Assists second nature for rising Atom Wildcats playmaker Motz

By Scott Roblin
March 11, 2019 - 12:23pm

MEDICINE HAT, AB – When it comes to atom level hockey, playmaking usually isn’t the first skill that comes to mind.

Even as coaches begin to implement systems, for many nine and 10 year old year old players it’s still all about goal scoring.

Medicine Hat Atom Wildcats winger Myla Motz is bucking the trend though, emerging as one of the best young playmakers in southern Alberta.

Suiting up in 18 regular season games with the Wildcats, Motz compiled 19 assists over that time and sits tied for second place in the entire Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League.

Something that Motz said is as enjoyable as potting the occasional goal.

“It’s really exciting, it’s really fun,” said Motz. “And, I’m glad that I can help out my teammates.”

That’s not to say Motz hasn’t been lighting the lamp as of late, as she led all Medicine Hat players in goals this season with 22 and topped the team with 41 points as well.

She’s continued that scoring touch into the playoffs as well, leading the Wildcats with five goals and eight points in five games.

Wildcats head coach Byron Hall said Motz’s elite vision has allowed her to create offensive chances, which benefits the team as a whole.

“She sees everything very well,” said Hall. “She gets to those areas quick, she gets to those areas hard, she wins those battles. She’s able to create herself some time and space, and when players get that time and space they’re able to make plays.”

It’s a skill that Motz has come by honestly, spending hours perfecting her passing abilities over the last few years.

“I practice a lot in the garage and I carry that onto the ice and in practices,” she said.

And according to Hall, that extra work away from the rink is being noticed by both the coaching staff and her teammates.

“She’s a hard working kid,” he said. “She puts that effort in at home, she puts it in at practice, she leads by example out there. She’s great, along with the rest of our girls. She’s definitely been one of those girls who has been pushing the pace and that’s been allowing the rest of our team to follow.”

Medicine Hat recently pushed the previously undefeated Airdrie Atom Lightning to Game 3 of their best-of-three South Blue Final series, including a milestone 2-1 victory on Saturday.

That’s given the team confidence ahead of hosting provincials, with players like Motz, Cambelle Gross, Jayden Dennison, and Kapri Coston rising to the occasion.

Hall said they’ll need their offensive core to remain at the top of their game if they want to medal against Alberta’s top talent.

“As they go, the rest of this team is going to go,” he said. “So, they’re very important for us.”

Motz and the Wildcats will open 2019 Atom Female Provincials on Thursday at the Kinplex and will run through Sunday, concluding with the gold medal match.

Peewee Wildcats

A strong start for the Medicine Hat Peewee Wildcats in their third round playoff series against the Red Deer Peewee Blue squad.

Medicine Hat rolled to a 7-1 victory on Sunday in Game 1 of their best-of-three South Blue Final series, led by a pair of hat-tricks from Brianna Finke and Ryan Harvey-Zenk.

Riley Gramlich scored the other goal for Medicine Hat, while netminder Maddy Ferguson allowed just one goal on 18 shots.

Taking a 1-0 lead in the series, the Wildcats can earn a South Blue Division championship on Saturday afternoon as they host Red Deer at 2:00 pm at the Hockey Hounds Recreation Centre.

Bounces go Tigers way in vital victory over visiting Wheat Kings