Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
The Niverville Nighthawks had an off night on Saturday evening at the CRRC as they fell 4–1 to the Swan Valley Stampeders. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 19–15–3.
Swan Valley scored in the first five minutes of the game to take the lead before the newest Nighthawk, Ethan Whillans, scored his first goal as a member of the team to level the game at 1–1.
Kayden Skulmoski scored his first Nighthawks point as well, with an assist on the goal.
“Kayden Skulmoski has been here for a week now and has been getting better every game,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “He made a really nice play on that goal, and for Ethan to bury one in his second game, it just builds some confidence for him. We’re excited for both those guys.”
Sadly, the Whillans goal was the lone bright spot of the game. Swan Valley scored once in the second period and twice in the third period in a frustrating game for Niverville.
When it was all said and done, the scoreboard showed 4–1 in favour of the Stampeders.
Chris Fines stopped 30 shots in goal for the Nighthawks on the evening.
“Swan Valley did a really good job of keeping us on the perimeter, as we didn’t quite have the energy to go to the middle of the ice and the greasy areas,” Cech said. “And they defended well, too, and were much quicker than us, I thought. So it was tough to create offence.”
“They were tough to crack getting into their zone,” added captain Brett Tataryn. “They were quick to attack us.”
The Nighthawks are back in action with a home-and-away series against the Virden Oil Capitals next weekend. The teams meet on Friday night in Virden (7:30 p.m.) before returning home to Niverville for a Sunday afternoon matinee at CRRC (3:00 p.m.).
“We need to go back to the drawing board and have some good practices,” said Cech. “We’re in the dog days of winter, so we need to find our game and be professional and go about our business and really be prepared for next weekend’s games.”
“I like how we’re playing to our advantages lately and making the best of our chances,” added Tataryn. “Some things we will work on this week are our breakout and entries. And also working as a unit instead of individuals.”