Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
The Niverville Nighthawks snapped a three-game losing streak on Tuesday night as they defeated the Winnipeg Blues 3–2 in overtime. With the win, the Nighthawks head into the Christmas break with a 16–13–2 record, which places them in fourth position in the MJHL’s East Division.
After giving up an early goal to the Blues, the Nighthawks fought back late in the first period with a goal from Carter Spirig on the power play. The two teams played a tight game the rest of the way, with each team scoring just one more goal.
Merik Boles scored for Niverville to tie the game at 2–2 early in the third period.
Heading to overtime for the second time in three games, the Nighthawks earned a better outcome this time around, as Gavin Gunderson scored the game-winner.
Chris Fines was excellent in net for the Nighthawks as he stopped 32 shots.
“Getting them back is great, and you can’t script it any better with an overtime win,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “Having Gavin Gunderson back in the line-up and providing us with the winner was awesome. But most importantly for the team, there’s been some ups and downs the first half of the season, so to go into the break with a big win like that against a tough opponent feels wonderful.”
Cech was most pleased that his team played much better with a full 60-minute effort than the last two games.
“We rolled four lines, and everyone contributed,” he said. “We also did a much better job with our habits in the defensive zone. Things like stops and starts, tying up sticks in front, and stuff like that. So we did a good job of that and had lots of chances offensively to boot.”
The Nighthawks are off for Christmas now and won’t return to action until New Year’s Eve for a big home game at the CRRC against the Winnipeg Freeze. The puck drops at 6:00 p.m.
Finally, the question you’re all wondering: what does Coach Cech want for Christmas from his Nighthawks?
“I just want a refreshed squad coming back. They’re gonna go home and fill up their hearts and their bellies a little bit, but hopefully not too much! Hopefully the team can all relax and come back refreshed and ready for a huge second half to the season.”