A shark may have never been spotted in Peterborough Ont., but the city should put itself on alert.
The Scarborough Sharks will be in town as the playoffs in the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League start next week. The Sharks Intermediate A team face the Peterborough Ice Kats in the first round of the post-season.
The Sharks have won their last eight games, including five straight shutouts. The team hopes their hot streak can lead them to a win in the best three out of five game series.
“It’s very important going into the playoffs having that little streak. The girls are all stepping up right now and we are riding that streak,” said Sean Misketis, 25, the assistant coach of the Sharks. “Hopefully it will continue and we can keep playing how we are playing.”
After finishing third in the standings, one point back from both the leading Whitby Wolves and the Oshawa Lady Generals, the Sharks will start the first round of the playoffs on Sat., Feb. 9 at home.
Although the Ice Kats finished well behind the Sharks in the standings and lost both games to them during the season, the sixth-place finishers in the regular season will still provide some difficulty.
Sharks captain, Emily Nicholls, 20, says the team from Peterborough can be physically commanding out on the ice. They also sport some strong play from in between the pipes.
“They have a really good goalie and we struggle, sometimes, to put the puck into the net,” Nicholls said. “Their goalie has hot games all the time so that is our biggest challenge going into the playoffs.”
One thing the team will have to make sure of is to not struggle on the power play.
As a team, the Sharks have only been given 98 minutes in penalties. Compared to the Ice Kats, who have taken 182 minutes, meaning the Sharks could see a lot more time on the power play.
“Hopefully we can draw some penalties and capitalize on those power plays,” Misketis said. “Seeing as they take a lot of penalties, hopefully our power play can click. It is a short series so we got to take advantage of that.”
With or without the extra attacker, the team is still going to have to make sure they share the puck.
“We have been really playing individually lately, but we are more successful when we play as a team,” Nicholls said.
The team has played well the entire season, but it is what they do in the playoffs that counts. There are high expectations of the Sharks, especially to come out on top in the first round.
“I am really impressed with how the girls played, actually, this whole season. We just hope we can bring it into the playoffs and go further this year,” Misketis said.
Nicholls shares his sentiment and believes her team will be able to find the success they seek.
“We are playing up against the sixth-place team,” Nicholls said. “Anything can happen, but I would like to see us go and win it in the first three games, giving us good momentum going into the second and third round.”