Wildcats set to bring down the Stars
One week after playing their final Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League regular season game, the Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats finally confirmed the Saskatoon Stars as their opponent for the first round of the playoffs.
The two teams will finish in the fourth and fifth spots in the eight-team league although it was unknown coming out of the weekend who would have home-ice advantage.
The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 1010-4-4 record. They lost both road games in Saskatoon way back in October by 3-2 scores. The Wildcats defeated the Stars 3-2 and 1-0 when they met in Swift Current in early November.
“They play pretty fast,” explained Wildcats head coach Terry Pavely. “They like to play north and south, they go up and down the ice pretty quick. Again they have one line that you really have to key on. We have found, especially at home, that if we can get the matchups that we want we can contain number-one lines.”
Home ice advantage could play a major factor in the series. The Wildcats earned only 11 of a possible 42 points in 13 road games. They captured 31 of 42 points while playing in the friendly confines of Fairview Arena.
“The key for us is to play solid defensive hockey,” said Pavely. “On the power play, we don’t always have to score. I think sometimes kids at any level, they get a little antsy on the power play, they want to score right away. We talk a lot about control, if you play in their end you tire the penalty killers and they make some poor decisions and you get confidence out of playing in the offensive zone. We are going to have to play that way against Saskatoon.”
The Wildcats will have to find ways to score after averaging just over two goals per game during the regular season.
“We compete hard. When we are playing hard in all three zones we are a tough team to beat. When you play Saskatoon you have need to shut down their number one line and we need to get quality shots. Some nights we get 20 shots but we might only get four quality ones,” said Pavely.
The Wildcats were in Hartney, Manitoba over the weekend for the Westman Wildcats Spring Classic.
They opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over the Norman Wild. Danya Winzer scored twice, while Merissa Zerr, Mikayla Swallow, and Jessica Pele added singles. Jasey Book earned the win with 21 saves in goal. They were unable to make it two wins in a row Saturday morning when they suffered a 4-0 loss to the Yellowhead Chiefs.
They failed to get on the scoreboard again Saturday in a 2-0 loss to the Central Plains Capitals. The Wild- cats finished the tournament Sunday with a 2-2 draw against the Westman Wildcats to finish the weekend with a 1-2-1 record. Zerr and Kate Scidmore scored and Brooklyn Weisgerber made 33 saves in goal.