Nighthawks Lose Close Battle with Winkler

Ty Dilello – Niverville Citizen

The Nighthawks threw everything but the kitchen sink against the Winkler Flyers on Sunday evening but fell a little short, losing 3–1 on the road. With the loss, the Nighthawks move to third place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 10–4–1.

Winkler scored two goals in the first period to jump out to an early 2–0 lead, before the Nighthawks found their stride. Michael Debrito scored his eighth goal of the season to bring the Nighthawks within a goal midway through the second period.

The Nighthawks tried frantically in the third period to tie the game but just couldn’t solve the Flyers’ netminder. Winkler added a goal with two minutes left and held on for the victory.

Raiden LeGall stopped 34 shots in net for the Nighthawks.

“A game like this against a good team in Winkler is a bit of a measuring stick in showing where we’re at,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “A couple of our guys really stepped up, and we’re really strong and played better, so there were lots of encouraging things to take from this game despite the result.”

It should also be noted that Nighthawks rookie forward Nathan Brown has been named to the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting watch list ahead of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. The list is a compilation of the top draft-eligible prospects from all the major development leagues throughout North America and Europe.

Brown is committed to play NCAA Division 1 hockey for the St. Cloud State University Huskies next season. This year, he currently has nine points in 15 games with Niverville.

“It’s an enormous deal and well deserved,” said Cech. “He’s one of the best 2006-born Junior A players in the country. So it’s no surprise that he’s getting that recognition. He showed tonight why he’s there, as he was one of the best, if not our best player on the ice tonight. He just keeps getting better and better and sure looks like a professional hockey player.”

The Nighthawks are back in action with a home game at the CRRC on Friday, November 3 against the Portage Terriers. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.