Ty Dilello – The Niverville Citizen
The Niverville Nighthawks rang in the new year with a victory at home over the Winnipeg Freeze. With the New Year’s Eve win, the team improves to 17–13–1 on the season.
“We were recharged and had three really good days of practice and got to work on some specific stuff that definitely showed up in our game,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “We came out strong and put up a lot of shots and were fortunate enough to get a couple by their goalie.”
It was a game in which the Nighthawks outshot the Freeze by a 55–23 margin. And yet the game remained close right to the end.
After a scoreless first period, Carter Spirig got the Nighthawks on the board early in the second period. The Freeze replied with a goal of their own shortly afterwards, but then Isaac Rentmeester found the net again for Niverville.
From there, Niverville sniper Josh Paulhus took the game over in the third period, posting a hat trick on the night. When the dust settled, the Nighthawks won the game by a 5–3 score, much to the delight of the strong crowd at CRRC.
“We were at a shot-a-minute pace for the first half of the game, but no goals, until Ethan Kelly got a tipped shot through, and their goalie couldn’t see it, which gave us a confidence booster,” said Cech. “After that, it was an up-and-down game, but we were able to pull out the win.”
The player of the game was undoubtedly Josh Paulhus, who now has 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points in 31 games with 50 penalty minutes.
“I can’t say enough positive things about Josh Paulhus,” Cech added. “We made the deal to get him in the summer. He just plays the right way every single night as he’s in the fight for us always and is very annoying to play against. So we’re happy he’s on our team. He played his one hundred fiftieth junior game the other night, and he said he wouldn’t want to play anywhere else than Niverville with us, so it was a big moment for the fellas. For him to then pot home three goals tonight and wear the fireman’s helmet after the game was very special.”
The Nighthawks continue their homestand this week with games on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The first one gets underway on Wednesday night at the CRRC against the Selkirk Steelers. And the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.