Diamond Energy Wildcats captain Taylor Kirwan and alternate captain Taylor Lind were named Sask Female Midget AAA Hockey League all-stars this week.

The veteran Kirwan was also named the league's Top Defenceman.

Kirwan First Team All Star

"It was pretty cool to be recognized by the league for those awards, but I definitely couldn't have done it without my team and without the help of Terry and his unbelievable coaching ability."

The Gull Lake product tallied 24 points (9 G, 15 A) over 22 games in the 2017-18 regular season.

However, the highest offensive output of Kirwan's five-year Wildcats career wasn't the only positive takeaway for the 18-year-old blue-liner.

"I've definitely learned how to become a better leader - wearing the 'C' this year, I definitely learned how to put up with different personalities and kind of show by example," she said. "Going to Team Sask and Team Canada definitely has taught me to be more responsible, more mature, and kind of learned to be more patient with the younger girls."

As for the Shaunavon-born Lind, the all-star nod is the sophomore forward's second-straight.

Lind first team all star

"Well it's obviously super rewarding to know that the work's paying off," she said.

After putting up a league-high 58 points in her rookie season, Lind says year two was a bit of an adjustment.

"At the start of the year it was a lot more pressure, and a lot more 'you've got to wear it', but now I think we're kind of getting used to it and it's just part of the game now," Lind said of being a bigger part of the opposition's gameplan.

Lind was third in league scoring this past season, logging 52 (28 G, 24 A) points in 27 games.

Learning from both last year's captain Chloe Smith, and Kirwan this year, Lind says it's been an enjoyable playing alongside good leaders.

"For sure on the ice she's just a huge leader, everyone looks up to her," Lind said of Kirwan. "Even in the dressing room, she's always there - whenever you need help you just go to her and she has advice, it can be about anything."

Though the 2017-18 season is still going, the 16-year-old knows what kind of leadership approach and mentality she wants for her third year.

"I think our leadership group is just going to focus on making sure everyone feels welcome, and honestly I think who wins this league is whoever meshes together best. You can have all the skill in the world, but if you're not a close group you're not going to win it," Lind said.

A must-win Game 3 looms on the immediate horizon for Kirwan, Lind, and the Wildcats, as they currently trail the Regina Rebels 2-0 in their best-of-five series.

"I definitely think our effort has been really good the last two games, and I hope we come for the third and be ready to compete," shared Kirwan. "We just need to put the puck in the back of the net."

The Wildcats fell 3-1 in Regina in Game 1 and 3-0 in Swift Current in Game 2.

"I think all the girls know it's do-or-die," Lind added. "I think we're going to come out with a really big effort. None of us are ready to be done and I think our team has the will to come back here."

Game 3 between the Wildcats and Regina Rebels goes at 1:30 p.m. from the Co-operators Centre in Regina.

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