Mike Babcock has often talked about how great teams have a “machine-like”
quality to them, which means the players find a way to dig in and play
their best, game in and game out.
This descriptor works very well to describe the 2018-19 edition of the St.
The two-time defending Esso Cup champions roared through the Alberta Female
Hockey League with a 26-3-1 record playing a very balanced brand of hockey;
they averaged just shy of four goals a game (3.97) while allowing only 26
in 30 matches (0.87 per game).
“We take a lot of pride in our defensive game first and foremost,” says
head coach Dan Auchenberg. “What we try to preach is that offensively be
creative and think outside the box for yourselves. We try to give them free
rein on the offensive side, but on the defensive side, there is a lot of
structure and details that we want them to apply when we are out there.
Undoubtedly, the experience of the nine returnees from last year’s team
(five of whom have been part of both title-winning teams), coupled with the
enthusiasm of the new players, was significant in forging a campaign that
has seen the Slash face very little adversity.
St. Albert never endured a losing streak in the regular season beyond one
game, and it cruised through the Alberta provincials and Pacific Regional
with an undefeated record.
“We did dial in very early in the year and everyone was excited to try and
get back and three-peat,” says Auchenberg. “That is what kept them
motivated during the whole year.”
The 2018 triumph in Bridgewater, N.S., was history-making as no team had
ever won two Esso Cups before, let alone consecutively. A victory in
Sudbury would push their record into tough-to-break territory.
HOW THEY GOT TO SUDBURY
Alberta Female Hockey League
Preliminary round: 3-0 – first place (defeated Red Deer Chiefs 5-1,
defeated Calgary Fire 3-2, defeated Lloydminster Steelers 4-1)
AFHL championship game: defeated Calgary Fire 5-1
Championship: defeated Greater Vancouver Comets 2-0 (5-2, 3-0)
Record (W-OTW-OTL-L): 26-1-0-3 (1st in AFHL)
Goals for: 119 (1st in AFHL)
Goals against: 26 (1st in AFHL)
Longest winning streak: 12 (Nov. 3-Jan. 26)
Top 3 scorers:
- Madison Willan – 24G 27 51P (1st in AFHL)
- Jaden Bogden – 16G 16A 32P (2nd in AFHL)
- Mackenzie Kordic – 20G 11A 31P (3rd in AFHL)
Goals for: 25
Goals against: 7
Top 3 scorers:
- Madison Willan –7G 8A 15P
- Jaden Bogden – 4G 5A 9P
- Jenna Goodwin – 2G 3A 5P
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
2011 – St. Albert Slash | fifth place | 2-3 | 13GF 11GA
2017 – St. Albert Slash | gold medal | 7-0 | 25GF 7GA
2018 – St. Albert Slash | gold medal | 6-1 | 26GF 11GA
PLAYERS TO WATCH
good in all three zones … minute-muncher on the blue-line … deadly on the
PP … makes teammates better
strong on her skates … very good on the PK … defensively responsible …
thrives in high-pressure situations
can beat you as a scorer or playmaker … tremendous leader … knack for
scoring big goals … quick and shifty