The St. Albert Slash has made Esso Cup history, winning Canada’s National Female Midget Championship for the third year in a row with a 4-1 win over the host Sudbury Lady Wolves in the gold medal game Saturday night.
No team has won more than one national title in the 11-year history of the tournament.
“Unbelievable. Surreal. I don’t have the words right now, but what they just did was incredible. They don’t even know what they just did, three straight Esso Cups. That’s unheard of,” said St. Albert head coach Dan Auchenberg. “They just regrouped after the game against Stoney Creek, and just said ‘Okay, we’ve got to do this and get back to our game,’ and they did.”
The Slash finished fourth in the preliminary round with a 2-0-1-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record before downing the Saskatoon Stars 2-1 in overtime in their semifinal, in a rematch of the 2018 gold medal game.
Down by a goal after 20 minutes Saturday, goals from Taylor Anker (Sherwood Park, Alta.) and Mackenzie Kordic (Edmonton, Alta.) put St. Albert up heading to the third period. Kordic added a second goal on the power play, and Dayle Ross (Spirit River, Alta.) sealed the deal with an empty-netter with 40 seconds left.
Taylor Scott (Sudbury, Ont.) scored the lone goal for the Lady Wolves, who got 28 saves from tournament MVP Mireille Kingsley (Sudbury, Ont.). Brianna Sank (Ardrossan, Alta.) turned away 33 shots in the Slash goal.
Sabres defeat Stars to win bronze
Alicia Juras (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.) tied the game in the third period and scored one of the four Sabres goals in the shootout as Stoney Creek beat the Saskatoon Stars 3-2 to win bronze.
The Sabres trailed 2-0 after 40 minutes, but got goals from Tessa Holk (Ancaster, Ont.) and Juras to force overtime and eventually win their first-ever Esso Cup medal.
“I think they wanted it more. When they went up 2-0, our whole bench was confident. They weren’t afraid, that’s for sure,” said head coach Brian Cleary. “When we got that second goal, I was hoping and praying it would go to a shootout, because I know Warrener is fantastic in the shootout, and we had some kids that can really put the puck in the net, and that’s what it got down to.”
Prince Albert, Sask., and the Prince Albert Bears of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League will host the 2020 Esso Cup next April.