Ty Dilello

In Winkler, a Night to Forget for Nighthawks

Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen

It was a very forgettable encounter on Sunday evening as the Niverville Nighthawks fell 5–2 to the Winkler Flyers. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 15–13–2.

To the Nighthawks’ credit, they came out of the gates with a little more intensity than the previous night’s encounter. Trading chances with Winkler throughout the first period, the Flyers finally opened the scoring with 15 seconds remaining.

Things started to fall apart late in the second period for Niverville as the Flyers found the back of the net three times in the last five minutes of the period.

Once Winkler scored again early in the third period, the Nighthawks rallied with goals from Hayden Wheddon and Ethan Kelly, but it was too little too late.

Chris Fines stopped 32 shots in goal for the Nighthawks in a losing effort.

“Winkler checked hard, as we didn’t have a lot of time and space out there,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “They created a lot of chances just by being relentless. And a couple of bad bounces, which seems to be happening a lot to us lately. We had a good first period, as it was really back and forth. A good start for sure, but they were able to get the jump on us in the second period, and we struggled the rest of the game.”

The Nighthawks have one more game before Christmas, to be played on Tuesday, December 20. The match will finish out the current three-game road trip, putting them against the Winnipeg Blues. The puck drops at 8:00 p.m.

Although the Nighthawks are on a bit of a losing skid, Cech wants to emphasize positivity and to trust the process.

“The message is that we’re frustrated, and things haven’t gone our way, but that happens to every hockey team on planet earth and we need to just remember why we play this game,” he said. “We have one more game left before Christmas, so we just need to have a good day at practice tomorrow and focus on the process and remember we’re in a fortunate position, and it’s supposed to be fun. So we’ll have fun at practice and hopefully bring the good vibes to the rink for our game on Tuesday.”