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Nighthawks Hold on to Defeat Steelers

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The Nighthawks claimed victory Friday night at the CRRC against Selkirk. Justin Braun

On Friday night at the CRRC, the Niverville Nighthawks captured their third straight game when they defeated the Selkirk Steelers by a 4–3 score. With the win, the Nighthawks improve to 11–9–1 on the season, further securing their hold on fourth place in the MJHL’s East Division.

It wasn’t the Nighthawks best game, but they found a way to win on home ice. After a scoreless first period, Niverville trailed twice in the second period but equalized each time thanks to goals from Desmond Johnson and Brendan Bottem.

In the third period, the Nighthawks scored a pair of goals in under a minute from Evan Bortis and Brendan Kerr to give them a 4–2 lead. Although Selkirk got one back in the dying moments of the game, the Nighthawks held on for the victory.

“I think we played like we had a week off, as it was pretty sloppy out there by us,” said Nighthawks head coach Kelvin Cech. “It wasn’t the right amount of urgency on our part, and we had a tough time handling their forecheck. Fortunately, we had some big performances from Evan Bortis and Chris Fines. We kind of rallied around that, and we were able to get the two points, which is all that really matters.”

Chris Fines was excellent once again in goal for the Nighthawks. The Stonewall product stopped 36 of 39 shots on the evening to improve his record on the season to 4–4–0.

“Chris is a huge part of our team, and we really believe in him. He’s playing fantastic, and we’re lucky he’s on our side.”

It’s a quick turnaround as the Nighthawks have a rematch with Selkirk tomorrow night on the road. The puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.

“We need to take care of ourselves and get some rest here,” Cech said. “We’re happy with the win here but have another huge one tomorrow. So we gotta come back tomorrow strong and try to get the two points.”

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