A couple of defensive zone breakdowns cost the Niverville Nighthawks on Wednesday night at the CRRC as they fell 5–3 to the Neepawa Titans in a seesaw affair. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 12–8–1.
To start things off, Nathan Brown got the Nighthawks on the board early in the first period, before Neepawa replied with a goal of their own.
Neepawa then jumped out to a 2–1 lead a minute into the second period, but this time it was the Nighthawks replying with Michael Debrito’s tenth goal of the season. Neepawa added another goal in the second period to take the lead again.
In the final period, Nighthawks captain Brett Tataryn scored on the power play to tie the game at 3–3. Unfortunately, Neepawa pulled away in the final minutes with a pair of goals to knock off Niverville by a count of 5–3.
“Our gaps were too big defensively, I thought, and offensively we actually did a lot of things that we talked about, like getting pucks to the middle of the ice,” said head coach Kelvin Cech. “And from there, we made some plays and got our offence going, but defensively we just got caught watching the play at times. We just gave them too much tonight.”
The Nighthawks also have a new centreman on the team in Ian Ness of Moorhead, Minnesota, who made his debut with the club. Ness comes from the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL, where he’s skated in eight games this season.
Ness had an assist tonight in his first Nighthawks’ game.
“Ness brings in a lot of speed,” said Cech. “Once we lost Bryce Warkentine to a lengthy suspension, we knew we had to get someone. He’s fast and brings a lot of skill. I just met him today, but we’re really happy to get him and it looks like a great fit for us.”
The Nighthawks are back in action on Friday, November 17 on the road with a rematch against the Neepawa Titans. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
“They scored on the power play, shorthanded, and even strength tonight, so there’s all areas that we need to work on for Friday night’s game against Neepawa,” Cech said.