By: Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
It was a game to forget for the hometown Niverville Nighthawks, as they fell 6–2 to a solid Virden Oil Capitals. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fifth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a 4–5–0 record.
The Nighthawks started off slow, but only trailed 1–0 after the first period. The second period was Niverville’s downfall as they were blitzed by Virden for four goals.
To Niverville’s credit, they fought back in the final frame and played a good period of hockey. Brendan Kerr and Desmond Johnson tallied for the Nighthawks, but a comeback was not in the cards.
“It was a sleepy first period for us and the second period was not good, but Virden came in and executed a perfect game plan on the road,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “We had no response for it, and we just weren’t good enough tonight.”
Ethan Kadatz played the first two periods in goal for the Nighthawks before Scott Thompson came in to close the game in the third period.
“Some nights are going to be hard, and you have to work through it,” Cech added. “And the guys came out and played well in the third period, which was encouraging for sure. But it was too little too late for us.”
“We didn’t play a solid first two periods, but we played a lot better in the third period,” said defenceman Desmond Johnson. “And the boys just need to shake it off. It was a tough one, but we have to keep battling through, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to take it to Virden on Sunday and get the win.”
Johnson scored his first-ever MJHL goal when he blasted a point shot past Virden’s netminder late in the third period.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, who were able to set me up for the goal,” Johnson said. “I was able to hit a one-timer, and I’m just thankful it went in.”
The 20-year-old native of Phoenix, Arizona is one of the Nighthawks’ newest players, as he was playing his fourth game with the club. Although he’s only been in town for a few weeks, Johnson has enjoyed the Niverville experience so far.
“Niverville has been really great as I love the community, and the fans are great,” he said. “It’s a nice experience to come to a smaller town and see the people band together and seeing them come out every game.”
The Nighthawks now head to Virden for a Sunday evening game at 7:30 p.m. It’ll be the first long bus ride of the year for Cech and his team, and they appear to be excited about it. Niverville will continue to be on the road for games on October 19 and 22 against Portage and Neepawa.
“It’ll be nice to get out of town and worry just about hockey,” said Cech. “It’s fun to get on the bus with the guys and whatnot. We’re looking forward to it for sure and hope to play better on Sunday.”