Caps closing in on playoffs
Logan Calder celebrates his goal against the Winnipeg Bruins Sunday afternoon at the BDO Centre in Portage la Prairie. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
8-1-1 in their last 10 games.
The Central Plains Capitals had a couple of 8-5 victories this weekend to extend their winning streak to five games when the boys dropped the Winnipeg Bruins Sunday afternoon after taking out eighth place Southwest Friday night on the road to climb one point of the final playoff spot.
“This group thrives on high-stress situations and seem to catch fire when facing some adversity,” says Caps head coach, Brad Gnidziejko. “15 seconds into the third the Bruins scored and it could’ve killed us but instead the boys used it, and it propelled us to another victory. All lines are contributing right now and we always say if we work our hardest we can overcome a mistake or two, but if we’re not pulling on the same rope the mistakes will crush us.”
The Caps offence exploded for 16 goals in the two games Saturday and Sunday. Logan Calder was a beast for Central Plains with five points in two games including two goals and an assist Sunday versus the Bruins. Reilly Funk’s making a case for MVP of the league with five points over the weekend and 32 points in 13 straight games. Logan Rands also finished the weekend with five points, two goals and assist versus Winnipeg.
Caps goaltender Riley Sveistrup has played all but one game during this 10-game stretch going 7-1-1 to give the Caps a shot at the postseason.
“Sveistrup has been incredible for us these past few weeks,” says Gnidziejko. “He’s standing on his head and giving us an opportunity to win every game, especially on the times we do make a mistake he’s right there to bail us out.”
The Caps started the year as a .500 team and were keeping pace for a playoff spot until they ran into serious injury trouble early on and suffered a losing streak because of it. Now the Caps are all healthy and performing better than ever while other teams higher in the standings are starting to catch the injury bug.
“We paid our dues early with eight weeks of seven or eight forwards and you just can’t play with that,” admits Gnidziejko. “You won’t have any gas left in the tank for the third period and fortunately for us, we got our players back and they’re having a huge impact during the stretch run.”
The Caps have three games left to make it into the playoffs. The first is against the top-seeded Winnipeg Wild Wednesday night at the BDO Centre. The final two are both against the Thistles as the Caps head to Kenora to finish the season.