By: Clarence Braun
The Niverville Nighthawks made the short trip to Steinbach on the night of Saturday, September 10 for their first visit to the T.G. Smith Centre. In this, their last preseason game before next Friday’s season opener, the Nighthawks out-chanced the Pistons but came up short in the final score.
The Pistons opened the scoring with a goal by Dawson Milliken at the 4:18 mark of the first period while on the power play.
Nighthawks forward Gavin Gunderson responded with a marker of his own at 8:30 to tie the game up.
The first period ended in a 1–1 draw, with the Pistons taking three of five penalties.
In the second frame, once again the Pistons struck first with a goal by Brett Kaiser at 3:32 of the second period. Nighthawks Brett Tataryn responded to tie the game again at the 4:44 mark.
However, the Pistons struck twice more, first by Nate Goodbrandson at 11:09 mark and then Dawson Milliken at 12:28 for his second goal of the night.
Despite having four power play opportunities, the Nighthawks were unable to take advantage.
The Pistons scored one more time in the third period, bringing the final score to 5–2. The final frame was a penalty-filled affair, with the Pistons taking five of the seven penalties called.
In his post-game comments, head coach Kelvin Cech remarked on the amount of experience both clubs brought into this game when compared to their first meeting on Labour Day. He was encouraged by the effort shown by his team but acknowledged that there is still some rust to work off as they enter the season opener on Friday.
The power play, in particular, is a work in progress. However, though frustrated by a lack of scoring, Cech noted that the team kept working and didn’t give up. He added that the next week will be spent watching game tape and working on systems to get the play to where it needs to be.
Cech said that the coaches and players are all excited for the home opener this upcoming Saturday at the CRRC in Niverville. The game starts at 5:00 p.m.