By SEAN ROONEY on March 14, 2019.
When the atom female Wildcats booked the Kinplex for provincials last year, they had no reason to worry about an ice time crunch.
After all, when was the last time multiple Medicine Hat minor hockey teams were playing into mid-March? And at home?
Tonight, it’s a good problem to have as their midget AA boys counterparts begin a best-of-three league finals.
The atoms begin hosting duties with a 7:45 p.m. game now set for Kinplex 2 against the Picture Butte Blades, while the midget AA series against Red Deer starts at the exact same time in Kin 1.
“We’re jacked, I don’t know how many years it’s been for AA, AAA hockey having true playoff games,” said AA coach Randy Wong, whose side claimed the South Central Alberta Hockey League’s South Division last weekend. “I think it’s going to be a busy building.
“Hats off to the atom female group there, it’s their provincials. They’ve got home ice and we’ve got to get a game in somewhere. They stepped up and moved their game over to Kin 2.”
Ice time could’ve been at even more of a premium had the peewee AA West Central Tigers not gone undefeated in their regular season. The Tigers meet the Medicine Hat Hounds in another SCAHL best-of-three final, getting home ice advantage for Game 1 tonight in Sylvan Lake.
The literal banner year for Medicine Hat could add more hardware with the three teams, plus the peewee girls Wildcats up a game on Red Deer in their league finals which continue at Hockey Hounds on Saturday at 2 p.m. The peewee AA boys series’ Game 2 is at Hounds that day at 4:45 p.m., while the midget AA series plays its second game then in Red Deer.
“It’s a lot of fun, winning,” said 17-year-old Hounds player Levi Schlosser. “Hopefully with the home ice advantage we get up one, then go get them in Red Deer.”
The peewee AA boys are hosting their provincial tournament at the end of the month, so they’ve got a spot regardless of what happens against West Central. The midget boys need to beat Red Deer to advance.
Schlosser said they’d love to keep things going, as they knew early on they had a team that could go a long ways.
“I think once we got winning our first 10 games, we had a lot of third-year guys so that was huge,” he said. “Everyone wants to win.”
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