SYDNEY, NS – The 2006 Esso Women’s National Championship gold medal game was determined on Saturday afternoon as both Ontario and Quebec were victorious in semi-final action, and will meet in Sunday’s gold medal game at 1:00pm AT / 12noon ET, LIVE on TSN/RDS.
In Saturday’s semi-final action, Team Ontario (NWHL’s Brampton Thunder) rode the play of its veterans to down Team Alberta (WWHL’s Calgary Oval X-Treme) 5-2 and will look to take home their third gold medal in as many years.
Team Quebec (NWHL’s Montreal Axion) avenged their loss to Team New Brunswick by downing the Atlantic squad 6-0 in Saturday’s other semi-final, and the win marks the first time since their gold medal win in 2002 that Team Quebec will compete in the final.
The gold medal game of the 2006 Esso Women’s Nationals will be nationally televised on the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, TSN/RDS, Sunday, at 1:00pm AT (12:00pm ET) at the Centre 200 in Sydney, NS.
Gold medal preview – Ontario vs. Quebec
In their only round robin match-up, Quebec handed Ontario their lone defeat by downing the defending champions 4-1 behind the strong play of goaltender and 2006 Olympic gold medalist Charlene Labonté. Her Canadian Olympic teammates Jayna Hefford and Vicky Sunohara have led Team Ontario throughout the championship and are their club’s top scorers with 13 and 11 points respectively. Both Quebec and Ontario lineups feature three 2006 Olympians; Labonté, Gina Kingsbury and Caroline Ouellette for Quebec and Hefford, Sunohara and Gillian Ferrari for Ontario.
Ontario is Canada’s most decorated team at the Esso Women’s National Championship having won a total of 24 medals, nine of which are gold medals. Since the tournament’s inception in 1982, Ontario has medaled each year with the exception of 1995. Quebec has also fared well at the Esso Women’s, having won 20 medals and sits second with 8 gold medals. A Quebec victory in Sunday’s final would tie them with Ontario for the most Esso Women’s National Championships with nine.
In Sunday’s bronze medal game, New Brunswick will look to medal for the first time since 1996 when it won bronze in Moncton, NB. Alberta, who failed to win a medal last year for only the third time in its history, will be looking to win their 22nd career medal. The bronze medal game will take place Sunday Morning at 9:00am AT (8:00am ET) at Centre 200.
SUNDAY’S GAMES AT THE ESSO WOMEN’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN SYDNEY, NS:
BRONZE MEDAL GAME
Team Alberta versus Team New Brunswick
- 9:00 am AT (8:00am ET)
GOLD MEDAL GAME
Ontario (Brampton Thunder – NWHL ) versus Quebec (Montreal Axion - NWHL)
-1:00pm AT (12 noon ET) – LIVE on TSN/RDS
The Esso Women’s National Championship was established in 1982 and is Canada’s Senior Women’s National Championship. The 2006 event marks the 25th anniversary of Canada’s National Women’s Championship and marks the 70th anniversary of Esso’s long standing commitment to the sport of hockey in Canada. Nine of Hockey Canada’s Branches from across Canada will send a representative Senior Women’s Hockey Team to the event, featuring some of the top senior female players from across Canada, as well as teams from the NWHL and WWHL.
FOR MEDIA RELATIONS INQUIRIES: contact Mathieu Litalien who will be on-site at 403-703-8791 (cell).