BURNABY, B.C. – The LHFDQ Nord have won the 2013 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, defeating the North Bay Ice Boltz 5-2 in the gold medal game Saturday night at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
It was a first appearance at the Esso Cup for the LHFDQ, and the first time a team representing Québec has won the Esso Cup. This marks the fifth annual National Female Midget Championship, with the Westman Wildcats (West) winning the inaugural event in in 2009 Calgary, Alta., the Thunder Bay Queens (Ontario) winning in 2010 in Regina, Sask., the Notre Dame Hounds (West) claiming gold in 2011 in St. Albert, Alta., and the Pembina Valley Hawks (West) winning in 2012 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Although the LHFDQ Nord claimed the 5-2 win in the end, it was the North Bay Ice Boltz to score first in the 2013 Esso Cup gold medal game. Kaitlyn McManus (Huntsville, Ont.) scored at 4:27 in the first, and Corie Jacobson made it 2-0 at 1:13 in the third. But a power-play early in the third gave the LHFDQ Nord a chance to get into the game, and Audrey Belzile (St-Hyacinthe, Que.) found the back of the net at 3:47 in the period. Roxane Daley (St-Jerome, Que.) was able to tie it up at 4:02, Katia Boulianne (St-Eustache, Que.) scored the game-winning goal at 5:42, Eve-Audrey Picard (Longueuil, Que.) made it 4-2 at 9:14 and Alexe Drouin (Boucherville, Que.) sealed the win, and the Esso Cup gold medal, at 16:55 with an empty-net goal.
Both teams won their semifinals Friday, with the LHFDQ Nord defeating the Regina Rebels (West) 6-3 in the early game and the North Bay Ice Boltz beating the Edmonton Thunder (Pacific) 5-1 in the late game. The two teams faced off in preliminary action Wednesday, with LHFDQ Nord defeating North Bay 3-1. The LHFDQ Nord finished the preliminary round with three wins and two losses, while North Bay capped off the week with two wins, one shootout win, one shootout loss and one loss. Neither team had competed in the Esso Cup before this season, let alone advanced to the gold medal game.
Earlier Saturday, the Edmonton Thunder (Pacific) won their fourth consecutive Esso Cup medal, and their third Esso Cup bronze medal, by defeating the Regina Rebels 1-0, with Elizabeth Salyn (Edmonton, Alta.) scoring the only goal of the game, and the game-winner, midway through the third period for the 1-0 win.
The 2013 Esso Cup was presented in partnership with BC Hockey, the Burnaby Minor Hockey Association and Tourism Burnaby, with the Fraser Valley Phantom welcoming the top five provincial and regional teams from across the country.
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