Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
The Niverville Nighthawks gave it their all but came up a little short on the road Friday night as they fell to the Virden Oil Capitals by 3–1.
Goals were hard to come by for both teams. Virden got one towards the end of the first period, and the Nighthawks got one back in the dying minutes of the second period when Brett Tataryn scored his thirteenth goal of the year.
In the third period, Virden got the go-ahead goal early on and the Nighthawks couldn’t tie it up. The Oil Capitals got another goal in the game’s final minute to secure the win.
Chris Fines stopped 23 shots in goal for the Nighthawks.
“When it was five-on-five, I liked our game tonight,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “We had a lot of possession and a lot of offensive zone time. We just couldn’t quite have enough greasiness around the net and play to our identity a little more and involve all five guys on the offense. It’s a boring cliché, but we needed more traffic if we wanted to solve their goalie, who had a great game.”
Coach Cech and the Nighthawks are realizing that every game is becoming more important as teams around the league start to get desperate in their chase for the playoffs.
“It’s heavier now,” he said. “There’s tighter checking and everything needs to be done that much quicker. That’s why this league is so strong. Everyone is improving from the start of the year, us included. So there’s lots of races for the playoffs in both divisions.”
The Nighthawks are back in action on Sunday afternoon for a matinee (3:00 p.m.) at the CRRC against the Virden Oil Capitals, where they hope to exact some revenge for tonight’s loss.
“We need to play with emotion and edge, but stay out of the penalty box as well,” said Cech. “Offensively we need to have offensive zone time and invest in our game. If one line gets chances, then they improve the conditions of the next line, and we just gotta roll with that. Everyone needs to be involved, like an offence by committee, and bring that game on Sunday.”