The U18 AAA female Central Plains Capitals played their best game of the year in their playoff opener but couldn't quite squeak out a win. 

The Caps were downed 3-2 in double overtime by the first-seed Westman Wildcats on Wednesday but will be looking to even the series tonight at Stride Place. Goaltender Elyse Denbow had the performance of a lifetime in Game 1, stopping 79 of the 82 shots she faced.

"During the game, it didn't feel like I got that many shots but then I looked at the scoreboard after and was like, 'What the heck,'" says Denbow. "When I went and talked to my goalie coach after, he told me that I got 82 shots, which is crazy. I didn't think it was that many."

The Plumas product notes this was also the longest contest she had ever been a part of, spending nearly 90 minutes in the crease.

"I've never played that long of a game before because normally, it goes overtime and then a shootout. Of course, in the playoffs, overtime keeps going," Denbow explains. "I wasn't as tired as I thought I would be. When we went into the locker room after the first overtime, it was a nice break, and when we went back out, it just felt like I was going back in for the third."

With this being the longest game of her career, Denbow describes what was going through her mind in the overtime periods.

"I knew going into the game, playing against the top team, I had to be at my best to give my team a good chance. I'm not the biggest fan of overtime. I like shootouts way better but I think the adrenaline just kept me going. I wasn't nervous like I thought I would be but I knew I had to be the best I could."

Denbow did her best, and then some, but even still, Central Plains wasn't quite able to pull off the comeback. However, the goaltender says they are feeling much more confident going into Game 2, knowing they can beat Westman.

"I think we'll come out as well as we did on Wednesday. I think, after having that tight of a match, our girls will be excited to come back and try to get a game from them."

The Capitals are looking to tie this best-of-five series 1-1 tonight at the BDO Centre. Puck drop is set for 7:45.