This one's a toss up when Cats meet Phantom Midget AAA semi final
By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports
Sixteen points separated the two teams in the final regular season standings, but the last time the two teams met nothing was decided in 120 minutes of play.
Which is why it’s anyone’s guess as to which team will come out on top when the Kootenay Wildcats travel to Pitt Meadows to face the Fraser Valley Phantom in the best-of-three B.C. Female Midget AAA Hockey Playoff series beginning Friday.
“I think the games are going to be determined by how the officials allow the girls to compete then I feel we’re going to have a successful weekend,” Kootenay coach Mario DiBella told The Nelson Daily after the Cats’ final practice Wednesday at the NDCC Arena.
“If the referees are going to call coincidental contact, then we’ll have to adjust our game to how the game’s being called.”
The Cats see an uphill battle on the stats page against the Phantom.
During the regular season Kootenay scored 32 fewer goals than the team allowed.
Plus the Cats face a team in Fraser Valley that has three players — Rachel Dong, Reaghan Chadwick and Megan Taylor — in the top six in league scoring.
“We’ve done a lot of work on offensive play of late,” DiBella explained. “I feel we’ve got the personalities in the room that can put the puck in the net they just have to understand that that is their role on this team.”
The series opens Friday at the Pitt Meadows Arena at 9 p.m.
Game two of the series goes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. with game three, if necessary, played Sunday at 9:15 a.m.
The best-of-three playoff series is new this season to the B.C. Female Midget AAA League.
A move DiBella likes.
“I think it’s great . . .. I think it brings more credibility to the Major Midget Female program,” said DiBella. “I never liked the tournament format where you can get bounced because you play poorly in one game.
“At least here you can determine your own fate in the best-of-three.”
The league has already seen one upset this season as Prince George rode the red-hot netminding of Megan Spooner to knock off the Vancouver Fusion 2-1 in the best-of-three quarterfinal.
Taya Garneau’s goal late in the game sparked the Cougars to a 1-0 win in game three of the series.
The Cougars now travel to Kelowna to meet regular season champion Okanagan Rockets in the other best-of-three semi final beginning Friday at the Rutland Arena.