The Bisons women’s hockey team is strong, fast, and fit going in the 2014 western conference playoffs starting with a home quarter-finals series taking place Valentine’s Day weekend, Feb. 14 to 16.
"Starting your playoffs at home has a huge impact on the team morale going to that game," forward and alternate captain Maggie Litchfield-Medd, 21, said. "It makes it personal and more comfortable going into what can be a stressful, high intensity game."
The assistant captain, in her fourth year of eligibility, is from Charleswood, and with 19 points on the board she’s sitting ninth in points in the Canada West conference. Litchfield-Medd said a home game allows her friends and family to come out and watch her team.
"We get a few more people in the seats for these playoff games, which is nice," said Litchfield-Medd, who used to play for Oak Park High School and the AA Rangers. "We get a lot of young girls’ teams which is nice, but it’s nice when people your own age come, too. Those girls are awesome, though."
On Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, the Bisons took on the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns at the Wayne Fleming Arena, defeating them 4-0 and 3-1, respectively.
That means the Bisons will host the University of Regina Cougars over the Valentine’s Day weekend.
Litchfield-Medd said the team will prepare the same way as any other game, but admits emotions will be running high.
"So we’ll have to keep that in check," the fourth-year environmental studies major said. "But also just enjoying how far we’ve come and to play our game."
Playing at home should elevate the Bison’s game, Litchfield-Medd said, because they will be able to use their speed, especially in the third period stretch.
"We’re getting our game needs to be played," Litchfield-Medd said. "Everyone is ready to have the playoff push now. We’re ready to peak and to go for it."
Litchfield-Medd said her team is ready for the sudden-death atmosphere of the playoffs.
"Our season is so long, we finally get to play for something," she said. "Obviously we’ve played to get to this spot, but now it’s time to prove ourselves and I think that just we finally get to play with the emotion and intensity… it’s going to be huge, it’ll be good."