Three members of the Swift Current Diamond Energy Wildcats are hoping to lead Team Saskatchewan to a medal at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.
Head coach Terry Pavely is in charge of Saskatchewan’s women’s hockey team and will deploy the offensive talents of Wildcats’ forwards Carissa Hogan (Rosetown) and Taylor Lind (Shaunavon).
Pavely led Team Saskatchewan to a fourth-place finish in November of 2017 when they lost 2-1 in overtime to British Columbia in the bronze medal game, the first time Saskatchewan had ever played in the semi-final and bronze medal contest at the U18 National Championship.
Pavely said that Saskatchewan went into Nationals with a goal of playing for a medal.
“We got ourselves in that bronze medal game and lost in overtime and I think we are even better this year. I don’t know what other provinces have, but our first goal is we want to get into that semi-final game. Once we get there we can take it one day at a time.”
Pavely is hopeful that Saskatchewan has another strong entry on the national scene.
“There’s some really good potential for us. We really like our D one through six. We think that they are all mobile and move the puck well and can defend because they skate so well. We like the depth we have up front. We have kids on our fourth line that have 35 points in our league. We are making sure that we have kids that maybe buy into different roles than they have on their club teams. If they do that we have a good chance to be successful game-in, game-out.”
Lind led the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League with 29 goals and 31 assists in 28 games this season.
“She’s proven herself that she’s an elite goal scorer at the AAA level. We have a lot of those kids, but she’s a kid that we are going to lean on on the power play and to create offense. She’s very good defensively. I’ve said for years that she is very underrated defensively. She’s going to play a big role. We hope that the hot hand she’s had, especially in the second half of the season in our league, continues,” said Pavely.
Hogan tied for 18th in league scoring with 25 points in 28 games.
“She’s a skilled kid, skates well. She needs to make sure that she’s keeping her feet moving, battle on pucks. If she does things like that she has a chance to be successful. Offensively, she’s a kid who night-in, night-out she creates offense. She does a lot of real good things for us. With the increased tempo of the game she needs to be prepared to work hard defensively day-in, day-out and if she does that she will have success for us,” said Pavely.
Saskatchewan will open the round robin on Sunday with a crucial game against Manitoba. They will face New Brunswick on Monday and Quebec on Tuesday. The medal games will take place on March 2.