It was a matchup between two teams travelling in opposite directions.
Fresh off of winning silver medals at Wickfest in Surrey, the Tri-Port Midget Wild went right back to playing hockey last weekend with a home game against the winless Juan De Fuca Grizzlies.
The action kicked off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy, with the Wild looking to improve their record to 5-1-3, whereas the Grizzlies were just hoping to find some success for the first time this season.
The sun, however, did not come out and shine on the Grizzlies’ backs that day, as the Wild skated around them full tilt right from the first drop of the puck, dominating long stretches of play and blasting the Grizzlies goaltender Tassen Horgan with a barrage of difficult shots.
It was Wild forward Mandy Foldy who would be the one to get things started in the first period with a goal at 11:27 off a beauty of a play where she skated around the defence and shot the puck into the twine while being tripped from behind.
Less than five minutes later, Jessica Wadhams picked up a banked pass from Chloe Noel that went around the boards and fired it backhand towards the net, where Kaitlyn Wilson was waiting to tip it home.
The Wild continued to dominate possession of the puck from there, skating with ease around the Grizzlies, creating numerous chances, and it continued to pay off for them.
At 5:21, Defencewoman Madison Van Will got the feed from Foldy near the blue line and fired a hard shot through traffic that went right through Horgan’s pads.
With 1:27 left to go in the period, Foldy would grab the puck behind the net and pass it out front to Taylor Spafford, who smashed it home to make it 4-0 before the period came to an end.
The second period featured more of the same. Foldy broke in on a rush, cut through the defence, and slid the puck past a sprawled out Horgan at 13:26, and then she completed the hat trick at 7:06 off a beautiful play where she skated around a player and fired the puck past Horgan’s glove hand to make it 6-0.
The Grizzlies managed to get a bit of revenge when Morgan Taylor jammed the puck past Wild goaltender Avary Miller during a scramble in front of the net, but the Wild didn’t let it phase them and went right back to dominating every facet of the game.
With time winding down in the third, Wadhams grabbed the puck off a face-off win from Wilson and fired it past Horgan to make it 7-1. Wadhams then stopped mid-celebration to point to her teammate sitting in the stands and smile.
The game mercifully came to an end after that, and Foldy said afterwards she felt “really good” about her performance, adding, “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, we played a really strong game – the girls should be proud of themselves.”
Foldy noted the team has a couple tournaments coming up before the end of the season they are hoping to win, and she laughed when asked if she is taking over as the Wild’s top scorer. “No, that will always be Bree-Anna (Henderson).”
The Wild will be back in action for their last home game of the season on March 2 at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena in Port Hardy against the Campbell River Hurricanes.