at getting things going this season as the Nighthawks’ physiotherapist.
“To me it’s very important to give back to the community that raised me as a young hockey player. I’m very excited that Niverville has this opportunity to become a Junior A hockey community and put us on the map as a hockey town. I also get the chance to share some of my knowledge, skills, and experiences as a former professional hockey player as well as help with my skills in the medical field as a physiotherapist.”
Player Development & Sport Science Coach | Rob Pambrun
Rob Pambrun was born and raised in Winnipeg. He played AAA hockey for the Winnipeg Warriors and the U18 Winnipeg Wild. From there, he moved on to playing junior hockey in the MJHL for the Portage Terriers, the Southeast Blades (now called the Steinbach Pistons), and the Winnipeg Saints (now called the Virden Oil Capitals).
“One of my main goals as a player was to play junior hockey at a young age. When I managed to crack the line-up as a teenager, I was extremely proud, and this was hands down my favourite moment in hockey.”
Due to an unforeseen knee injury, Pambrun’s hockey career was cut short. Since then, he has become a fitness professional—a performance and physique specialist, to be exact—and he currently owns a global fitness consulting corporation named Team Prep Starz.
“Joining the Nighthawks organization was important for me because. The knowledge and skills I’ve gained in the fitness industry have allowed me to find my way back into the hockey world. The Nighthawks organization values the knowledge and experience that I bring to the table, and I’m extremely excited for this opportunity. As the player development and sports science coach, I’m looking forward to working with all the players and becoming a member of the community.”
Skills Coach | Jarret Oster
Bio coming soon!
Goalie Coach | Tyler Oswald
Tyler Oswald was born and raised in Sanford. He grew up playing minor hockey in the MacDonald hockey system. He played U18AAA as a goaltender for the Pembina Valley Hawks before playing junior hockey with the Winkler Flyers. His favourite hockey memory was winning the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey Championship with Pembina Valley.
Oswald has been coaching ever since he stopped playing around ten years ago. He coached for GDI in Winnipeg for four years before moving to Calgary to pursue a degree in Sports and Recreation Management.
“While in Calgary, I worked for GDI as well as being an assistant/goalie coach for the Calgary Northstars U18AAA team for three years. After completing my schooling, I moved back to Winnipeg to rejoin RINK Goalie Development, formerly known as GDI.”
Oswald has been at the RINK for over three years now and have been coaching the RHA U18 prep team as the goalie coach. He has also worked with the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues in 2019–20 as their goalie coach.
“I’m really looking forward to the being involved in the inaugural season for the Niverville Nighthawks. Being part of a team in the MJHL is an exciting opportunity for myself. It’s even more of an exciting challenge to be part of growing a brand-new team and culture.”
Equipment Manager | Mitch David
Mitch David grew up in Île-des-Chênes and started playing hockey in his town’s minor hockey program at eight years old. The following year, he became a goalie and has been one ever since.
After his second year of bantam, he went on to play three years at the AAA level through the U17 and U18 Eastman Selects program. Through those years, he attended two WHL camps with the Prince Albert Raiders and Everett Silvertips.
After U18, David went on to play for the Portage Terriers, Winnipeg South Blues, and Steinbach Pistons in the MJHL. He then played one and a half seasons with the Charleswood Hawks in the MMJHL, capturing back-to-back championships with a 24–0 playoff record. That record has yet to be broken.
He also captured Playoff MVP and Goaltender of the Year awards in his final season of junior hockey (2010–11).
David is a current Niverville resident and is very passionate about his town’s newest hockey team.
“Creating a unique and driven culture is crucial to attracting current and new players. Things like team values and traditions, good billets, having a ton of fans at games, being role models for younger hockey players, a dressing room stall that has your name on it, a solid rink to play in, etc. These are all the little things that make the biggest difference in enjoying your career and make you want to be where you are. As a goaltending scout, I don’t often get to hit the ice with the athletes. But finding individuals who share this aspect of their Junior A career dreams is what I will aim to bring to this organization and the community of Niverville.”