The Niverville Nighthawks fell in overtime to the Winnipeg Blues 3–2 on Saturday evening. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 15–12–2.
It was a bit of a slow start for the Nighthawks as they’d had more than a week off since their last game. They didn’t have the legs needed to compete with the Blues, and after the first period Winnipeg led 2–1, with Hayden Wheddon scoring for the Nighthawks.
The Nighthawks found their legs throughout the second period and were finally rewarded when Braden Panzer scored with two minutes left in the period to knot the game at 2–2.
After a scoreless third period, the Nighthawks were off to a rare three-on-three overtime session, the grand majority of their games this season having ended in regulation.
Sadly, the Nighthawks couldn’t pull the game out. Winnipeg scored two minutes into overtime to win 3–2.
Ethan Kadatz stopped 30 shots in goal for the Nighthawks on the evening.
“The two points would have been nice, but it’s always important to get a point in this league,” said Niverville Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “Performance-wise, it wasn’t good enough, particularly earlier in the game. We had a long week off to prepare, so this wasn’t good enough, and the better team won tonight.”
Games like these really show the parity amongst teams, as the MJHL is a very competitive league and anyone can beat anyone on any given night.
“You have to be on your game every night, and you can never take your foot off the gas,” said Cech.
Cech also noted how his club hasn’t had the pleasure of playing overtime too many times this season, and perhaps some more practice at that aspect of the game is needed.
“We actually do some defensive zone three-on-three stuff to work on in regard to coverage in our own zone,” he said. “But it’s probably on me that we don’t practice overtime a ton, as it doesn’t happen to us often. The coach has to make better decisions there I guess.”
It’s a quick turnaround now for the Nighthawks as they head south for an afternoon matchup (3:00 p.m.) against the Winkler Flyers.
“We’ve got to go to a tough building to play in at Winkler, but we also got our first franchise win there, so the guys are eager to turn the page there and put our best foot forward and try to get the win.”