The Kootenay Wild Female Midget AAA hockey team opened its season at the BC Hockey Showcase this weekend in Surrey with promising results against one of the league’s top teams.
Every team in the BC Hockey Female Midget AAA league played in a series of matches over three days at the Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre to kick off the 2016-17 campaign. Similar to the BCHL or the Major Midget Showcase, the female hockey Showcase has representatives from U.S. NCAA and Canadian universities and colleges evaluating the talent as well.
“This is considered a Showcase weekend as all six teams were playing in the same arena,” said Wild GM Dara Waterstreet in an email. “This allows scouts to come to one venue to watch. There will be another Showcase weekend in mid January.”
While the Kootenay Wild played hard and competed well, the team went winless on the weekend to the Northern Capitals from Prince George, a team that finished in second place overall last year.
“We lost all three games, but saw growth throughout the weekend as the girls came together as a team and became confident in this level of play,” added Waterstreet.
The Wild trailed by just one goal going into the third period in each of the three games. The Capitals led 1-0 in the opening match but scored three times in the third period to take the first game 4-0. In Game 2, Fruitvale’s Kendra Waterstreet beat the Capitals goalie at 15:08 of the third period to make it a 2-1 game but Northern’s Mckenzie Muir added an insurance marker with 5:24 to play to give the Prince George team a 3-1 victory.
In the closing match on Sunday, Trail’s Emma Caron put Kootenay up 1-0 at 14:58 of the first period with assists from Nelson’s Reece Hunt and Emma Wheeldon, but the Capitals tied it five minutes later and took the 2-1 lead on a Caily Mellot goal at 16:25 of the second period. Mellot and Braxtyn Shawara each added another in the final frame for the Capitals 4-1 victory.
The Kootenay Wild is made up of players from Trail, Fruitvale, Castlegar, Grand Forks, Nakusp, Nelson, Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Yellowknife and will skate in its home opener this weekend with games Friday night in Beaver Valley at 6 p.m., Saturday in Trail at 1 p.m. and Sunday in BV at 9:45 a.m. All three games will be against the 0-2-1 Fraser Valley Rush.