2012-13 Championship Win

On March 10, 2013, the Prince William Wildcats made history by winning the MAWHL D Division Championship title for the first time. 

The Wildcats traveled to Reading, PA for the MAWHL 2012-2013 playoff tournament, hosted by the Reading Reign.  Semi-finals began on Saturday while finals were scheduled on Sunday.  In between, the Reign arranged for participating MAWHL teams to attend an ECHL game at a fan-packed Sovereign Center on Saturday night between the Reading Royals and the Wheeling Nailers.  It was a great game and a fun night for all.  Many thanks go out to the Reading Reign for organizing a first-rate tournament weekend.

Now, onto the playoff excitement...

In the playoff semi-finals, the Wildcats were matched with the Frederick Firestorm.   The game seemed destined to end in a draw as it remained scoreless  for well over half the game.  It wasn't until late in the 2nd period when forward Michele Forte picked up the puck after defensemen Krista Ehlert cleared the zone.  With the puck, Forte drove the Firestorm net and slipped it past the goalie after drawing the goaltender side to side.  It was the spark the Cats needed!  From there, the goals didn't stop until the final buzzer.  Fifteen seconds into the 3rd period, forward Karen Frost deked the Firestorm defense and gave the Cats their second goal of the game.  Forward Meghan Benson assisted.  About a minute later, Meghan Benson scored goal #3 unassisted on a clean breakaway.   Forward Mary Garrison scored on a fat rebound from Casey Arnett, after creating a scrum in front of the Firestorm net.  Last, but not least, Diane Sanders scored the final goal of the game with an assist from Krista Ehlert.  It was a fantastic effort by all.  The game was split by both Wildcats' goalies, Anita Wray and Margaret Bartha; both gave stellar performances preventing a single goal from being scored.  Way to go, ladies!

As happy as they were to win the semifinals, the Wildcats quickly turned their focus on the Chesapeake Bay Lightning and the Championship game on Sunday.  As game time approached, the Wildcats readied themselves and steeled their sights on winning.  During the regular season, the Wildcats held a 0-0-2 record against the Lightning, so it was anybody's game.  Both teams battled hard.  The Lightning scored first during the 1st period, when the play dramatically changed direction in the defensive zone and a Lightning player was able get behind the Wildcats defense and capitalize on an open corner of the net.  The Wildcats were able to answer back in the 2nd period.  Holding the blue line in the offensive zone, Krista Ehlert shot the puck towards the net into traffic and onto Meghan Benson's stick, who in turn, directed it into the net.  The Cats were back in business!

Tied 1-1, it was anyone's game now.  For the rest of the game, both teams battled ferociously back and forth, both equally determined to take the Championship title.   Wildcats' goalie Margaret Bartha stood on her head the entire game, making spectacular save after spectacular save.   As the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation and after a 5 minute overtime, the two teams were still tied at 1, so the referees began preparing for a shootout.  The first shooter for the Wildcats was Margaret Moran, who went for the 5-hole and shot the puck under the goalie's left pad.  Other Wildcats' shooters were Michele Forte, Lyne McCauley and Karen Frost.  Wildcats' goalie, Margaret Bartha stoned every CBL shooter, and after eight shooters, the Wildcats declared victory with Margaret Moran's shootout goal as the game winner.  The Cats poured out onto the ice to congratulate their goalie and each other.  Congratulations, Wildcats, MAWHL Senior D 2012-2013 CHAMPS!!!

The Prince William Wildcats would like to thank their families, friends and fans for love and support this season.  The Wildcats are looking forward to a little R&R during the off-season and getting ready for a great 2013-2014 season.  Until then, keep your stick on the ice!