Ty Dilello

Nighthawks Fall to Steelers

Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen

The Niverville Nighthawks fell on Wednesday evening at the CRRC to the Selkirk Steelers by a 4–1 score. With the loss, the Nighthawks move to a 17–14–1 record, which is still good for fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division.

After a scoreless first period, the two teams got into it a little bit as the game turned into a chippy affair, with many penalties being awarded to both teams.

The story of the game was special teams—as the Nighthawks couldn’t score on the power play, while the Steelers could. Selkirk scored three times in the second period, including twice on the power play to break the game open.

“We had a strong start with a lot of offensive zone time and possession, but couldn’t finish on the five-on-three,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “And then we had a stretch in the second period where the game got away with us with some penalties. We know that their power play is strong, and we didn’t have an answer for it.”

In the third period, the Nighthawks couldn’t get anything going. The teams traded goals once, with Josh Paulhus scoring for Niverville.

Chris Fines stopped 21 shots in goal for Niverville.

“It just wasn’t enough tonight,” said Cech. “Selkirk played with some major passion and desperation. They’re trying to catch up with us in the standings, and it showed, and we needed to be better. This league is so tight, and especially after Christmas, every game is life and death. There’s pressure, but pressure is a privilege.”

“Once they started calling so many penalties on the other team and us not scoring on the power play, I got worried, because we were going to get some stuff called as well,” added Nighthawks defenceman Ethan Kelly. “Selkirk has a really good power play, and we couldn’t stop them. Once we were down in the game, Selkirk stopped trying to score and just shut us down the rest of the way.”

The Nighthawks are back in action for a weekend series against the Neepawa Titans. After playing on the road Friday night, the Nighthawks will be at home on Saturday for a big 7:30 p.m. encounter at the CRRC.

“We just gotta stay positive and play our game,” said Kelly. “Once we get down a couple of goals, we get angry and try to do fancy things instead of sticking to our game plan. The game plan is there for a reason. If we stick to it, I think we’ll win.”