The Swift Current Innovation Credit Union Wildcats lost their exhibition finale 5-4 to the visiting Notre Dame Hounds on Friday. The Wildcats never led, but they fought back to tie the game on three occasions before allowing the only goal of the third period.
Captain Baylee Kirwan scored twice, while Gracie Georget and Calli Arnold also scored. Ava Metzger led the Wildcats with two assists, while Kamryn Johnson, Caitlyn Perlinger, Jessica Bouffard, and Laiken Swan added singles. Aurora Van Wormer made 23 saves on 28 shots.
Emma Thomas led the Hounds with two goals as they replied to a 3-2 loss to the Wildcats one week ago in Wilcox. Kaitlyn Gilroy, Ryann Perrett, and Alexia Hill also scored for the visitors. Bailey Lindsay made 13 saves on 17 shots in the start. Kayla Bailey stopped all 10 shots she faced to earn the win in a relief appearance.
“Slower start but we came back, like four shots in the first period, but 15 in the second, so I thought we got better as it came on I guess,” said Metzger, a Moosomin product who skated for the Saskatoon Stars last season. “We were better in our D zone, more stops and starts than in Notre Dame there. More offensive shots, we had more shots today than we did last game. Just we showed up faster than last game.”
The Wildcats had also found themselves behind by two goals in their exhibition opener before scoring three unanswered goals to earn the win.
“Conditioning. Make sure we’re focused up at the start and we need to protect the house a little bit more than we have been,” said Metzger of the slow starts.
Notre Dame scored twice on three power play opportunities, while the Wildcats scored once on three man-advantages.
The Wildcats will open the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League
regular season on Saturday when they host the Weyburn Gold Wings at 2:45 p.m. at the Innovation Credit Union iplex. The two teams will rematch on Sunday in Weyburn.
“Yeah a little bit more work to do, but I think we’ll be ready to go come next weekend,” said Metzger.
The Wildcats will play all of their games until January 17 against the Gold Wings, Regina Rebels, and Hounds due to COVID-19 precautions.
“We want to be that team that when we leave the rink they will be ‘Holy that was a hard team to play against.’ Just our compete level is there every shift and work hard with purpose,” said Metzger of her new team.