Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
The Niverville Nighthawks had another big effort on Friday evening as they dispatched the Winkler Flyers on the road by a score of 4–2 score. With the win, the Nighthawks sit seven points behind the Flyers, who are in third place in the division.
It was a strong game in which the Nighthawks never trailed. Josh Paulhus opened the scoring in the first period to give Niverville a 1–0 lead. After Winkler tied the game early in the second frame, the Nighthawks quickly replied when captain Brett Tataryn potted home his twelfth counter of the season.
In the third period, Winkler once again tied the game. But again, shortly thereafter Josh Paulhus got the go-ahead goal—and this one proved to be the game-winner. Brendan Bottem added an empty-netter before the horn sounded.
“We’re chasing them in the standings, so it’s a big win for us,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “We were solid in the middle of the ice and really good defensively. And we limited them to shots from the perimeter. And the ones that did get through, our goalie was great and made some enormous saves, especially late in the game.”
Chris Fines stopped 28 shots in goal for the Nighthawks.
“Everyone is contributing for us lately with their minutes, and it really shows,” said Cech. “For us, it seems to be someone different every night contributing on the score sheet. But tonight, Josh Paulhus was just fantastic. He stays on the edge but plays with discipline. And for him to get the game-winner tonight was just awesome to see.”
It’s a quick turnaround for the Nighthawks as they are back in action today at the CRRC to do battle with the Swan Valley Stampeders. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
The MJHL’s trade deadline also came and went this week. The Nighthawks made several deals, including a deadline-day deal with the Weyburn Red Wings of the SJHL to acquire forward Ethan Whillans for a player development fee and future considerations.
“Ethan played his first game tonight, going right into the fire at Winkler. He’s fitting in with the team already and is excited to be here and contribute to the group,” said Cech. “We felt strongly about our group and had a couple of tough decisions to make, but we added him and Kayden Skulmoski and Dane Couture in net. We just wanted to complement our strong team, and so far so good with all three of them.”