ICE CATS WIN ESSO CUP IN DOMINATING STYLE
WEYBURN, Sask. – The Brantford Ice Cats are the 2016 Esso Cup champions.
Brantford defeated the Express du Richelieu 10-3 on Saturday afternoon. Five straight goals in the second period turned the tide and, in turn, made the Ice Cats the eighth team to claim Canada’s National Female Midget Championship.
The 10 goals scored by Brantford doubled the record set by the winning team in the gold medal game; the Westman Wildcats (2009), Notre Dame Hounds (2011) and LHFDQ Nord (2013) all scored five goals in their wins.
Taylor Trussler (Kitchener, Ont.) led the way with a goal and four assists. Kayla Bailey (Cambridge, Ont.) and Nicole Kelly (Brantford, Ont.) each had two goals and two assists. Brooklyn Gemmill (Cambridge, Ont.) added a pair of goals, while singles were scored by Paige Rynne (Ancaster, Ont.), Lauren Martin (Cambridge, Ont.) and Chenelle Caron-Godon (Brantford, Ont.).
It’s hard to remember, but the Ice Cats twice trailed in the game.
Only 64 seconds in Émilie Lavoie’s (Beloeil, Que.) shot from the face-off circle beat Emma Verbruggen (Ancaster, Ont.) low far side.
Four minutes later, Kelly took a pass from Trussler on the rush and roofed a backhand.
Lavoie quickly gave the Express the lead back, going top shelf glove side with a shot from the face-off circle.
One of the questions all week had been how the Ice Cats’ short bench – the team dresses only nine forwards and four defencemen – would hold up after seven games in seven days.
That was answered in the second period.
Only 2:32 in Bailey deposited a rebound into an open net in front. And 1:32 after that Rynne fed Gemmill to give Brantford a lead it would proceed to run away with.
Midway through Kelly sent a pass out from the corner for an easy one-timer at the doorstep for Rynne. Four minutes later Gemmill buried the rebound on Bailey’s wraparound attempt. And Martin skated along the goal line and scored in front with 35 seconds remaining.
Bailey, Kelly and Trussler scored in the first seven minutes of the third, making it eight unanswered Brantford goals.
Éloïse Dubé (St-Hyacinthe, Que.) got one back by tucking in a backhand.
Caron-Godon finishing her own rebound completed the scoring.
Brantford is the third team from Ontario to win the Esso Cup, joining the Thunder Bay Queens (2010) and Sudbury Lady Wolves (2015).