The fourth annual Esso Cup will be a special one for Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Our country’s smallest province will be hosting – and competing – in female Midget’s largest tournament, for the first time ever.
This year’s Esso Cup marks the first on Canada’s east coast, following the three previous held in the west: Calgary in 2009, Regina in 2010 and St. Albert last season. Excitement in the province’s capital is building, as Charlottetown prepares to welcome the top young teams from across the country to Canada’s National Female Midget Championship.
Charlottetown’s Capital District Cyclones have been named the host team, while provincial and regional champions from the Pacific, West, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic round out the competition.
“I think it’s going to be a really good opportunity to show off how the Island plays hockey,” Cyclones captain and third year veteran Maggie Grimmer said. “We get a chance to display our talent and the skill level here.”
The MacLauchlan Arena at the CARI Complex will serve as the Esso Cup venue, showcasing the best young female hockey skill in the country. With round robin play kicking off in less than six weeks time, the facility is beginning its transformation to welcome the best-of-the-best from coast to coast.
“You can see there are some banners starting to go up,” Grimmer said. “And jerseys are being hung at the CARI rink, where the games will be held. You can feel the excitement is starting to build.”
The Cyclones are riding a regular season hot-streak heading into their provincial and Atlantic finals in the weeks prior to the Esso Cup. The team finished in first place by a large margin in comparison to their competition, losing only three regular season games in regulation and posting a 25-3-2 record overall.
“This is one of the best dressing rooms I’ve ever been involved with in terms of team chemistry,” head coach Scott McCabe said. “We’ve just got a great group here, and a great mix of talent.”
McCabe is in his fourth season coaching his daughter, forward Cassidy McCabe, and her teammates. He has watched several players on his current roster grow and develop since their Bantam years.
McCabe and his squad took home the Atlantic Female Bantam Championship last year, and he has his sights set on another title in 2012, before the team’s long-anticipated appearance at the upcoming 2012 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship.
The Capital District Cyclones, the city of Charlottetown and the province of Prince Edward Island eagerly await the arrival of the nation’s top female Midget teams, and the chance to see the next Esso Cup champion crowned.
“It’s definitely exciting,” McCabe said. “This is a great experience for the girls, and these are memories that (they’ll) never forget.”