The Central Plains Caps lost 3-1 to Pembina Valley in their opening game of the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League Playoffs in Morden last night.
It took the Caps almost 59 minutes to get their only goal of the game, but they kept Pembina Valley to just one for almost as long.
"We actually thought we were really good in that third period," says head coach Ferdi Nelissen. "We had moments in the first and second but we're young, we've got like 11 or 12 first year kids, and I think the nerves and jitters were there. I feel we could've had two or three more goals when there were some scrambles around the net late in the game, even in the second."
Halle Edwards scored the Caps lone goal of the game, it was an unassisted marker at 18:42 of the third period.
"We need to get more pucks to the net," says Nelissen. "In the third, we almost doubled our shots on goal and I thought their goalie was fighting the puck when we threw it on net. We need to look for the second and third chances and build on what happened in that third period. We know it's a best of five, you don't hang your hat on one game, you come back and play solid to protect our barn."
Nelissen's hopeful the nerves will now be a little settled since game one is in the books. He says there's no reason for the girls to hang their heads after just one loss.
"I didn't feel good about how the game went and I think we've got something to prove now," he admits. "You have to have a short memory. You play it one period at a time, one shift at a time, and we've preached it all year. I think the pressure is all on Pembina Valley as hosts of the Esso Cup, if we get one win on them I told the girls the Hawks will start squeezing their sticks. They don't want any chance of being eliminated in the first round."
Game two is Friday night in Portage la Prairie at the BDO Centre.