Saturday, March 19, 2016
The Northern Capitals upset the first place Greater Vancouver Comets, sweeping them in two (2) games to claim the 2015-2016 Female Midget AAA (FMAAA) Championship.
The Capitals took Game 1 4-2 thanks to a dynamic offense and stingy defense, along with solid goaltending from Kelsey Roberts (Kitimat, BC). Greater Vancouver’s Elexa Pakozdy (Port Coquitlam, BC) opened the scoring, giving her team a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. The Comets made it 2-0 just 50 seconds into the second frame, with Rielle Wiebe (North Vancouver, BC) scoring off an assist from Cierra Paisley (Coquitlam, BC). The Capitals responded, scoring less than seven (7) minutes later as Myah Bowal (Terrace, BC) got her team on the board. With just 2:22 to go in the second period, Hunter Mosher (Chetwynd, BC) tied it up on a rebound, sending the teams into the second intermission knotted at 2-2. The Capitals kept their foot on the gas in the third period, relentlessly forechecking and spending as much time as possible in their offensive zone. It paid off less than three (3) minutes into the period, with Bowal finding the back of the net on a slick pass from Mosher, giving Northern their first lead of the game. Greater Vancouver tried to generate some offense in the third period, but Northern’s defense prevented any legitimate scoring chances. Mosher scored an empty-net goal in the last minute of the game to seal Game 1 for her team.
In Game 2, the Capitals came out with plenty of momentum, peppering Greater Vancouver’s Brooke Vial (Port Moody, BC) with shots. Mosher got a puck past her just 3:14 into the game, giving Northern the 1-0 advantage early. The Capitals then killed off a Comets power play, with Roberts making a huge save on a 2-on-0 breakaway chance by Greater Vancouver. In the back-and-forth second period, the Capitals got a two (2) man advantage thanks to consecutive body-checking penalties to the Comets. Despite being on the penalty kill, the Comets got a breakaway but were once again denied by Roberts. Northern finished the second period with a slight shot advantage over Greater Vancouver, 20-18. In the final frame, the Capitals once again came out buzzing, getting plenty of shots on Vial, who stood tall in net. The Comets responded with several good chances, but Roberts came up with several crucial saves in the last half of the period to seal the win for her team, clinching the Championship in just two (2) games.
The Capitals repeat as champions after defeating Fraser Valley in three (3) games in 2014-2015. Northern will take on the champion of the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League (AMMFHL) from April 1 – 3, 2016 in the Pacific Midget Female Regionals in Prince George for the right to represent the Pacific region at the 2016 ESSO Cup.
The FMAAA program consists of six (6) zone-based teams that are spread across the province – the Fraser Valley Rush (Langley), Greater Vancouver Comets (Coquitlam), Kootenay Wild (Nelson), Northern Capitals (Prince George), Thompson-Okanagan Lakers (Vernon), and Vancouver Island Seals (Campbell River). The teams play a 30 game regular season, followed by the playoffs. The FMAAA Champion has the opportunity to compete for the ESSO Cup, Hockey Canada's National Female Midget Championship, which will take place in Weyburn, Saskatchewan from April 19 - 25, 2016.
The FMAAA program was initiated in the 2007-2008 season in response to the membership’s desire to provide an opportunity for elite female hockey players to come together on zone teams to challenge other elite female Midget teams. The league has had nearly 100 players move on to post-secondary hockey opportunities.