The Northern Capitals’ quest for home-ice advantage in the playoffs has fallen short.
The Prince George female midget AAA hockey club needed nine straight wins following the BC Winter Classic on Jan. 19, 2020 to claim second place in the league standings and it appeared the ladies were destined to complete that challenge.
However, the streak ended at seven this past weekend on home ice when the Caps lost their final two games of the 2019-20 regular season at Kin 2 Arena to the Fraser Valley Rush on Saturday (Feb. 29) and Sunday (March 1).
.@brettekerley also won back-to-back Caps season scoring titles with 25 points in 32 games, including a new FMAAA personal-best 18 goals 🚨 Outhouse, captain & the only 2019-20 graduate, had the most apples with 17 assists | #CityOfPG pic.twitter.com/drAajBbyjf— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) March 2, 2020
After prevailing 4-1 on Friday (Feb. 28) to open the three-game series, the Rush outscored the home team by a combined 11-3 in a matter of 16 hours, shutting out the Northern Capitals 6-0 on Leap Day 2020 and followed up with a 5-3 victory early yesterday morning.
Despite both teams currently having 38 points in the standings and regardless of how Fraser Valley plays in their last two games of the season against top-seeded Greater Vancouver, the Capitals will finish in third thanks to the goals-for statistic.
The tiebreaker shows the Rush with 120 goals this year compared to Prince George’s 87.
This also means the two clubs will meet each other again later this month in a BC Female Midget AAA semi-final series a second consecutive year.
Captain Paige Outhouse was recognized as the only graduating player this year in a pre-game ceremony prior to Saturday’s puck-drop in Kin 2 Arena.
.@paigeouthouse was honoured before @NCapitalsfmaaa’s game against Fraser Valley for her 3 years with Prince George’s female midget AAA hockey club 🌹 She was embraced by friends @brettekerley & @pyperralexander following the speech | #CityOfPG @BCHockey_Female @PGMatters pic.twitter.com/MxAq8PcngQ— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) March 1, 2020
The 17-year-old will be heading over to the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) for the start of the 2020-21 season after signing with the Panthers in December.
She led the Northern Capitals in the assist column with 17, including four from the final season series with the Rush, and had 10 more points compared to her sophomore season with 24 total points.
Brette Kerley once again took home the Capitals’ season-scoring title, scoring two goals and two assists against Fraser Valley on the weekend to officially record 25 points in 32 games, two less than her team-high 27-point debut last year.
The Prince George women now await for the B.C.-league playoff schedule to be released and will prepare to meet the Rush in the best-of-three opening round.
Last year, the Caps were swept 2-0 in Langley with 4-0 and 2-1 losses.
The Rush will face the Greater Vancouver Comets March 7 and 8 to close out the 2019-20 regular-season competition.
Brooke Norkus was sharp on the blue-line in her 1st full year in FMAAA 🔷 The 15-year-old led all defence on the scoresheet, 12A & 17 points, & the entire team with 4 PP goals. She also lit the Caps’ final regular-season lamp against the Rush on Sunday (March 1) | #CityOfPG pic.twitter.com/SvwnXMrhO0— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) March 2, 2020