Quebec’s explosive third period delivers on “golden” opportunity for first Esso Cup title
by Lucas Scott
A three-goal outburst in less than two minutes proved to be the difference for LHFDQ Nord (Québec), who rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third to beat the North Bay Ice Boltz (Ontario) 5-2, to hoist the 2013 Esso Cup as first-time national champs at Burnaby’s Bill Copeland Sports Centre on Saturday night.
North Bay had found an early lead on a bit of good fortune, as Kaitlyn McManus (Huntsville, Ont.) scored under five minutes in on a looping wrist shot from the blue line that caught keeper Valerie Lamenta (Montreal, Que.) off guard.
Despite a number of chances from both sides, the score would remain unchanged until North Bay scored just over a minute into the third, on a team-leading seventh point from Corie Jacobson’s (Warren, Ont.) to make it 2-0 – but not for long.
The celebration would be cut short, as Audrey Belzile (St-Hyacinthe, Que.) would fire her sixth goal of the tournament on the power play less than two minutes later, to begin what would be a five-goal Quebec rally.
Eve-Audrey Picard (Longueuil, Que.), assisted on the first goal and added one of her own to push the score to 4-2, before her team would add an empty-netter in the final minutes.
“We believed in ourselves, and thought that we could win the game,” Picard, who was named Quebec player of the game, said after the big win. “We just turned up the pressure … you have to keep trying and trying because you never know which puck is going to go in.”
Quebec’s five-goal third was consistent with the team’s knack for scoring goals in bunches throughout the tournament.
“The first goal breaks the ice and after that I think we’re less stressed and having more fun,” tournament scoring leader Valerie Audet (St-Bruno, Que.), who added two assists to bring her point total to fourteen, said after the game. “That’s the key; you have to be having fun in this game to (score) goals.”
Saturday night’s victory marks the first Esso Cup title for Quebec, and after a grueling seven games in seven nights, captain Jade Downie-Landry (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.) recognizes the scope of the accomplishment.
“It’s hard, just even during the warm-ups you’re already dead tired, you have to keep up and everyone has to work together,” Downie-Landry said after passing off the trophy to her cheering teammates at centre ice.
“It means a lot,” she said. Every team that has come (to this tournament) from Quebec has come back with losses. This year we actually proved to the world, to Canada, that we, Quebec, are able to win.”
The 2013 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, was a week full of surprising outcomes, dramatic finishes, and most of all, entertaining hockey. Re-live some of the tournaments greatest moments with exclusive Hockey Canada features available online only at www.HockeyCanada.ca/EssoCup.
|Game Information/Renseignements sur le match|
|Game #/No. de match||19
|Arena/Aréna||Bill Copeland Sports Centre
|Date||Sat., Apr. 27, 2013||Time/Heure||6:00 p.m. PT
|Goals & Penalties/Buts et pénalités|
|First Period/Première période
04:27 ONT Kaitlyn McManus
10:41 ONT Taylor Murphy (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
19:40 QUE Jade Downie-Landry (Hooking/Accrocher)
|Second Period/Deuxième période
|Third Period/Troisième période
01:13 ONT Corie Jacobson
03:47 QUE Audrey Belzile (Eve-Audrey Picard) PP/AN
04:02 QUE Roxane Daley (Valérie Audet)
05:42 QUE Katia Boulianne (Alexandra Nikolidakis, Jessica Bouchard)
09:14 QUE Eve-Audrey Picard (Valérie Audet, Alexandria Nikolidakis)
16:55 QUE Alexe Drouin (Jade Downie-Landry) EN/FD
03:36 ONT Kaitlyn McManus (Interference/Obstruction)
11:13 ONT Cynthia St.Cyr (Check to the Head/Mise en échec à la tête)
|Goaltenders/Gardiennes de but|
|Shots on Goal/Tirs au but||1||2||3||Total|
|Players of the Game/Joueurse du match|