Nighthawks Spoil Coach’s Debut with Loss to Winkler

Ty Dilello

The Niverville Nighthawks once again found themselves on the losing end of things as they fell 7–2 to the Winkler Flyers on Wednesday night on the road. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 23–19–3.

Winkler was the dominant team all game long, scoring three times in the first period, twice in the second period, and twice in the third period. Niverville’s two goals on the night were scored by Michael Debrito and Adam Vigfusson.

Raiden LeGall stopped 33 shots in the Nighthawks’ goal.

Wednesday night’s game was the debut for the Nighthawks’ new head coach Dwight Hirst.

“I saw a number of things we do well and a number of things we can definitely improve upon,” said Dwight Hirst. “It’s going to be a process over the next few games yet, as mistakes can happen in a game. But if they continue, it’s now a choice and not a mistake. I thought offensively we’ve got to recognize what we do well and stick to it. Hockey is a game of highs and lows. When your low, you have to learn to ride those waves back to a high.”

Hirst is looking forward to the challenge of helping lead the Nighthawks out of this hole they’ve dug themselves into since the start of 2024.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for sure and kind of surreal, in fact,” said Hirst. “Being a player in this league 28 years ago, and now coaching in it, is pretty cool actually. But at the end of the day, it’s a great opportunity to work with athletes at this level.”

The Nighthawks are back in action with a home game at the CRRC on Friday night against the OCN Blizzard. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

“I see a group that’s going to need to know that hard work and good habits are what drives this team. The talent and skills are here, but the consistency of habits needs to ramp up.”