WESTVILLE - Up 2-0 over the North Nova Gryphons, the Northumberland Nighthawks struggled in the second period to maintain pressure on their opponents, allowing them to come back and take the lead, eventually losing 6-5.
Alex Henderson, a senior on the Nighthawks team, said the team struggled in the second once they added to their lead.
“We seemed to run out of gas or took a few shifts off in the second period and let them back in the game,” she said. “We had a strong start and finished well in the third, but getting down a few goals in the third we were too offensively minded and allowed them to score right after our goals.”
Scoring for the Nighthawks were: Marli Johnston (2), Emily MacDonald, Isobel DeMont and Madeline Bourque. Jeana Searle led the Gryphons offensively with two goals, while Kaitlyn Higgins, Tori MacCuish, Kourtney Barker and Laura Fox scored single tallies.
After being eliminated from the King’s-Edgehill tournament last weekend prior to the crossovers, Henderson said the coaches told the team they needed to look around the ice more.
“They told us we need to pick up our heads and know our surroundings better on the ice,” said Henderson. “We’re still trying to come together well as a team, but we need to know where our passes are and should go. We’ve been struggling at reading the play and our coaches have told us we need to look around more.”
At the same tournament, North Nova made the crossover round, but was eliminated by Winnipeg. MacCuish, captain of the Gryphons’ girls hockey team said the big focus for them after last weekend was similar to Northumberland.
“We talked about playing more as a team, to work well together on the ice, but not to yell at each other,” said MacCuish. “We felt we played more as a team today and were communicating and passing better.”
MacCuish added that in the intermission the coaches said the team needs to take games against Northumberland serious, even though many of the players on both teams are friends. She said both teams benefit by using the games to improve each other.
Both teams will be preparing for games upcoming against CEC and J.H. Gillis in the next week on the road.