For Winter Classic weekend in the B.C. Hockey Female Midget AAA League, the Capitals had to find a way to skate with the top team, the Greater Vancouver Comets, who entered a triple-header with only one defeat in 17 outings. The Caps very nearly put another blemish on the Greater Vancouver record but settled for 8-2, 5-4 and 4-0 losses in games played in Vanderhoof and Fort St. James.
On Friday night at Vanderhoof Arena, the Comets built a 4-0 lead in the first period and tacked on another goal early in the second period before Keagan Goulet got the Caps on the board. The Comets led 6-1 when the puck dropped for the third. They went up 7-1 but the Capitals refused to quit and added another goal, this one off the stick of Paige Outhouse. Sara Swiderski rounded out the scoring for Greater Vancouver.
Other goal-scorers for the Comets were Madisyn Wiebe, Sophia Gaskell, Jenna Buglioni, Grace Elliott, Vivian Hinch, Kari Berry-Davis and Vanessa Schaefer.
Tessa Sturgeon (Capitals) and Hailey MacLeod (Comets) were the starting goaltenders.
The teams met again on Saturday afternoon at the Fort Forum in Fort St. James and the Capitals started quickly when Hailey Armstrong scored 2:02 into the game. Before the first period was done, Elliott, Buglioni and Schaefer (on a power play) answered back for the Comets.
Down 3-1 at the start of the second period, the Capitals drew within one of the Comets on a goal by Samantha Wiley. Wiebe restored her team’s two-goal lead on a power play late in the middle frame.
In the early stages of the third period, Elliott scored her second of the game for the Comets, who now had a 5-2 lead. The Caps, however, fought back on markers by Taylor Catcher and Kiera Mulder in the final three minutes and fell agonizingly short of forcing overtime when a puck entered the Greater Vancouver net just after the final buzzer sounded.
For the Comets, the four goals against was a season high.
Jordyn Verbeek was the winning goaltender for the Comets, while Cadence Petitclerc-Crosby took the loss for the Capitals.
On Sunday morning, the Caps and Comets hit the outdoor ice at Ernie Sam Memorial Arena on Nak’azdli Whut’en territory in Fort St. James. In the league’s first-ever outdoor game, the deep Greater Vancouver club went about its business and didn’t allow the Capitals to generate much offence. The Comets led 1-0 after the first period and 3-0 after the second on goals by Buglioni, Wiebe and Vienna Rubin. Elliott completed the scoring in the third.
Each team used both its goaltenders in the game.
The Comets elevated their record to 19-1-0-0. The Capitals, in third place in the five-team league, sit at 10-10-2-0. Their next games are Feb. 7-9 in Prince George against the Thompson Okanagan Lakers.