Nighthawks Drop Game One

The Steinbach Pistons got the best of the Niverville Nighthawks in game one of their best-of-seven series with a decisive 5–2 win on Friday night in La Broquerie.

Niverville was able to hang with Steinbach throughout much of the contest. The Pistons opened the scoring late in the first period and then added another tally late in the second frame. The Nighthawks got one back when Brendan Bottem scored on the power play with one second left in the second period.

“It was just a late power play at the end of the second period,” said Bottem. “It was an odd man rush. The puck kind of just ended up on my stick, and I put it in.”

Niverville tied the game early in the third period, with Ty Kennett scoring. However, just when it seemed like the Nighthawks might win the game, the top-seeded Pistons pulled away with a trio of goals.

Raiden LeGall was under fire all night long but was solid. The beleaguered netminder stopped 42 shots in the loss.

“We continue to show that we can fight back into any situation, and that showed again tonight,” said head coach Dwight Hirst. We played shorthanded for six minutes of the 20 in the third period, and you can’t do that when you’re in a tight game. Our penalty kill was great tonight, but it just doesn’t leave much time to gain momentum on the offensive side of the puck.”

“I like the resiliency we showed, as to be able to come back from two goals is huge,” added Bottem. “I would say we just made some little mistakes. We turned over some pucks and left their guys open. If we can limit those mistakes, we will be good.”

The Nighthawks and Pistons will do battle in game two back in Niverville at the CRRC on Sunday night. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

“We played well in the moments of the game that we had controlled on the ice,” said Hirst. “We just needed to sustain that part of our game a lot more than we did, and we’ll try to do that back at home for game two.”

Ty Dilello