Ty Dilello – Niverville Citizen
The Niverville Nighthawks wrapped up their weekend road trip with a 3–2 overtime loss on Saturday night against the OCN Blizzard. Even with this first loss of the year, the Nighthawks move into first place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 3–0–1.
After picking up a win over Swan Valley the previous night, the Nighthawks rolled into The Pas on Saturday afternoon to take on the OCN Blizzard for the first time this season.
The Blizzard opened the scoring midway through the first period to take a 1–0 lead. After a scoreless second period, Michael DeBrito then got the Nighthawks on the board just 11 seconds in the final frame.
OCN replied with a goal just over a minute later.
However, Matthew Healey responded with his first goal for the Nighthawks to tie the game at 2–2 and send it to overtime.
In overtime, it wasn’t meant to be. The Blizzard scored at the 2:41 mark of the extra frame to win the game. As a consolation, Niverville earned a point in the standings for the overtime loss.
Raiden LeGall stopped 31 shots in net for the Nighthawks in the loss.
Nighthawks coach Kelvin Cech was pleased with his team’s effort in this first road trip of the season, with his club picking up three of a possible four points.
“We’re happy with points in every game for sure,” said Cech. “Every game is competitive as both games were hard-fought.”
He adds that Nighthawks first-year forward Michael DeBrito from Fergus Falls, Minnesota is quickly turning into quite the scorer for the club. Through his first four games, DeBrito has tallied three goals and two assists for five points.
“Mike has been getting better every game,” said Cech. “It’s a new league and a new country for him, and now that he’s getting more comfortable, his confidence is building.”
Cech is also happy with the way things are going on the Nighthawks this season through the first couple of games, as the club is adapting well to the new system and style of play that the team is implementing.
“I like our game for sure as everyone is contributing in different ways which is crucial. I’ve noticed changes with the system and the style that we play.”
The Nighthawks are back in action next weekend with a home game on Friday, October 6 against the OCN Blizzard at 7:00 p.m. before going back on the road the next night for a Saturday evening showdown with the Neepawa Titans.