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Moose Jaw Mavericks win U13 playoff opener, can clinch SFHL series tonight

Mavericks roll to 5-0 victory to open second-round series with Swift Current
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The Moose Jaw Carpet One Mavericks couldn’t have asked for a better start to their Sask Female Hockey League U13 playoff run.

Taking on the Swift Current Colts White in their best-of-three second-round series on Tuesday night at the Bert Hunt, the Mavericks scored a pair of goals in each of the first and second periods and went on to a 5-0 victory.

The win gives Moose Jaw a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series, and the Mavericks can finish things off when they take the ice Thursday night in Swift Current.

The Mavericks are the prohibitive favourites in the series, having put together the best record in the SFHL and finishing atop the South West Division with a 17-2-1-0 record. Swift Current White capped their campaign at 5-12-3-0 and in fourth in the division. They advanced to the second round after defeating winless Wood River 9-2 in a play-in game last week.

Moose Jaw wasted little time getting things going in their opener, as Taya Babich got the Mavs on the board only 28 seconds into the game. Willow Scott then made it 2-0 with 7:51 to play, and Moose Jaw was off to the races.

Babich and Sophia Page had second-period goals, while Madeline Hopkinson finished things off with the lone goal of the third.

Hopkinson -- who led the SFHL U13 division in scoring with 39 goals and 56 points in only 20 games -- capped her night with four points, while Scott had two assists to go with her goal. 

Blair Bennett had a perfect game in net for the Mavericks, stopping every shot she faced to earn the shutout, while Emily Green took the loss in the Swift Current goal.

A win Thursday will send the Mavericks into the Western Conference semifinal, where they’ll face the winner of the Swift Current Colts Black and the Davidson Huskies. That series is slated to begin Mar. 4 and wrap up by Mar. 10.

The West Final will begin on Mar. 11, followed by the league championship series beginning Mar. 18.

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