After taking their lumps last season in the B.C. Hockey Female Midget Triple-A League, there's a new attitude that's swept over the Northern Capitals.
They plan on doing a lot more winning in 2018-19 and so far that has indeed has been the case.
The Prince George-based team, under new head coach Justin Fillion, went 2-2 last weekend at the league's showcase in Surrey. Those two wins are one-third of their entire win output all of last season. They finished last in the five-team league with a 6-26-0 record.
It's obvious this year's team is much improved.
Local fans can see that for themselves this weekend when the Capitals host the Fraser Valley Rush in a three-game home-opening series at Kin 2.
Last weekend at the showcase the Capitals started out with a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Island Seals. They came back with a 4-0 shutout victory last Saturday over the Thompson-Okanagan Lakers, backed by goalie Cadence Petticlerc-Crosby of Williams Lake, but lost their second game of the day 3-1 to Fraser Valley. The Capitals ended the weekend Sunday with a 4-2 win over the Seals.
"It wasn't a bad weekend at all, we were in every game," said Fillion. "Unfortunately we ended up 2-2 but there were a lot of positives to take out of the weekend."
The Capitals have six returning 17-year-olds, including goalie Tessa Sturgeon, Braxtyn Shawara, Camryn Scully, Hayley Stephen, and two newcomers, Georgia Musil of Whitehorse and Sarah Sampson of Fort St. James. There are two 16-year-olds, nine 15-year-olds and one 14-year-old (goalie Petticlerc-Crosby).
Fillion predicts the Rush will be difficult opponents in the three-game series.
"They're a hardworking, good skating team and they have a bunch of skill so we can't take them lightly," said Fillion.
"I'm expecting a better effort from our girls. The first time we played them it was our second game of the day and there was only one game between, so there were some external factors. But at the end of the day we didn't show up to play and we can't use that as an excuse."
Dayle Poulin has returned as an assistant coach. Mitch Shawara is also helping Fillion out as an assistant and Cindy Outhouse is the team manager.
Tonight's game starts at 6 p.m. The Capitals and Rush meet again Saturday at 5:45 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.