The Kingston Ice Wolves are howling towards another regular season title in the Provincial Junior Women’s Hockey League. The team with the most points claims the top prize.
Last year, Troy Sweet’s club finished in first place for the first time in the team’s eight-year history, but they lost to London in the championship playoff semi-final 4-1. The Ice Wolves regrouped to win the bronze medal game over the Toronto Aeros 3-2.
This year, with a record of 13-3-2, the Ice Wolves are back on top. They lead the second-place Etobicoke Dolphins by just one point. The two sides face off against each other on Sunday afternoon at the Kingston Invista Centre.
Game time is 12.30.
“It’s just another game,” said Ice Wolves assistant captain Maddi Wheeler.
Deep down, the talented 17-year-old from Erinsville, Ont. knows it’s more than just another game. Last month at the Mastercard Centre, the Dolphins handed Kingston a 4-1 setback.
“We really look at it as just another game,” continued Wheeler, who attends Napanee District Secondary School.
“Our game plan stays the same, whether it’s Etobicoke or the last-place team. We’ll be ready on Sunday, that’s for sure. They beat us the last time we played and that’s still fresh in our minds.’
This is Wheeler’s fourth year in the provincial loop. She played three seasons with the Nepean Wildcats before joining the Ice Wolves.
Wheeler has caught the attention of Hockey Canada. She will represent her country next month at the World Under-18 championships in Slovakia.
“I played on last year’s team when the tournament was in Japan,” said Wheeler, who has committed to the University of Wisconsin in 2020.
“I look forward to this year’s event in Slovakia. Everybody dreams of wearing the maple leaf and I’m fortunate to be doing it for the second time. So many people have made my dream come true.”
Another member of the Ice Wolves will play in the tournament over the Christmas holidays: Kiara Zanon, who will suit up for the United States.
The 17-year-old forward from Rochester, N.Y. is the leading scorer in the PWHL, with 40 points in just 17 games.