The Fraser Valley Phantom is off to its first-ever Pacific Regional after claiming the B.C. Female Midget AAA Hockey League championship with a three-game victory over the Thompson-Okanagan Rockets last weekend.
The Phantom will host the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League champions in the best-of-three regional, April 6-8 at the Surrey Sports & Leisure Complex.
The BCFMAAAHL’s regular season champion thanks to a 24-2-2 record, the Phantom swept the Kootenay Wildcats in two straight in the semifinals before dispatching the Rockets, the two-time defending champions.
“This year has kind of been a fairy tale year for us,” Ray Werger, the Phantom’s general manager and president, told the Langley Times. “The last couple of seasons, we went through rebuilding.”
Leading 1-0 late in Game 1 against the Rockets, the Phantom gave up the tying goal on a power play with five minutes left and killed off a five-on-three in the final two minutes to force overtime, where Hailey Smyl played the role of hero, scoring to give Fraser Valley the win.
Thompson-Okanagan pulled even in Game 2, earning a 4-3 win despite getting outshot 37-18 and almost blowing a three-goal lead – the Phantom scored twice in the final seven minutes to make it close.
With the series down to a one-game, winner take all, Fraser Valley found itself in an early hole, down 1-0 just five minutes in. But that would be the last goal the Phantom would allow, as five different players –Simran Sidhu scored twice, while Mackenzie Wong, Madison Sands, Payge Pena and Caitlyn Younger added one goal each – helped Fraser Valley to a 6-1 win and the provincial championship.
The Phantom will be tough in the Pacific Regional against whoever they face; the three previous B.C. champions – Vancouver in 2009 and Thompson-Okanagan the past two years – have not won a game against the Alberta representatives, getting outscored 24-3 in six games.
The Edmonton Thunder, three-time defending Pacific champion, has a 2-0 lead over Medicine Hat in the best-of-five AMMFHL final, with Game 3 set for Friday.
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