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Published: Monday, 28 March 2022 00:25
Written by David Zammit
Two late third-period goals for the Regina Rebels put an end to the Swift Current Innovation Credit Union U18 Female AAA Wildcats season last night.

Rebels forward Greta Henderson scored once and set up another to help Regina to a 2-0 victory and a 3-1 series win at Swift Current’s Fairview West Arena.

“It was a pretty tight game both ways, the shots were pretty tight most of the game, both goalies really played well,” Wildcats Head Coach Terry Pavely said. “We had a lot of opportunities in front of the net… Obviously, you have to find a way to score a goal, at the end of the day we don’t like how it ended.”

Swift Current carried the strong majority of play during the first frame outshooting the visitors 13-10. Nine of the Rebels shots came in the last four minutes of the period on a pair of power plays.

“I think if we could have got the first goal in this game, the outcome might have been different,” he said.

The second period was pretty evenly matched with Regina leading 10-8 in the shot department, with Swift Current having two of the three power play chances.

Special teams would play a factor with Wildcats captain Ava Metzger being sent off for interference with 4:51 remaining in regulation.

“On the play the penalty was called, we thought maybe we could have gotten on the power play and it wasn’t called which happens,” he said. “Then we end up taking a questionable call, we watched the video, I still wouldn’t have called it if I was reffing but I’m not and they’ve got a tough job.”

Rebels forward Alexis Petford scored the game-winning goal 28 seconds into the man advantage swiping at a loose puck in the slot area that knuckled past Wildcats goalie Karlee Lehner’s glove hand.

“It wasn’t a typical Regina power play goal,” he said. “It hit a stick and kind of fluttered over the goalie’s shoulder. Regina’s just so skilled on their power play, usually when they score one it’s a really good passing play with a one-timer or someone gets to the middle and rips the puck.”

The Wildcats were able to set up in the Rebels zone briefly with Lehner pulled for the extra attacker but Henderson iced the game sending the puck from around centre ice into the open net making it 2-0.

“We struggled getting out of our own zone,” he said. “It could have been that goal could have solidified our fate. I didn’t see that on the bench, the kids were out there trying.”

Swift Current’s Karlee Lehner stopped 35 of the 36 shots she faced in goal while the Wildcats sent 28 towards Regina’s Payton Schlamp.

Pavely said it was extremely tough to lose just two wins shy of the provincial finals with this tight-knit group given their work ethic, camaraderie, and passion.

Nine Wildcats are expected to return next season with the team’s spring camp just a month away in late April.

“Our goal is to put together as competitive team as we can and we like the kids we got coming back,” he said. “Our d core, our goaltending, some skill upfront, we’ve got a pretty good core of kids in place to build around.”

Swift Current finished the season with an overall record of 33-17-2.

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Published: Sunday, 20 March 2022 22:04
Written by David Zammit

he Swift Current Innovation Credit Union U18 Female AAA Wildcats tied their second round series with the Regina Rebels Sunday night.

Caitlyn Perlinger scored the game-winner on the power play 4:17 into the second overtime lifting the Wildcats to a 3-2 win knotting the best-of-five matchup at 1-1. Swift Current forwards Samantha Thompson and Ava Metzger had the other goals while goalie Karlee Lehner made 34 saves.

“I was pretty excited,” Perlinger said recalling the moment she knew her shot hit the back of the net. “I knew we needed to win this game at home so then we can come back for game four here and have the chance to win the series at home.”

Rebels defenceman Brooklyn Nimegeers opened the games scoring on a power play rifling the puck from the top of the circle past Lehner’s glove hand.

Thompson responded for Swift Current on their own power play later in the first tying the game up.

Regina then jumped back out in front in the early part of the second period as Greta Henderson found the back of the net on a breakaway making it 2-1.

Lehner did her part giving Swift Current a chance to comeback, stopping 14 of the 15 shots sent her way in the middle frame.

Wildcats captain Ava Metzger scored around the midway point of the third period on a breakaway beating Rebels goalie Payton Schlamp on her glove side with a wrist shot tying the game.

The Rebels outshot Swift Current in the third period 7-6 but the scoring chances were in the Wildcats’ favour and were a telling sign of what was to come.

Swift Current continued their aggressive offensive play in the first overtime out chancing and outshooting Regina favourably.

“I think we just kept forcing them to make plays and they ended up getting tired,” she said. “They only play their top two lines most of the time.”

With only four seconds remaining on a man advantage, Perlinger wired a wrist shot past Schlamp to send the Fairview West Arena into a frenzy.

“There was two people battling in the corner and I knew we needed three people in there,” she explained. “The puck just popped out just for me and I was able to walk right in and I saw the top corner open, so I shot.”

The Wildcats will travel to the Queen City Thursday night for game three of the series with game four back in Swift Current Sunday night.

“We just need to play a full 60 minutes, not start at their pace, make sure that we’re going to play our game not theirs,” she said will be the key to winning on the road.

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Published: Saturday, 12 March 2022 22:41
Written by David Zammit
The Swift Current Innovation Credit Union U18 Female AAA Wildcats punched their ticket into the second round of the playoffs tonight with another victory over Battlefords.

Wildcats forwards Sadie Keller and Jerzey Watteyne led the way each recording a pair of points in the 4-1 game four win, pushing Swift Current past the Sharks 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

Keller struck 7:39 into the game on a power play giving the Wildcats a 1-0 edge.

Assistant Captain Samantha Thompson found the back of the net roughly 10 minutes later on a goal set up by Watteyne and Keller.

Swift Current defenceman Kylee Hansen extended the lead to 3-0 with 79 seconds remaining in the second period.

Wildcats goalie Aurora Van Wormer’s shutout streak against the Battlefords was snapped at 108:32 around the midway point of the third frame allowing a goal to Cassidy Peters.

Kindersley’s Gracie Georget restored the Swift Current three-goal advantage with just a few minutes remaining in regulation to close out the scoring.

Van Wormer made 29 saves in her second straight win over the Sharks.

The third-seeded Wildcats will now square off against the Regina Rebels in second-round action. Swift Current won the regular-season series taking three of the five games.

No schedule has been released for that matchup yet.

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Published: Thursday, 10 March 2022 12:00
Written by David Zammit

Swift Current Wildcats forward Kiana McNinch has been rewarded for finding the right equilibrium between playing AAA hockey and scoring good grades in school.

The first-year Wildcat was given the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey Leagues Carol Scheibel Top Scholastic Player Award this past Saturday moments before Swift Current began playoff action.

“It means a lot to me because then you know your hard work and all that time you put in for school pays off,” she stated. “It was good to get.”

The Turtleford product registered a 97 per cent average in her first semester at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School. Her course load included a lot of English and math.

“Time management is big,” she said was the key to earning impressive grades. “I just think if you stay on top of things and even working ahead I think helps me a lot to not get behind in school.”

Wildcats Head Coach Terry Pavely shared the news with McNinch before the award was presented – which came as a bit of a surprise.

The 17-year-old will be attending Calgary’s Mount Royal University beginning in the fall enrolling in the Physical Literacy program with hopes of taking Physiotherapy afterwards.

“Hopefully it prepares me for university and staying on top of things with hockey too,” she said.

Gull Lake’s Reece Girodat was the last Wildcats player to earn the award in the 2016-17 season.

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Published: Friday, 11 March 2022 06:00
Written by Ally Paige

Swift Current Wildcats goalie Karlee Lehner has received recognition for her outstanding performance in her rookie year with the AAA team.

Lehner was recently honoured for her hard work, being the recipient of the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Rookie of the Year Award.

The 16-year-old stated that receiving such high recognition makes all the work throughout the grueling on season feel even more rewarding.

She added that she feels as though her debut season with the team is something to be proud of.

“I don’t think it could have gone much better,” she said regarding the season. “I think I got a lot better being here. It really helped me a lot, but I don’t think it could have gone much better.”

Originally from Prince Albert, the young goaltender has amassed 13 wins during her 16 games played, tying her for first place in the league.

The netminder posted a goals-against-average of 1.94 for the 2021/22 season.

Lenher is the first goalie in league history to receive the Rookie of the Year Award.

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