In 2012, Michela Cava captained the Thunder Bay Queens to their second Esso Cup appearance in three years. This season, her second at the University of Connecticut, she finished tied for the team lead in scoring. With the Huskies’ season now complete, Cava takes some time to share her most memorable Esso Cup experiences.
ESSO CUP HISTORY
In Regina, Sask., in 2010, Thunder Bay defeated the Notre Dame Hounds 4-3 in the final to win the Esso Cup. Cava recorded three goals and six assists in seven games. In Charlottetown, P.E.I., in 2012, Thunder Bay won its first six games before falling to the Pembina Valley Hawks 4-2 in the gold medal game. Cava was the tournament’s leading scorer with eight goals and 10 assists in seven games and was named Most Valuable Player.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT, ON ICE
The Queens came out firing in the 2012 Esso Cup, winning their first four preliminary games by a combined score of 31-5. Against the Rebelles du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, they set a tournament record for the fastest three goals by one team, with three in 61 seconds. “There are games where everything clicks,” says Cava. The semifinal against Metro Boston Pizza, however, was not one of those games. Trailing 2-0 early in the second, Cava says the team did its best to stay positive. The deficit had been halved when the Halifax team went on the power play halfway through the period. “Next thing you know we got one [shorthanded] goal,” says Cava. “Then we went out the next shift and scored again and ended up winning the game [4-2].”
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT, OFF ICE
Regina welcomed the teams by asking its guests to show themselves around the city. Cava says doing the scavenger hunt planned by the host committee was a great way to discover Regina.
WINNING A MEDAL
Halfway through the 2010 gold medal game, the Queens found themselves trailing 3-1. At 15:53 of the second they cut the deficit to one. Less than two minutes later, Cava cut in from the wing with the equalizer. Just past the halfway mark of the third, Thunder Bay had its first lead of the game and a national title in sight. “I couldn’t watch the last minute and a half. It was the scariest moment of my life,” says Cava. “I can’t even describe the feeling when we won – just chills running through my body.”