The Niverville Nighthawks season came to an end with a 3-2 loss on Thursday night but after a roller coaster of emotions, there are a lot of positives to build on going forward.

Broadcaster Kevin Pauls says looking back at the last few months after the coaching change, there was a noticeable difference in team dynamic. "When Dwight Hirst first took over, there was a feeling out process, for both players and coaches. A tough beginning with four tough games in a row and then after that, it seemed that with some time on the ice under their belt and a learning curve, things started to come together. Fighting for a playoff birth was really their motivation and they were able to dig down and get some important wins along the way."

After they punched their ticket to the post-season, the group knew they would be in tough but they battled every minute of every game, which will help going forward." Young guys like Adam Vigfusson, Luke MacKenzie, Avery Laliberte, Merik Boles all got a taste of what it takes to win late in the year and into playoffs. They battled through tough situations against the best in the league. They learned as they went, they battled and it's going to help them know what they need to do as a group the next time."

For the veterans not ending they would want, but nothing to hang their heads about as they leave Niverville a better place both on and off the ice. "We had some original Nighthawks who came in experiencing a brand new organization right from scratch. We had first-time billets, first-time sponsors, and right from early on, they went into schools and worked to introduce an entire community to Junior A hockey. The work these young men did will be felt in the community long past their time here. They will be remembered for more than just playing a game, they'll be remembered for being great young men."

Pauls says the staff and the volunteers made is a really special year. "The community of Niverville showed how passionate they are with just how much they care. So many people make this thing run. People want to be involved and want to come to the CRRC to experience a game. There's a dedicated group of community members that want to leave a positive lasting impression on all who come to games. For the staff, they have an amazing support network of people who want to give the players, those young men the best environment to go out and play a beautiful game."

There will be 7 graduating players from the Niverville Nighthawks this season. Kevin Pauls shares his thoughts on each player.

14 - Captain Brett Tataryn - "A fitting first-ever captain for the Niverville Nighthawks. He came in and right away established himself as someone that everyone in the room and in the organization can look to to bring his best game in and game out. As the Nighthawks continue to grow, they'll look back and the work of Tataryn, and it will be the building blocks they stand on. He never quit, fought to the final buzzer, and will keep the community of Niverville in his heart forever.

11 - Alex Walicki - "He came and in was just a shining light. He spent his entire career in Swan to this point and he came into this new community and fully embraced it. On the ice he showed off that dynamic scoring tough and elite speed, off the ice he did his part to bring the group together and make those around the team feel a part of the journey."

17 - Michael Debrito - "Immedatly became a fan favorite. His ability on the ice is something to watch every night. He's an electric player and he really endeared himself to the fans of Niverville. Every time he touched the puck, you felt like something special was about to happen. He's one of those guys that the Nighthawks can point to and go 'we need a Michael Debrito type player', which is the ultimate compliment." 

67 - Josh Danis - "He came in and right away found a place where he could move anywhere in the lineup. He was so dependable defensively, which is to me showing the type of person he is, his work ethic, his character, he would do whatever he needed for the team. A soft-spoken young man with a big heart, another guy who will always be thankful for what Niverville gave to him, even in a short amount of time.

81 - Brendan Bottem - "An original Nighthawk who defined what it takes to play Nighthawks hockey. He was a great teammate and an even better person. His willingness and ability to play both sides of the puck will forever be an example of the type of player that Niverville wants. He'll be fondly remembered and his love and passion for the game always made it fun to watch and him fun to be around."

10 - Colin Whaley - "He brought his unique style off the ice and translated it into a dynamic defender that was equally skilled at working out of his own end and had no fear to go and create magic in the offensive zone when the chance arose. He could be in that shaving commercial as a part of Team Smooth the way he moved around the ice. He's tough on the ice and genuine off of it. He provided those electric moments from big overtime goals to highlight reel stops. Just a guy you loved to watch.

71 - Michael Tanchak - "Michael won the community award and for good reason. He was a character player who came in as one type of player and adjusted to a new role. He worked hard on the ice but also worked hard in the community. A leader around Niverville and on the ice. It's a great example of someone who understands what it means to lead by example, contribute wherever you can, and gave the fans a person to cheer for as much as they're cheering for the logo.

Pauls says he can't thank the team, the players, the parents, the billets, and the volunteers enough for this wonderful year. "The opportunity for Lua (Kevin's 14-year-old daughter) and I to live out our little dream and to be a part of such a great organization is something we'll never take for granted. We look forward to coming to the rink every day. It's the people, the people there just make us want to give everything we have because that's what they do. All the parents who take time to talk about their sons, the staff for having an open door to talk hockey, the volunteers who make it such a wonderful place to go, and the players for welcoming us into this part of their lives, it means so much and we cannot wait to be back next year to keep growing those relationships and watching more Niverville Nighthawks hockey."