By: Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
The Niverville Nighthawks put up a valiant effort but fell to the Steinbach Pistons 4–1 in the second game of a back-to-back series to kick off the 2022–23 season.
It was the Nighthawks’ highly anticipated home opener, and although the game didn’t go quite like the local crowd would have wanted, the night was a big success.
Steinbach jumped out to an early lead, before Carson Reed scored for the Nighthawks on the powerplay to level the game at 1–1.
“Scoring in general is always a fun thing to do, but to do it in front of your fans, especially on a night like tonight, is extremely special,” said Reed.
The Pistons controlled play the rest of the way, scoring once in the second period and twice in the final frame to take the game 4–1.
The score could have been more lopsided had it not been for the strong play of Nighthawks’ netminder Chris Fines, who stood tall in goal, making 42 saves on the night.
Despite losing the game, the Nighthawks were in good spirits afterwards and were very appreciative to the town of Niverville for marking their stamp on the team.
“The home opener was great,” said Reed. “I mean, it means so much to us as players that we have the support we have. We can’t thank the volunteers enough for the time they are giving us and the community. And for the fans, they were great, they were loud, and they cheered us on the whole way through.”
“The vibe was awesome. We certainly felt the support of our fans,” added Nighthawks’ head coach Kelvin Cech. “I’ve liked our resiliency. We knew these would be two tough games, and it was a good measuring stick for us.”
The Nighthawks will now have a few days of practice before hitting the road to play Winkler on Wednesday evening.
“You know we are still trying to figure everything out,” said Reed. “We are starting to do a lot of good things, but a couple of things that we have to do is move the puck quicker and find ways to get pucks on net.”
Cech relayed the same message and noted that the wins will come, as he feels the Nighthawks are a very strong team that are just finding their game at the moment to start the season.
“We need to stick to our process, get to work on Monday, and do the little things that will help us get better,” said Cech. “And then hopefully, the score will take care of itself.”