Edmonton downs Fraser Valley 4-2 in opener for Pacific Region title
by Lucas Scott
BURNABY, B.C. – The Edmonton Thunder (Pacific) scored early and continued to pour on the pressure in a 4-2 victory, outshooting Esso Cup hosts the Fraser Valley Phantom 26-14 en route to their fourth consecutive Pacific Region title.
“Obviously, it’s always exciting to win those championships, and after twenty-three days off I think that want to play was really our driving factor,” reflected Edmonton head coach Cassea Schols. “I think it’s important to have a quick start; it sets the pace for the game and for the tournament.”
Edmonton captain Mikaeli Cavell (Edmonton, Alta.) opened the scoring forty-four seconds into the game on a broken play in front of the net.
The 5’10” power forward made a strong move towards the crease, following up on her own shot and tapping home a loose puck behind Phantom goalie Latica Castillo (Surrey, B.C.) to put Edmonton up 1-0.
Cavell, playing in her third Esso Cup, recognizes how important it is to get off to a quick start at this level.
“To get that goal out of the way that quick, to get the team started on offense was amazing. It was really a perfect situation for us,” Cavell said.
The hosts were in danger of digging an early hole, as a string of penalties led to several Edmonton Thunder chances, but the Phantom penalty-killing unit was able to clear away a number of scoring opportunities, killing five of six penalties on the night, and even a grabbing a shorthanded goal midway through the first.
A desperation shot from distance was mishandled by Edmonton goalie Chloe Sanderson (Edmonton, Alta.) , giving Chelsea Wilson (Langley, B.C.) her first of the tournament, and the equalizer, at 9:55.
Edmonton quickly responded with a fortunate bounce of its own, as a wide-angled shot from Cavell caught a piece of Amy Boucher in front and found the back of the net giving the Edmonton captain her second point of the period and restoring the one-goal lead heading into the second.
Under five minutes into the middle frame, Edmonton increased their lead on yet another power play, as season scoring leader Amy Boucher (Edmonton, Alta.) converted her second, on a doorstep rebound a Jessica Healey (Edmonton, Alta.) point shot, putting the Thunder up 3-1.
Minutes later, however, Wilson energized her team with a highlight reel goal, taking a defensive zone feed with speed at the Edmonton blue line and slipping around a diving Thunder defenceman before going low-blocker for her second of the game.
No strangers to Esso Cup play, the Thunder demonstrated the experience of a team in their fifth straight national tournament, staying composed despite just a one-goal lead after outshooting Fraser Valley 20-9 through the first two frames.
“With all the chances we had and not putting pucks in the net, we started trying to do it all on our own … so going into the third, (the focus) was just getting back to our team play and using each other out there, and (then) it’s going to come.” Schols said.
The strategy prevailed, and after a number of Phantom comeback attempts, Nicole Gorda (Edmonton, Alta.) scored an insurance goal for the Thunder on a flurry in front, as a small but vocal Edmonton following kept pace and volume with the home crowd cheering on host team Fraser Valley.
The Edmonton Thunder next take on fellow Esso Cup returnees Halifax Metro Boston Pizza (Atlantic) at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 22, while the Fraser Valley Phantom again play in front of local fans for the feature game at 7:30 p.m., against LHFDQ Nord (Quebec). Follow all the action live on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/HC_EssoCup and watch live on FASTHockey by visiting hockeycanada.fasthockey.com.
|Game Information/Renseignements sur le match|
|Game #/No. de match||3||Round/Ronde||Preliminary|
|Arena/Aréna||Bill Copeland Sports Centre
|Date||Sun. Apr. 21, 2013
||Time/Heure||8:00 p.m. PT
|Goals & Penalties/Buts et pénalités|
|First Period/Première période
00:44 PAC Mikaeli Cavell
10:05 HST Chelsea Wilson (Jodi Gentile)
12:00 PAC Amy Boucher (Mikaeli Cavell, Nicole Gorda)
06:53 HST Jodi Gentile (Hooking/Accrocher)
09:22 PAC Sydney Thomlison (Interference/Obstruction)
09:59 HST Jenna Hewitt-Kenda (Hooking/Accrocher)
|Second Period/Deuxième période
05:07 PAC Amy Boucher (Jessica Healey, Nicole Gorda) PP/AN
09:40 HST Chelsea Wilson (Mackenzie Wong)
04:48 HST Zoe Todd (Slashing/Coup de bâton)
12:16 HST Jodi Gentile (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
16:53 HST Zoe Todd (Interference/Obstruction)
19:28 PAC Sydney Thomlison (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
|Third Period/Troisième période
16:28 PAC Nicole Gorda (Elizabeth Salyn, Mikaeli Cavell)
04:19 HST Samantha Schwarz (Hooking/Accrocher)
|Goaltenders/Gardiennes de but|
|Shots on Goal/Tirs au but||1||2||3||Total|
|Players of the Game/Joueurse du match|