Alex Cattani celebrates his third goal in the second period of Game 2 against the Wild. The Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League best-of-five quarterfinal series is now tied up at 1. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
There’s no better time than the playoffs to notch the first win against a team you couldn’t beat all season.
A second-period hat trick by Alex Cattani helped lift the Central Plains Capitals to a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Wild Sunday night at the BDO Centre to deadlock their Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League best-of-five quarterfinal series at 1.
“We just seemed to keep everything moving forward and it really paid off here in Game 2,” says Capitals head coach, Brad Gnidziejko. “It was a well-played game. Our power play scored, our penalty kill was 100 per cent, and our tactics were working like we want them to. The boys were overall much better here in Portage and youngster Rhett Boschman was incredible between the pipes.”
The Wild was the first team on the board, and like many times this season, the Caps used the deficit to power their attack and three minutes later knotted the game up at 1. Max Neill lit the lamp on the power play with Kian Calder picking up the assist on the play. There were eight penalties in the first period, four for both clubs. Central Plains’ goalie Rhett Boschman made 14 saves in the frame to withstand the Wild push to start the game.
The second was all Central Plains. The Wild had a great chance to take the lead early in the frame but Boschman came up with a huge save on a two-on-one. The boys used the save like wind for their sails and Alex Cattani scored a breakaway goal to get things started. He would add two more in the next five minutes to complete a natural hat trick, one was a tap-in at the side of the net and the other was a snipe from the top of the circle. Jaxon Blight and Reilly Funk both scored assists on all three Cattani goals. Cattani was released by the Wild at the start of the year and picked up by Capitals, making the hat trick even sweeter.
There was no scoring in the third period, and a lot of the time was spent in the Capitals’ end. Despite a bulk of the time-on-attack the Wild couldn’t seem to get anything into the high scoring area, as the CP defenders managed to keep the Wild to the outside. The Wild had a couple of chances on the power play late in the game but couldn’t get anything by Boschman.
“For a 15-year-old goaltender that didn’t play too many games Boschman really looks calm and collected out there,” says Gnidziejko. “Right now we believe, and we have been for the past 15 games or so. We’ve been able to turn it on when we get down and we did it again here in Game 2. If we play the same way we played today on Tuesday we can beat them, we just have to put a full game together and limit our mistakes.”
The best-of-five series is tied 1-1 and Game 3 goes Tuesday night in Winnipeg.