Crystal Stott

Nighthawks Fall to Selkirk

Ty Dilello

The Niverville Nighthawks came back down to earth on Saturday evening with a rough 5–2 loss on the road to the Selkirk Steelers. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 19–12–1.

Things started off well as Michael Debrito scored the game’s opening goal midway through the first period.

Selkirk replied with a goal of their own a few minutes later.

In the second period, the Steelers pulled away with a pair of goals to lead 3–1.

Luke MacKenzie then got the Nighthawks to within one in the third period, but that’s as close as Niverville got. Selkirk scored twice more before the final buzzer.

“Tonight’s loss was definitely deflating after all the momentum we had going this week,” said Debrito. “We took these guys for granted, and it came back to bite us. Selkirk definitely has a different style of play compared to Winkler and Steinbach because Selkirk runs a very tight neutral zone trap to force turnovers and dumps, while Winkler and Steinbach are both very aggressive in all three zones. So you can sometimes catch them off-guard with one or two quick passes. However, Selkirk tends to direct traffic to where they want the puck to go in order for them to get it back quickly.”

Despite tonight’s tough loss, Debrito is very happy with how his club has been playing lately.

“Obviously, the two huge wins are big for us against Steinbach and Winkler, where everyone has been doing their jobs really well, and the team is starting to gel a lot more as the year goes on.”

The Nighthawks are back in action on Wednesday night with a home game against the Portage Terriers. It will be their final game before the Christmas break. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

“To get back in the win column, I think we just need to wipe the Selkirk game from our memory,” said Debrito. “We beat two really good teams this week and proved that we can be one of the best teams in the league. We just need to get back to our identity of working hard in the offensive zone and working even harder tracking back to the defensive zone.”