The Niverville Nighthawks failed to muster any offence again on Friday evening at the CRRC, dropping their third game in a row with a 3–1 loss to the Selkirk Steelers. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a record of 22–17–2.
It was a tight-checking game that the Nighthawks couldn’t get ahead of.
Selkirk opened the scoring midway through the first period, and then Niverville’s Kaycee Coyle tied the game in the second period. But Selkirk replied in short order to take back the lead.
The Steelers added one more tally in the third period to win the game.
Raiden LeGall stopped 35 shots in the Nighthawks’ goal in the loss.
“There’s lots of different problems and different things we can look at, but we just have to look for answers,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “Selkirk did a good job in the neutral zone in clogging it up. They have a specific forecheck every year and pounce on mistakes when you turn the puck over. It’s a patient team that’s good away from the puck, and we had a tough time penetrating and getting to the middle of the ice.”
“They definitely played their game better than we played ours,” added forward Alex Walicki. “They stuck to their systems and forced us to adjust. Our team is going to get out of this funk by sticking together and using this upcoming break to develop a deeper connection on and off the ice. We play best when we attack fast and get the puck up the ice fast. If we can do that, we will score a bunch more goals and win more games.”
The Nighthawks are back in action with a road game against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines on February 3. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
In the meantime, several of Niverville’s players will be taking part in the MJHL-SJHL Showcase from January 30–31 at Seven Oaks Sportsplex in Winnipeg. This elite showcase event between the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League has taken place every January since 2018. The event provides players with high-performance exposure in front of NHL, WHL, NCAA and U SPORTS scouts.
Nighthawks’ players who will be competing at the Showcase include Nathan Brown, Luke Mackenzie, Avery Laliberte, Raiden LeGall, Michael Debrito, and Kaycee Coyle.
“This week-long break comes at a good time for us, so we’ll try and be better when we get back,” said Cech. “Half of our guys will be at the Showcase, so that’s a bit of a blessing, as we’ll have a lot of prospects out at practice. We’ll just get back to having fun and playing hockey and realize we don’t have to be here; we get to be here.”