Fraser Valley top Halifax Metro in morale-boosting first Esso Cup win;
Duchek notches two late game goals including empty-netter
by Nicole Clark
BURNABY, B.C. – Delaney Duchek (Delta, B.C.) pumped life back into the Fraser Valley Phantom, scoring two late game goals to help bring the host team its first win of the 2013 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship. The Fraser Valley Phantom topped Halifax Metro Boston (Atlantic) Pizza 3-1 on Wednesday night, in what was an important and morale-boosting win for the local B.C. team.
“We were just really focused on the game,” Duchek said following the win. “When we got on the ice we focused on the puck.”
Duchek, who was also named player of the game for the host team, scored her first goal in the top left corner, unassisted, about six minutes into the final frame. Her second goal was scored with in the last 20 seconds of the third period, after Halifax Metro had pulled its goalie.
Most of the action took place in the third period, while the first period started out a bit slow. There was some strong passing by both teams, and a fairly even number of shots on goals. The Fraser Valley Phantom had a nice shorthanded breakaway in the first, but the shot was saved by Halifax Metro Boston Pizza netminder Katherine Purchase (Halifax, N.S.).
Near the end of the opening frame, Halifax Metro created a good chance to score on a two-on-one, but Fraser Valley goaltender Laticia Castillo (Surrey, B.C.) stonewalled the shot. Castillo ended up facing an impressive 38 shots over three periods of play. Apart from the solid passing and goaltending, there were a few scuffles around the net during the first period.
The second period was another story, as 11 seconds into the period Fraser Valley forward Brianna Keats (Chilliwack, B.C.) scored the first goal of the game, which was assisted by Mackenzie Wong (Surrey, B.C.). Keats set the pace for the rest of the game, chipping the puck into the bottom left corner.
The Fraser Valley Phantom played aggressively, while Halifax Metro Boston Pizza kept up the passing, eventually scoring on the power play. Halifax Metro’s Lisa MacLean (Lower Sackville, N.S.) put the puck in the net, assisted by Laura Polak (Bedford, N.S.), as there was a scrum of girls in front of the net.
By the third period, both teams were giving it everything they had, proving it to be a competitive, closely matched game in the end. Fraser Valley and Halifax Metro fought for the puck and took as many shots as they could. But in the end, it would be the Fraser Valley Phantom able to put the puck in the net, with Ducheck notching her first at 5:57 in the third, and then sealing the deal with the empty-netter to help the host team earn its first win of the week.
“They went hard from the very first puck drop and went hard until the very end,” Fraser Valley assistant coach Shay Bywater said, adding that the 2013 Esso Cup has certainly helped put girls’ hockey on the map in British Columbia.
This is Fraser Valley’s first time playing in the Esso Cup. For Phantom captain Hailey Smyl (Chilliwack, B.C.), this win helped prove the team has what it takes to compete at a national championship.
“We deserve to be here,” she said after the game. “We didn’t just get given the spot; we won the provincials and we are here for a reason.”
Smyl said that her team will take the positive aspects from Thursday’s win, including focus on the puck, and applying them to Thursday evening’s game against the North Bay Ice Boltz (Ontario). The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. PT at Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
Halifax Metro Boston Pizza is also back on the ice Thursday, April 25, taking on the Regina Rebels (West) in the 4 p.m. PT game. Catch all the action online live at FASTHockey by going to hockeycanada.fasthockey.com, and follow live game updates from the rink on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/HC_EssoCup.
|Game Information/Renseignements sur le match|
|Game #/No. de match||12
|Arena/Aréna||Bill Copeland Sports Centre
|Date||Wed. Apr. 24, 2013
||Time/Heure||7:30 p.m. PT
|Goals & Penalties/Buts et pénalités|
|First Period/Première période
03:22 HST Chelsea Wilson (Interference/Obstruction)
12:05 HST Brianna Keats (Hooking/Accrocher)
|Second Period/Deuxième période
00:11 HST Brianna Keats (Mackenzie Wong)
06:22 ATL Laura McLean (Laura Polak) PP/AN
05:28 HST Shannon Morris-Reade (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
18:22 ATL Rachel Carr (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
|Third Period/Troisième période
05:40 HST Delaney Duchek
19:41 HST Delaney Duchek (Chelsea Wilson) EN/FD
03:23 HST Shannon Morris-Reade (Hooking/Accrocher)
08:20 HST Michelle Toor (Interference/Obstruction)
15:23 ATL Chantal Beauchamp (Hooking/Accrocher)
|Goaltenders/Gardiennes de but|
|Shots on Goal/Tirs au but||1||2||3||Total|
|Players of the Game/Joueurse du match|