Wildcats continue to win at home

Steven Mah
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The Swift Current Wildcats swept the Battleford Sharks to improve to 6-1-1-0 at home in the SFMAAAHL this season

Swift Current Wildcats

The Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats took care of business during another weekend at home in the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League.

The Wildcats hosted the last-place Battleford Sharks and won both games by 4-0 scores to improve to 6-1-1-0 at home this season.

Saturday, the Wildcats took awhile to find their scoring touch but eventually got on track with three second-period goals over 5:02 to put the game away.

Rookie Kate Scidmore scored goals 1:17 apart to open the scoring early in the second period. Karlie Bell added a goal on a rebound to make it 3-0. Kayla Kirwan and Brooklyn Haubrich added assists on Bell's goal. Haubrich picked up assists on both of Scidmore's goals for a three-point period.

Kirwan scored the only goal of the third period with an assist from Mikayla Swallow to close out the scoring.

The Wildcats peppered Rachel Mitchell with 35 shots throughout the contest. Brooklyn Weisgerber made 17 saves in her second shutout of the season to improve to 4-4-0 this season with a 1.91 goals against average and a .929 save percentage.

Sunday's contest played out in similar fashion with the Wildcats outshooting the Sharks 34-11. They earned some breathing room slightly earlier when Scidmore scored with 23 seconds left in the first period. The rookie from Moose Jaw now leads the Wildcats with seven goals this season.

Bell and Tori Kendall scored powerplay goals in the second period as the Wildcats finished two-for-three on the man-advantage. Keely Chalk also scored at even-strength in the third period.

Bell and Scidmore both added two assists for three-point games, while Kendall also picked up an assist for a two-point outing. Haubrich, Kirwan, and Brenna Thomson added assists.

Rookie Jasey Book, fresh off being named the SFMAAAHL's Second Star in November, picked up her second shutout of the season with 11 saves. The Loreburn product is now 6-3 with a 1.60 GAA with a .932 save percentage.

The Wildcats moved into third place in the eight-team league with a 7-7-3-0 record, while Battleford dropped to 1-14-0-0.

Head coach Terry Pavely was all smiles after scoring eight goals and taking all six points over the weekend.

“We really focused on trying to establish the cycle and I thought we did that both games. When we got the puck deep and cycled then that opened up the point and we got some shots and we were able to get some traffic to the net.”

“Well Terry had some high expectations for us and obviously we followed through,” added Kirwan. “We were getting lots of shots on net and burying on our opportunities.”

Pavely was happy to see his team close both games out.

“Probably the biggest thing for us was that when it was 2-0 we kind of stepped on the gas pedal for once. We didn’t let up, we still played in their end. That was one of the big things we were focused on was once we got up 2-0 is how are we going to respond, how are we going to play with the lead?”

The Wildcats killed off all six Sharks’ powerplays and scored twice on five man-advantages over the weekend.

“Our penalty kill was good this weekend, obviously we didn’t give up any goals,” said Pavely. “Our powerplay, today we got two goals so we took advantage of our opportunities. We knew that we have a group that can score on the powerplay. We have struggled a little bit breaking out of our end and I thought we did a better job of breaking out of our zone. Once we get in the offensive zone we are okay.”

Kirwan, a Gull Lake native, has five points in 17 games during her second season on the Wildcats blueline.

“It has been good, I am more confident with the puck. I think it is lot of fun and we are winning more games. This is a whole new year and we are ready to go.”

She hopes the team can contend for the league title this season.

“I honestly think we are good enough to be in the running for the provincial final this year but I guess we will see what happens.”

The Wildcats are now 7-1-1-0 at home, but 0-6-2-0 on the road. The have earned 23 of a possible 27 points at home but only four of a possible 24 points on the road.

The Wildcats will close out 2013 with three road games beginning Monday when they visit the sixth-place Notre Dame Hounds (6-7-2-0).

They will also visit the fifth-place Prince Albert Bears (5-5-3-2) on Dec. 20-21.

“It is really important for us. We are 8-1 at home in the regular season so we took advantage of our home stretch after starting on the road. Now we have to find a way to win a couple of games when we play three before the break. For us if we could go two wins and one loss it would put us in a pretty good spot in the standings heading into the break,” said Pavely.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League, Swift Current Wildcats, SFMAAAHL Battleford Sharks

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Gull Lake, Notre Dame Swift Current

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