The stage is set for the gold medal at the 2015 Esso Cup

Esso Cup

Morgan Bell 

RED DEER, Alta. – The stage is set for the gold medal game between the Sudbury Lady Wolves (Ontario) and the host Red Deer Chiefs at the 2015 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship.

The gold medal game at Red Deer Arena is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 25 and can be seen live on TSN5, and on tape delay at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Monday, April 27 on RDS.

Sudbury advanced with a 3-0 victory in Friday’s early semifinal, while Red Deer edged Saskatoon 2-1 in a shootout.

On Friday afternoon, Danika Ranger earned the shutout victory in goal turning away 21 shots, while Carley Olivier netted the game-winner under three minutes into the second frame. Kailey Lapensee added another for the Wolves at 15:12 into the second and Tayler Murphy found the empty-net with just over a minute left in the third.

In the evening matchup, Mairead Bast netted the shootout-winner for the Chiefs, while Sarah Murray carried the hometown squad stopping 30 of 31. Saskatoon’s Sophie Shirley put the Stars ahead 8:18 into the first before Cassidy Hollman potted the equalizer for Red Deer on the power play with help from Kirsten Baumgardt and Bast at 11:38 in the second.

The Central Plains Capitals and Saskatoon will face off in the bronze medal game at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, with the game available live online through FASTHockey

Day passes for the medal round are still available for $15 each at the Red Deer Arena box office.

Award winners for the 2015 Esso Cup were announced Friday morning at a breakfast banquet for the six participating teams, which also includes the Moncton Rockets (Atlantic) and Edmonton Thunder (Pacific). The tournament’s awards committee named six recipients, with the awards based on the preliminary round games played from Sunday, April 19 through Thursday, April 23.

The 2015 Esso Cup award winners are as follows:


Most Valuable Player – Sophie Shirley (Saskatoon Stars)

Top Goaltender – Danika Ranger (Sudbury Lady Wolves)

Top Defenceman – Tamara McVannel (Central Plains Capitals)

Top Forward – Karli Shell (Sudbury Lady Wolves)

Most Sportsmanlike Player – Nara Elia (Saskatoon Stars)

Top Scorer – Sophie Shirley (Saskatoon Stars)

The Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award, which recognizes an active female player who demonstrates dedication to and leadership in the game and whose characteristics reflect those of the award’s namesake, was also presented Friday morning to Mallory Deluce (Toronto, Ont./Toronto, CWHL), a two-time gold medallist at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship and standout with the University of Wisconsin.

The seventh annual Esso Cup, presented in partnership by Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, the Red Deer Minor Hockey Commission and the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League, commenced on Sunday, April 19 and concludes Saturday, April 25.