Photo by Rodney Chen – Ultiphotos.com
Despite firing on all cylinders out of the gate and opening up a sizeable 8-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Nighthawks were unable to keep their foot on the gas for all four quarters.
Lok Tim Lam scored three first quarter goals and played arguably his best game of the season against the Dogfish, but he was held without a point in the final three quarters.
Vancouver, clinging to a three goal lead, went into the locker room with an 11-8 advantage but the wheels fell off as the Dogfish gritted their teeth and dug in to mount a comeback. The Nighthawks held onto the lead until the 3:10 mark of the fourth quarter when Ian Ranahan found Shane Earley to knot things up at 17 apiece.
It was Cascino’s game leading fifth assist of the day and Goldstein’s second goal of the afternoon.
Gabe Saunkeah, as he’s done for the better part of two years now, led the way for the Dogfish. He finished with five goals and a pair of assists in his final performance of 2016.
While the season ended on a sour note for the Nighthawks, their young core of talent once again shined through.
Ty Barbieri finished with four goals, an assist and a block for the Nighthawks to cap a stellar rookie season for the 18-year old cutter.
Erik Hunter capped off his MVP caliber season with a goal and an assist in the loss, bringing his season total up to 34 points (19 goals, 15 assists) to finish tied for first on the team. Fellow veteran Taylor Nadon also finished 2016 with 34 points scored and played an incredible 187 points throughout the season for the Nighthawks. Hunter finished second on the team with 173 pp.
Rookie handler Graeme Barber played 19 points against the Dogfish, but didn’t record a goal or an assist in the final game of his impressive rookie campaign.
While there is no next week for the Nighthawks in 2016, a very important offseason begins. Building on top of the foundation that Vancouver laid in 2016 begins today. Be sure to stay tuned for offseason news and future tryout information as the Nighthawks look to put together their 2017 team and compete for future MLU Championships.