SALMON ARM, BC – Team Ontario 2 (Etobicoke Dolphins) will meet Team Alberta (Calgary Oval X-Treme) in Saturday’s final at the Esso Women’s Nationals in Salmon Arm, BC, a game which will be shown live on TSN and RDS beginning at 4 p.m. ET, and 1 p.m. PT. (check local listings)
Ontario 2 reached the final after beating Ontario 1 (Mississauga Aeros) 1-0 in double overtime in Friday’s first semi-final at the Sunwave Centre. In the second semi-final, Alberta beat Nova Scotia 15-0. Ontario 1 and Nova Scotia will start Saturday’s action by playing for bronze at 9 a.m. PT.
Gold medal preview – Ontario 2 vs. Alberta
The two teams met once in the preliminary round, with Alberta winning the game 2-1 in overtime. Alberta fired 59 shots at Ontario 2 goaltender Desirae Clark, who was named top goaltender in Pool A.
Gina Kingsbury, the top forward in Pool A, and Hayley Wickenheiser, the MVP in Pool A, led Alberta throughout the tournament. Alberta finished atop Pool A with a 4-0 record, with Ontario 1 in second place at 3-1 and Ontario 2 in third at 2-2.
Wickenheiser led all scorers with 14 points in four games and Kingsbury was second with 12 points. Ontario 2 was led offensively by Carly Haggard’s 10 points in four games.
Ontario is the most decorated province when it comes to the Esso Women’s Nationals. Its representatives have won 25 medals in the history of the event, including 10 golds. Alberta, meanwhile, has won 22 medals, including seven golds. If the X-Treme wins on Saturday, Alberta teams will have eight gold medals, putting Alberta into a tie with Quebec for second place all-time.
Bronze medal preview – Ontario 1 vs. Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia will look to win its first medal at the Esso Nationals. Nova Scotia reached the semifinal after beating New Brunswick on Thursday in quarterfinal play. Nova Scotia has been led by captain Tara Dunn, who had three points in five games.
Ontario 1 was led by Sommer West, who had nine points in four games, and Kelly Béchard, who finished with eight points.
The Esso Women’s National Championship started in 1982 and is Canada’s senior women’s championship. The event attracts some of the most well-known names in Canadian female hockey. This year is no different with National Team members Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette, Gillian Ferrari and Delaney Collins and others taking part in the tournament.