With 10 games left to go in the regular season, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Nationals are on track to end it in fifth or sixth place in their division.
Spencer DeWolfe, coach of the Jr. A team, says the Nationals are in sixth place with a record of 17 wins, 15 losses and one overtime win.
“Its a very successful standing for a first-year expansion team,” said DeWolfe.
“We were unsure going into the season, but top five or six going into the playoffs would be a big accomplishment for our first year.”
They will play their last regular season game at the Meridian Credit Union Arena in Virgil Feb. 15, with the playoffs beginning shortly after.
The new franchise team of the Greater Metro Hockey League started off strong, and has continued building momentum in the South division. Two losses mid-December were followed by three wins, putting them in a tight race to the post-season. Their most recent game Sunday was a 6-1 loss to North York.
Having developed such a competitive team for its first year, DeWolfe hopes to keep his core players going into the Nationals’ second season, but he knows he will lose one who will age out and others as they go off to post-secondary school or leave to pursue other opportunities. Try-outs for next season will begin in April, he said, for players 16 to 21 years old.
The team has already lost one skilled player to a professional team in Norway, and has gained some additions this season as well, sending four players to representing the Nation- als at the Quebec all-star showcase this weekend.
For more information about tryouts or game results visit notlnationals. com.