The Niverville nighthawks faced off against the Winkler Flyers in the second leg of their home and home series Friday night but couldn't capture the same magic from their first-ever win, falling 3-2.
The game started off with a quick pace while both teams jostled for the upper hand. Early on the Nighthawks had some good chances, but Winkler Goaltender, Malachi Klassen made key saves, which gave the Flyers a chance to keep stride with the Nighthawks.
Winkler forward Xyon Kiemeny made a nice move in from the left wing, cutting hard to the net and depositing the puck through the five-hole for an unassisted goal, his first in the MJHL, at the 10:28 mark in the first period.
The Nighthawks kept the pressure on but the stellar goaltending of Klassen just did not let Niverville get a foothold in the period and it came to an end with Winkler clinging to a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, both teams went back and forth but it was the home side that eventually got the game back to even.
The Nighthawks capitalized on a power play opportunity after Brenden Kerr scored on a tip-in from a point shot by Evan Bortis. Brett Tataryn also had an assist on the play. The goal came with 9:14 left in the second period.
Niverville kept pressing but after a few failed attempts to clear the zone late in the period, Winkler forward Mike Svenson scored on a nice play as he wristed one just under the glove of Niverville goalie Chris Fines. The teams skated into the intermission with the score 2-1 in favor of the Flyers.
Both teams battled and engaged in some physical play throughout the contest. Some big hits and the continuation of bad blood from Wednesday night made for some entertaining hockey for the packed house.
Logan Fillion gave the Flyers a 2-goal lead just over 4 minutes into the third period. Niverville goaltender Chris Fines made a blocker save with the puck deflecting high into the air but landing right in the slot for a perfectly placed shot by the Winkler forward.
After the Nighthawks killed off a 4-minute height sticking penalty to Niverville defenseman Eric Martin, it looked like the momentum had shifted but the home team just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Not until the final twenty seconds of play, when Kerr scored his second of the game as the Flyers were short-handed. Brenden Bottem and Carson Reed drew assists on the late-period goal for Niverville.
One last gasp attempt for the Nighthawks came close but the Flyers managed to end the game and skated to a 3-2 victory.
Niverville is back in action on Sunday as they travel to Winnipeg to face the Freeze at 6 pm. The game will be broadcast on NivervilleNighthawks.Mixlr.com.