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Nighthawks Fall to Portage

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Chris Fines Crop1
Chris Fines held off 33 shots Friday night. Scott Stroh

The Niverville Nighthawks had their four-game win streak snapped on Friday night when they fell 6–2 to the Portage Terriers on the road at Stride Place. With the loss, the Nighthawks stay in fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division with a 12–10–1 record.

Portage proved why they are one of the top teams in the MJHL this season, as they carried the play for much of the game. The Terriers scored twice early in the first period before Braden Panzer got one back for Niverville.

In the second period, the two teams split goals, as Isaac Rentmeester scored for the Nighthawks, making the game 3–2 Portage after forty minutes.

The Terriers pulled away in the third period with three tallies to give them the 6–2 win.

“It was pretty back and forth for the first two periods,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “Early on, they capitalized on a couple of tough bounces where they scored twice from behind our net, which happens once a year usually, and it happened twice in one game. We defended well through forty minutes and thought we gave ourselves a chance, but in the end they pulled away.”

Chris Fines was excellent in the Nighthawks’ goal as he stopped 33 shots on the evening.

“They possessed the puck a lot more than we did, and our forecheck wasn’t quite fast enough to retrieve the puck,” Cech said. “Usually when that happens you’re not getting as much offensive zone time. It probably could have been worse if Fines didn’t play as well as he did in the net.”

The Nighthawks are back in action on Wednesday night (November 30) at the CRRC when they take on the Winnipeg Freeze in a highly contested divisional matchup. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

“At this time of year, lots of teams are going through injuries and illnesses and whatnot,” said Cech. “So we just want to take care of our bodies and minds, and that starts with our yoga session tomorrow. And then just getting back on the ice on Monday and preparing for our next game with the Freeze.”

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