Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
The Niverville Nighthawks have lost their fourth straight game after falling 3–2 to the OCN Blizzard on Friday night at the CRRC. With the loss, the Nighthawks continue to cling to fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 21–21–4.
It was another game the Nighthawks perhaps should have won. After falling behind 1–0 after the first period, Evan Bortis tied the game at 1–1 midway through the second period. And just a few minutes later, Josh Paulhus scored his twenty-sixth goal of the season to give Niverville a 2–1 lead.
Things were looking great for Niverville.
However, in the third period the ice tilted in OCN’s favour, and the home side had no answers. The Blizzard scored twice to win 3–2 and leave the Nighthawks feeling angry and upset over the result.
“A couple of mistakes and that makes the whole difference for us tonight,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “We’re frustrated and mad, but everybody cares. Things aren’t going our way lately, so we need to figure things out pretty quick.”
It should be noted that since the new year, the Nighthawks have only won four times in their last 14 games. It’s not a good trend, and Cech recognizes the sense of urgency his team needs to have if they want to qualify for the playoffs.
“There are no answers for what’s going on,” said Cech. “Everyone thinks it’s easy, and everyone thinks you can say the right things, and we can come to the right conclusions. If there was an easy answer, we’d have found it by now. These guys are all smart and are doing their best. Losing streaks suck, but we’re in a playoff spot still at the moment, and we’re going to come back tomorrow and try again.”
On a more positive note, the Nighthawks have welcomed 16-year-old Nathan Brown into the fold as he played his third game with the club on Friday night. Brown was a second-round pick of the Nighthawks at the 2022 MJHL Entry Draft and has committed to play college hockey in 2025–26 with the St. Cloud State Huskies.
“Brown looked great,” said Cech. “It was an awesome pick by our scouts to recognize him. He’s signed to a Division 1 scholarship with St. Cloud State for when he’s done high school, so we’re excited to get him on the team for some games this year and into next season.”
The Nighthawks are back in action on Saturday with another home game against the Swan Valley Stampeders. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.