For the second year in a row, the Tri-Port Midget Wild qualified for the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association (VIAHA) playoffs.
Only the top four female midget teams make the playoffs, and the Wild finished the season in second place, posting an excellent record of 10-3-1 with 60 goals for and only 17 goals against.
The Wild are coached by former junior hockey player Andrew Laming and assistant coaches Boni Sharpe and Jeremy Browne, and the three of them have delivered in spades when it comes to putting out a competitive team on the ice.
The Wild’s first playoff game was down island against the hometown Campbell River Hurricanes, and they got out to an early lead in the first period with a goal from Mercedes Trevor, assisted by Kerrigan Sharpe.
The Wild continued to score goals from that point on.
Taylor Ranger put the puck in the net with 43 seconds left in the second period, assisted by Mackenzie Murgatroyd, and then Sharpe and the Wild’s captain Madison Van Will both scored in the third period to clinch the semi-finals win 4-2.
The Wild had a big challenge in front of them the next day, facing off against a former AAA team, the Peninsula Eagles, in the finals of the playoffs.
The Eagles had previously beaten the Wild twice in league play, both times by a score of 2-0, and this game ended up being no different.
The Eagles shutdown the Wild defensively, and they scored twice in the 2nd period to take home the playoff win 2-0.
“The girls worked hard,” said Browne after the game. “They won and lost with their heads held high. Even when they were down, they never gave up. They pushed through, and that was by far the best hockey they’ve played this season. It’ll be a game talked and thought about for a long time to come.”
Boni Sharpe added the Wild truly represent the meaning of teamwork. “It’s a big reason they have become so successful. A team isn’t a team without teamwork. On and off the ice they truly believe in each other, support each other, and when the going gets tough, the tough Wild get going.”
The Wild’s Team Manager Ashley Tapp felt heartbroken after another tough loss to the Eagles, but stated she couldn’t be any more proud of the team.
“They kept trying so hard to win, they really deserved it,” she said, adding that during the last period of the game, “there was a fire in the Wild that I had never seen before. They knew it wasn’t over yet and gave everything they had, but Peninsula wanted it just as bad and fought just as hard. The Wild are winners in my eyes, second place in league play and second place in the playoffs.”