Female Caps kick off year in Swift Current
Central Plains head coach Ferdi Nelissen watches on during camp this week at Portage Mutual Arena where the female Caps prepare for the upcoming season. (Brian Oliver/The Graphic)
The ladies will get an early look on how they measure up against competition with the start of the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League regular season looming.
The Central Plains female midget AAA Capitals travel to Saskatchewan this weekend for the annual Swift Current Wildcats Showcase where they’ll play a trio of games against teams from across the province.
“The pace tonight was good, we like what we see and we’re looking forward to the weekend,” said Caps’ head coach Ferdi Nelissen, following Tuesday night’s session at Portage Mutual Arena. “It’ll be a gauge - some of those teams start way ahead of us but it’s preseason so what you’re trying to do is establish yourself and get some lines going and flow for the (players). It’s a road trip where they can bond on the bus so we’re looking forward to that.”
The ladies open the weekend against the Melville Prairie Fire before squaring off against the Sask. U16 squad and concluding with a match against the host Wildcats. Forwards Halle Edwards and Megan Ferg along with defender Chloe Snaith headline a large returning group for the female Capitals, as more than half of last season’s roster is due back.
“We like what we’ve got,” adds Nelissen. “We knew we had to shore up the back side and we think we’ve done that a bit.”
It was no secret the youthful Caps squad struggled at times last season - finishing seventh of eighth - but a lot of that has to be chalked up to the team’s offensive struggles, as the ladies managed to score more than three goals just once in regular season play.
“We were actually very competitive last year, we were only giving up about 25 shots a game,” adds Nelissen.
Following this weekend’s tourney, the ladies return to Portage to host their own annual showcase, set for Sept. 22-24 at Stride Place followed soon after with regular season play.