Ty Dilello – Niverville Citizen
It was a Saturday night to forget at the CRRC as the Niverville Nighthawks were blown out 5–0 by the OCN Blizzard. With the loss, the Nighthawks drop to third place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 3–1–1.
Right from the opening puck drop, the Blizzard were quick to pounce on the Nighthawks. A pair of first-period goals from OCN set the tone for the rest of the game.
OCN scored another pair of goals in the second period, to which the Nighthawks could find no answer. The Blizzard scored once more in the third frame, putting the game well out of reach.
Keegan Gordon stopped 37 shots in the loss for the Nighthawks.
“I think part of it was self-inflicted, but they were also very fast and hard on the forecheck,” said head coach Kelvin Cech. “We just couldn’t handle it early in the game, so we were chasing. We didn’t get through the neutral zone much because we weren’t in the neutral zone to begin with. We were on our own end for the first half of the game, and by the time we figured it out, it was too late.”
Cech noted that his club wasn’t surprised by OCN’s strong play as the two teams had played a hard-fought game a week ago in The Pas, where the Blizzard won in overtime.
“We knew they were going to be fast,” said Cech. “We watched their forecheck all week in preparation, and that’s the aggravating thing, as we weren’t surprised and knew how to beat it. But they were just faster than us in our zone, and that was the difference.”
The Nighthawks have a quick turnaround as they’re back in action tonight on the road with a game against the Neepawa Titans. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re all on the same page, and we know as a group that we need to get better,” said Cech. “The league is strong, and every game is so hard, so we got to get ready to play again tomorrow.”