Pistons & Nighthawks set for first round matchup

As the final weekend of the regular season comes to a close, all four matchups have now been determined for the 2023-24 McMunn & Yates Turnbull Cup Playoffs.

Lastly, we take a look at the first round series between two clubs in the MGEU East Division, it will be the (1) Steinbach Pistons vs (4) Niverville Nighthawks in round one.

Season Series: Stb vs Niv: Oct 20th Steinbach wins 7-1, Dec 13th Niverville wins 2-1 in overtime, Jan 14th Steinbach wins 3-2, Jan 24th Steinbach wins 6-1, Mar 2nd Steinbach wins 5-1

Last 10 games:
Steinbach – 9-1
Niverville – 7-3

Last 5 games:
Steinbach: 4-1, 22 goals for, 6 goals against
Niverville: 4-1, 19 goals for, 4 goals against

The Nighthawks soared out of the gate this season but since around Christmas, they have come back down to earth in a big way. A late season coaching change shocked many but the newest MJHL franchise managed to stay in contention and clawed their way into the post season in back-to-back years. If Niverville looks to take out the regular season’s top team, they’ll need 17-year-old, Raiden LeGall to be at the top of his game to try and steal a game or two in Pistons territory.

The top team in the MJHL has had regular-season success over the Nighthawks, going 4-0-1-0 against their MGEU East Division rival. Home ice should be a massive advantage as the Pistons have a record of 25-1-2 at HyLife Centre in La Broquerie and one of those overtime losses came at the MJHL Showcase in Winnipeg.

It should be an electric atmosphere in both rinks with the 30 minute drive making it easy for fans to travel and the hotly contested rivalry these two clubs have shown over the last two seasons.

Series Positives and Concerns


Positive: All Over Depth. Strong forward group that boasts 6 20+ goal scorers, the MJHL Top Defenseman and Rookie of the Year, on top of the leagues number 1 penalty kill and highly ranked power play, Steinbach’s depth will be hard to match.

Concern: Getting/Staying Healthy. Playoffs are as much a war of attrition as it is anything else. Teams can be derailed by injury. Steinbach has faced adversity throughout the year with some key guys missing a lot of time, so the group is battle tested but injuries can wear down any elite team over time.

Key Player – Defenseman Noah Szabo


Positive: Now that the Nighthawks have officially punched their ticket to the playoffs, they can put their rocky season behind them. Games are not played on paper and regular season results don’t matter. Hope a few guys can get hot at the right time, play smart, controlled hockey and roll the dice. The top team will have all the pressure on them, use it as an advantage.

Concern: Shots Against. At times this year, especially against the Pistons, the shot counter has been too lopsided. The Nighthawks ask a lot of their goaltending and top defenders, if they start to get worn down, it will be hard to contain an opponent that can pile up quality scoring chances in a hurry.

Key Player – Defenseman Kaycee Coyle