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Road to the 2022 Esso Cup: Northern Selects

Undefeated since mid-October, the Atlantic Region champions look to carry that momentum into the Esso Cup

Shannon Coulter
May 12, 2022

The bonds between teammates on the Northern Selects goes much deeper than just the beginning of this season.

With the team based out of the small community of Pictou, N.S., everyone knows everyone. In fact, one third of the team has been playing together since they were about eight years old. Over half the Selects have played spring hockey together since U11.

The familiarity has helped to foster a selfless team environment where everyone is consistently looking to improve their game.

“We have leadership, and we obviously have some very elite players,” says head coach Craig Clarke. “They push each other and challenge each other very hard at practices. But they celebrate each other’s successes. We don’t have any of those ‘me, me, me’ people.”

On the ice, look for Northern to play a very structured and responsible game at the Esso Cup.

“I think our strength would be defence,” Clarke says. “We did put a lot of pucks in the net at Atlantics, but if you look at our overall statistics for the year, it’s more about defensive structure and being responsible. That would be something that we take, as a group, a lot of pride in.”

That defensive structure has led to great success. The Selects only dropped two games this season and have not lost since Oct. 17, finishing the Maritime Major Female Hockey League season on a 17-game win streak. They swept the Halifax Western Capitals in the Nova Scotia semifinals and faced the East Hants Penguins for the provincial championship.

“We were playing a very good team that has played us hard all year, and we had a bit of a blip [in Game 2],” Clarke explains. “We went from being up 2-0 to down 5-2 in the span of eight minutes. We came all the way back in the third period and won 6-5. That was a belief moment. We can come from behind, we can hold a lead, we can come back. We can do this.”

The momentum continued as the Selects swept the Penguins to win their fourth provincial title. At the Atlantic Regional, they had an incredible offensive performance, scoring 38 goals—and only allowing three—on their way to the regional title and a spot in Okotoks.

“They’re excited,” Clarke says of his team qualifying for the Esso Cup. “It was earned over almost, for some of them, for three years. A lot of hard work.”

Earning a spot at Canada’s National Women’s U18 Club Championship does not mean the job is done for the Selects, however. The team is eager to make an impact in its second Esso Cup appearance.

“You cannot go to the Esso Cup being satisfied to just go to the Esso Cup,” he says. “You’re there to compete. And regardless of what the result is game from game, you go and you empty it.”

The Selects are also drawing inspiration from the Cape Breton West Islanders for what Nova Scotian teams can accomplish at national championships. In 2017, the Islanders became the first Atlantic team to win the TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Men’s U18 Club Championship. Three players on the Selects—Bree MacPherson, Mairead MacPherson and Sara Stewart—had brothers that played on that Cape Breton West team.

“I mean, it was like a Disney story. A little place smaller than us and they went to the TELUS Cup and they won the thing,” Clarke says. “And it’s not that you have expectations for that. You just have expectations that every game you play, you are going to absolutely do everything you can for your teammates to compete all the way through it. Then, whatever the result is, you can hold your head high.”


Maritime Major Female Hockey League
Nova Scotia semifinal: defeated Halifax Western Capitals 3-0 (3-0, 3-1, 3-1)
Nova Scotia final: defeated East Hants Penguins 3-0 (2-0, 6-5, 6-0)

Atlantic Regional
Preliminary round: 4-0-0 – first place (defeated Eastern Icebreakers 10-1, defeated Western Wind 9-1, defeated EDZA West Reds 9-0, defeated Central Storm 8-0)
Championship: defeated EDZA West Reds 2-1


Record (W-L-T): 22-2-0 (1st in MMFHL)
Goals for: 78 (1st in MMFHL)
Goals against: 19 (1st in MMFHL)
Longest winning streak: 17 (Oct. 17-March 5)
Top 3 scorers:
- Sara Stewart – 17G 11A 28P (1st in MMFHL)
- Brooke Thomson – 15G 7A 22P (3rd in MMFHL)
- Jaylen Langille – 6G 11A 17P (7th in MMFHL)


Record: 11-0
Goals for: 61
Goals against: 10
Top 3 scorers:
- Sara Stewart – 17G 15A 32P
- Brooke Thomson – 13G 11A 24P
- Olivia Marks – 5G 14A 19P


2018 – Northern Selects | fifth place | 1-4 | 12GF 19GA


undefeated in regular season … very calm in net … doesn’t get rattled easily … uses her size to her advantage

excellent hockey IQ … incredibly fast … defenceman with great size and strength … plays a lot of minutes

captain clutch … incredibly dynamic ... great leadership … responsible on both ends of the ice


Megan Smith – St. Francis Xavier University
Sara Stewart – Colgate University

Host locations selected for 2025 Esso and TELUS Cups

Alberta and British Columbia to host Canada’s U18 national club championships

April 30, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the host locations for Canada’s 2025 U18 national club championships, with the Esso Cup set for Lloydminster, Alberta, and the TELUS Cup returning west to the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.

From April 20-26, the Lloydminster Steelers of the Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) will welcome five regional champions to compete for Canada’s Women’s U18 National Club Championship at the Centennial Civic Centre, marking the fifth time the Esso Cup has been hosted in Alberta and the first in the Border City.

The Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the B.C. Elite Hockey League (BCEHL) will make their national championship debut at the TELUS Cup from April 21-27 at the Chilliwack Coliseum, with Canada’s Men’s U18 National Club Championship returning to British Columbia for the first time since 2017. 

“Hosting a national championship is a tremendous undertaking, and we are grateful for the local organizing committees, Hockey Alberta and BC Hockey, for collaborating with our staff to host first-class events in Lloydminster and Chilliwack next spring,” said Pat McLaughlin, Hockey Canada’s chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy. “Canada’s U18 national club championships have seen some of the top athletes in our country compete before they’ve gone on to wear the Maple Leaf internationally, and we know hockey fans in Alberta and British Columbia will enjoy watching teams play for gold next spring.”

Fans can sign up now to receive ticket information about the 2025 Esso Cup and 2025 TELUS Cup as it becomes available, or become a Hockey Canada Insider and receive advanced access to tickets and other promotions.

“These tournaments are often once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the participants, families and fans, and thanks to the generous support of Esso and TELUS, we are excited to build on the legacy of both events in two outstanding hockey markets,” said Dean McIntosh, senior vice-president of revenue, fan experience and community impact for Hockey Canada. “We thank all communities that expressed interest in hosting one of these national championships next season and look forward to welcoming the best under-18 clubs in the country in the spring.”

At the 2024 Esso Cup, the Regina Rebels won their first national title in Vernon, B.C., while the Cantonniers de Magog became national champions for the second time at the 2024 TELUS Cup in Membertou, Nova Scotia. Both gold medal games were broadcast on TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

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Regina Rebels win 2024 Esso Cup

North York Storm takes home silver medal; Edmonton Jr. Oilers win bronze

April 28, 2024

VERNON, British Columbia –The Regina Rebels have won their first Esso Cup, defeating the North York Storm 2-1 in thrilling fashion on Saturday afternoon to win gold at Canada’s Women’s U18 National Club Championship.

Berlin Lolacher (Pilot Butte, SK), who was named the top forward of the tournament, scored the opening goal midway through the second period, beating Storm netminder Jamie Sanford (Toronto, ON). Sanford proved tough to beat, stopping 47 of the 49 shots Regina fired her way.

“This is an unbelievable feeling,” Lolacher said. “I don’t have words to describe this feeling. After the bronze medal last year, we had one goal: to win this tournament. And here we are. This is amazing.”

The tournament’s most valuable player, Stryker Zablocki (Prince Albert, SK), scored the eventual game-winner just two minutes after Lolacher broke the deadlock.

"To go from bronze (in 2023) to gold was our only thought this week,” added Zablocki . “Saskatchewan is always known as a bit of an underdog but here we are, and there is no group of girls I would rather go to battle with. I love this team; these girls and this feeling is something we will always remember. I’m so proud of how hard we worked to get to this point and to call ourselves national champions… it’s special.”

Lily Paisley (Mount Albert, ON) brought the Storm within one with a late power-play goal, but Rebels netminder Hannah Tresek (Regina, SK) shut the door in the final minutes, making four saves as the clock wound down. Tresek finished with 26 saves.

Edmonton Jr. Oilers defeat Thompson-Okanagan Lakers to win bronze

Earlier in the day, Edmonton rebounded from a 4-1 loss to North York in the semifinals to win the bronze medal, defeating host Thompson-Okanagan 1-0 in overtime to secure the program's fifth Esso Cup bronze medal.

Captain Layla Matthew (Edmonton, AB) scored the game-winner just over four minutes into the extra frame.

Mackenzie Gould-Sharpe (Red Deer, AB) earned the shutout, making 12 saves. The Jr. Oilers, who finished in first place in the preliminary round, outshot the Lakers 35-12.

Following the game, the Esso Cup award winners were announced:

Top Goaltender – Jorja Burrows (New Glasgow, NS / Northern Selects)
Top Defender – Ciara Lang (Edmonton, AB / Edmonton Jr. Oilers)
Top Forward – Berlin Lolacher (Pilot Butte, SK / Regina Rebels)
Most Sportsmanlike Player – Sydney Bowness (Toronto, ON / North York Storm)
Esso Cup Scholarship – Lily Roberts (Vernon, BC / Thompson-Okanagan Lakers)
Most Valuable Player – Stryker Zablocki (Prince Albert, SK / Regina Rebels)

For more information on Hockey Canada and the 2024 Esso Cup, please visit, or follow along through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram, and by using #EssoCup.

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Callie Dach during an Esso Cup game in Vernon.

Carrying on her family name

Hockey is deeply rooted in the Dach family, and with Callie Dach competing at the Esso Cup, she’s continuing a family tradition of competing at a high level

Katie Brickman
April 23, 2024

Playing hockey on the outdoor rink was a rite of passage for Callie Dach. Now she gets to continue another Dach tradition—hockey at the highest level.

The 17-year-old is looking to help the Edmonton Jr. Oilers to an Esso Cup championship this week in Vernon, B.C.

“Going through this experience has been awesome and sharing it with all these girls is special,” Dach says.

Dach is a 5-foot-9 defender from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, and is the younger sister to Kirby and Colton Dach, who both wore the Maple Leaf at the IIHF World Junior Championship. Kirby now plays for the Montreal Canadiens, while Colton—a Chicago Blackhawks prospect—spent this season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

Hockey has always been an important bonding opportunity for the Dach siblings, and the trio has spent hours on the backyard rink and the outdoor rink at the lake.

“Hockey helps me connect with my brothers and be a part of something together. It’s nice always having a shared interest with them,” Dach says. “Seeing them make it is a super proud moment for me and my family, to know they’ve made their dreams come true after all the hours they put into working for it.”

Dach first laced up her skates at a young age, playing organized hockey when she was five years old. Like many younger siblings, she wanted to be just like her older brothers.

“Always going to the rink and watching my brothers, it made me want to follow in their footsteps and be almost as good as them and compete against them in any way I could,” she says.

For parents Dale and Hillary, seeing their children have these experiences is a highlight, but it’s more than that—it's about the bigger picture of how hockey enriches their lives.

“It’s about belonging to a group that is working together for something. The accomplishments, the highs and the lows ... it gives you a lot of ways to learn later in life how to handle adversity and success in life,” Dale says. “Hockey has given them a lot of great avenues for meeting people. I played the game when I was younger and the connections and contacts that I have are lifelong, so it was a big part of my life and a big part of our family.”

The Edmonton Jr. Oilers are back at the Esso Cup after nearly a decade-long absence, having previously won three bronze medals as the Thunder. Dach and her teammates finished second in the Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) with a 21-7-2 record with strong goaltending leading the way.

“I think we are very well-balanced, and everyone is there for the right reasons. We’ve done a really good job of buying into what we all believe in, and we have lots of culture and identity within the room—we share a special bond,” Dach says. “Playing hockey with all these girls has given me another family and is an outlet for me.”

Callie’s parents will be making the nine-hour trek to Vernon to cheer on the Jr. Oilers and would love to see the team have success after all the hard work their daughter has put into her craft.

“We are very proud of Callie and very excited to see how she and the team do at the Esso Cup,” Dale says. “You don’t get these opportunities every day—many families don’t get these opportunities—so the biggest thing is just to sit back and enjoy the ride and do the best you can and make sure you have fun with it.”

Playing hockey and being competitive come naturally to the Dach parents—both Dale and Hillary played sports competitively growing up. Dale played hockey and Hillary skied. Having their children grow up around sport wasn’t always about reaching the highest level, but more about effort.

“We’ve always taught our kids that no matter what you’re doing—whether it’s schoolwork, sports or working—you always put in the best effort,” Dale says.

Over the years, Dach has focused on improving her game and feels like she has made strides on both sides of the puck.

“I am very strong defensively. I like to go to work in the corners and get pucks outs,” she said. “On the offensive side, I like my shot.”

Callie is committed to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology next season and the Dach family will be there to support her in the next transition of her game.

“She’s very driven and we're just very proud of her and excited to watch what all things hold for her,” Dale says.

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North York Storm after winning the OWHA Provincials.

Road to the 2024 Esso Cup: North York Storm

The Ontario champions may be one of the youngest teams in Vernon, but they are aiming to make the most of their first national appearance

Shannon Coulter
April 20, 2024

It is a tremendous feat to qualify for the Esso Cup, especially if you are competing against 51 other teams in the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA).

After narrowly missing out on qualifying for the Esso Cup last year—losing in the gold medal game at OWHA Provincials to the eventual Esso Cup champion Stoney Creek Sabres—the North York Storm had another strong season that has led to their first appearance at Canada’s Women’s U18 National Club Championship.

The Storm went 17-2-2 during the regular season to finish fourth in the OWHL Southern standings. After defeating the Central York Panthers, Toronto Aeros, Sudbury Lady Wolves and 2022 Esso Cup champion Durham West Lightning in the playoffs, the Storm edged the Stratford Aces 3-2 in a shootout to become OWHL Southern champions.

The momentum from the league playoffs carried into the provincial tournament, where the Storm allowed only four goals in an undefeated run to punch their ticket to the Esso Cup.

North York will be one of the youngest teams on the ice in Vernon, with an average age of 14.86 years old. However, Ontario teams have had great success in recent years. The last two winners, Stoney Creek and Durham West, hailed from Ontario, and the region has not finished lower than fourth place in tournament history.


Ontario Women’s Hockey Association

Playdowns: 2-0-2 – 1st place in Region Q (tied Toronto Leaside Wildcats 2-2; defeated Etobicoke Dolphins 3-0; defeated Scarborough Sharks 4-0; tied Toronto Aeros 1-1)
Preliminary round: 3-0-0 – 1st place in Group A (defeated Ancaster Avalanche 6-0; defeated Clarington Flames 3-0; defeated London Devilettes 4-0)
Quarterfinal: defeated Sudbury Lady Wolves 3-1
Semifinal: defeated Waterloo Ravens 3-1
Final: defeated North Halton Twisters 5-2


Record (W-L-T): 17-2-2 (4th in OWHL-Southern)
Goals for: 77 (2nd in OWHL-Southern)
Goals against: 35 (T-16th in OWHL-Southern)
Longest winning streak: 9 (Dec. 9-Feb. 4)

Top 3 scorers:
- Demi Lazarou – 13G 12A 25P
- Anabella Van Berkel – 14G 7A 21P
- Lily Paisley – 12G 7A 19P


Record: 8-0-2
Goals for: 34
Goals against: 7


First appearance

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Intrépide de l'Outaouais

Road to the 2024 Esso Cup: Intrépide de l’Outaouais

After missing out on qualifying for the Esso Cup by one overtime goal last year, the Intrépide are back and ready to compete on the national stage for the first time

Shannon Coulter
April 19, 2024

The Intrépide de l’Outaouais were an overtime goal away from going to the Esso Cup last year.

After finishing third in the regular season, Outaouais had the best record at the 2023 Coupe Chevrolet, going undefeated until the final, where they suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to the Étoiles de Laurentides-Lanaudière.

But this year, the Intrépide came back stronger and better than ever.

Since it joined the Ligue de hockey d'excellence du Québec (LHEQ) in 2018-19, the team has slowly been climbing up the standings. This season, the Intrépide finished atop the LHEQ for the first time in team history with a 25-2-1 record.

The team carried that success from the regular season into the Coupe Chevrolet provincial championship, allowing just three goals in four games on the road to a rematch against Laurentides-Lanaudière in the final. This time, the Intrépide shut out the Étoiles 2-0 to earn a spot at the 2024 Esso Cup in Vernon—the first for Outaouais.

Laurence Lafleur helped to lead the Intrépide to the national stage; the 16-year-old was the LHEQ scoring leader this season with 42 goals and 59 points before adding four goals and nine points in the playoffs.


Coupe Chevrolet
Preliminary round: defeated As de Québec 2-1, defeated Amazones de Laval-Montréal 10-0
Quarterfinal: defeated Harfangs de Sherbrooke 3-1
Semifinal: defeated As de Québec 3-1
Final: defeated Étoiles de Laurentides-Lanaudière 2-0


Record (W-L-OTL): 25-2-1 (1st in LHEQ)
Goals for: 130 (1st in LHEQ)
Goals against: 43 (2nd in LHEQ)
Longest winning streak: 11 (Jan. 21-March 31)

Top 3 scorers:
- Laurence Lafleur – 42G 17A 59P (1st in LHEQ)
- Kélia Gilbert – 15G 18A 33P (5th in LHEQ)
- Geneviève Godin – 16G 15A 31P (6th in LHEQ)


Record: 5-0
Goals for: 20
Goals against: 3

Top 3 scorers:
- Laurence Lafleur – 4G 5A 9P
- Maya de Beaumont– 4G 2A 6P
- Kélia Gilbert – 2G 4A 6P


First appearance


Gabrielle Brochu – Cégep Heritage
Paige Dubeau – Dawson College
Kélia Gilbert – Cégep Limoilou
Geneviève Godin – Champlain College
Laurence Lafleur – Champlain College
Élyssa Lalonde – Champlain College
Anabelle Legault – Cégep Heritage
Anabelle Monfils – Dawson College
Jade Poulin – Cégep Heritage
Gabrielle Roy – John-Abbott College

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Northern Selects pose on the ice after winning the 2024 Atlantic Regional.

Road to the 2024 Esso Cup: Northern Selects

The Atlantic champions continue to dominate in their region and are ready to return to the national stage for a third consecutive year

Shannon Coulter
April 18, 2024

With an impactful offence and an effective defence, the Northern Selects remain a force to be reckoned with.

The Selects are back at the Esso Cup for a third consecutive year, looking to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish. In Prince Albert, the Selects went 2-3 in the preliminary round before being blanked 3-0 by the eventual national champion Stoney Creek Sabres in the semifinals and falling 5-1 to the Regina Rebels in the bronze medal game.

Seven players return to Canada’s Women’s U18 National Club Championship, including 15-year-old Kendall Doiron. The 2023 Esso Cup most sportsmanlike player led the Selects with 64 points (34-30—64) in 32 regular-season games, building on her strong 2022-23 (18-13—34 in 24 games).

Northern may have the most offensively talented roster of its three-year run. Doiron, Hali-Rose MacLean, Brooke Williams and Laci Boyd finished two-three-four-five in Maritime Major Female Hockey League (MMFHL), with Aylee Glenn coming eighth . In comparison, the Selects had two players in the top 10 last year and three during the 2021-22 season.

The Selects dropped only two games during the regular season, partially thanks to the fantastic goaltending duo of Jorja Burrows and Madeleine Kerr. This will be the third Esso Cup appearance for Burrows, who had a 17-2 record in the regular season along with a 1.15 goals-against average, .951 save percentage and five shutouts. The 17-year-old also represented Team Atlantic at the Women’s U18 National Championship last November alongside Team Canada netminder Rhyah Stewart. Kerr is a Selects rookie, but still made a large impact in the crease. She had a 12-0 record, 0.92 GAA, .947 save percentage and four shutouts during the regular season.

The Selects are looking to become the first Atlantic representatives to win hardware at the Esso Cup.


Maritime Major Female Hockey League
Nova Scotia semifinal: defeated Cape Breton Lynx 3-0 (12-1, 7-0, 6-0)
Nova Scotia final: defeated Dartmouth Penguins 3-1 (2-3, 2-1, 5-0, 4-1)

Atlantic Regional
Preliminary round: 3-0-1 – 2nd place (defeated Tri-Pen Ice 6-0, defeated Western Warriors 10-2, lost to Eastern Stars 1-0, defeated Western Flames 4-0)
Championship: defeated Eastern Stars 5-2


Record (W-L-T): 28-2-1 (1st in MMFHL)
Goals for: 173 (1st in MMFHL)
Goals against: 35 (1st in MMFHL)
Longest winning streak: 19 (Sept. 23-Dec. 16)

Top 3 scorers:
- Kendall Doiron – 34G 30A 64P (2nd in MMFHL)
- Hali-Rose MacLean – 33G 22A 55P (3rd in MMFHL)
- Brooke Williams – 21G 24A 45P (4th in MMFHL)


Record: 10-2
Goals for: 64
Goals against: 10

Top 3 scorers:
- Kendall Doiron – 14G 7A 21P
- Hali-Rose MacLean – 11G 9A 20P
- Laci Boyd – 6G 14A 20P


2023 – Northern Selects | 4th place | 2-3 | 13GF 19GA
2022 – Northern Selects | 4th place | 2-3 | 14GF 12GA
2018 – Northern Selects | 5th place | 1-4 | 12GF 19GA


Jorja Burrows – St. Francis Xavier University

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Regina Rebels
© Darryl Gershman/Ice Wave Media

Road to the 2024 Esso Cup: Regina Rebels

A combination of youth and experience could lead to further success on the national stage for the West Region champions and reigning Esso Cup bronze medallists

Shannon Coulter
April 17, 2024

Bronze medallists a year ago in Prince Albert, the Regina Rebels are returning to the Esso Cup hungry to become champions.

After consistently finishing at or near the top of the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League (SFU18AAAHL) since 2018-19, this will be Regina’s fourth appearance at the Women’s U18 National Club Championship in tournament history. Only dropping three games during the regular season, the Rebels are undefeated since Nov. 24, riding a 26-game win streak into Vernon.

The Rebels are loaded with young talent for the second year in the row. There are eight first-year players on the roster: five forwards, one defender and one goaltender. The 2022-23 edition of the Rebels had nine first-years, and 12 are returning from last year’s Esso Cup.

Regina is an offensively strong team, led by National Women’s Under-18 Team forward Stryker Zablocki. After recording two goals and five assists in her U18 Women’s Worlds debut, the Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, native finished as the SFU18AAAHL scoring leader. Zablocki had 40 goals and 25 assists in the regular season, then added 11 goals and six helpers during the playoffs.

However, the offence is not limited to Zablocki. Berlin Lolacher (15-25—40) and Brooklyn Nimegeers (10-30—40) finished in the top five of league scoring, joined by Avery Gottselig, Addison Greve, Kadence Dansereau and Ashley Breitkreuz in the top 20.

Between the pipes, the Rebels have the best goaltending duo in Saskatchewan. Returning netminder Hannah Tresek topped the SFU18AAAHL with a 17-1 record, 1.43 goals-against average and .940 save percentage, while rookie Adriana Bashnick finished third with a 10-2 record, 1.84 GAA and .915 save percentage.


Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League
Semifinal: defeated Battlefords Sharks 2-0 (5-4, 5-4)
Final: defeated Notre Dame Hounds 2-0 (7-3, 4-1)

West Regional
Championship: defeated Winnipeg Ice 2-0 (4-3 OT, 3-1)


Record (W-OTW-OTL-L): 26-1-0-3 (1st in SFU18AAAHL)
Goals for: 151 (1st in SFU18AAAHL)
Goals against: 50 (1st in SFU18AAAHL)
Longest winning streak: 20 (Nov. 24-March 4)

Top 3 scorers:
- Stryker Zablocki – 40G 25A 65P (1st in SFU18AAAHL)
- Berlin Lolacher – 15G 25A 40P (4th in SFU18AAAHL)
- Brooklyn Nimegeers – 10G 30A 40P (5th in SFU18AAAHL)


Record: 6-0
Goals for: 28
Goals against: 16

Top 3 scorers:
- Stryker Zablocki – 11G 6A 17P
- Berlin Lolacher – 4G 5A 9P
- Brooklyn Nimegeers – 1G 4A 5P


2023 – Regina Rebels | bronze medal | 3-2 | 21GF 16GA
2013 – Regina Rebels | 4th place | 3-2 | 17GF 11GA
2010 – Regina Rebels | 4th place | 3-2 | 12GF 10GA


Ashley Breitkreuz – Trinity Western University
Avery Gottselig – University of Saskatchewan
Emily Karpan – Trinity Western University
Berlin Lolacher – Mercyhurst University
Brooklyn Nimegeers – Princeton University
Stryker Zablocki – Northeastern University

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Road to the 2024 Esso Cup: Edmonton Jr. Oilers

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Edmonton Jr. Oilers are back at the big dance on the back of lights-out goaltending

Nicholas Pescod
April 16, 2024

Once a fixture of the Esso Cup, the Edmonton Jr. Oilers are back at Canada’s Women’s U18 National Club Championship after nearly a decade-long absence.

From the inception of the Esso Cup in 2009 until 2015, the Jr. Oilers, known then as the Thunder, made a record seven consecutive appearances. The run included trips to the gold medal game in 2011 and 2014, and bronze-medal finishes in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Nine years later, they’re back. So, how did they do it? They had a fantastic regular season, finishing second in the Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) with a record of 21-7-2 and winning their last eight games. They were also second-best in goal scoring with 104 in 30 games and co-led the AFHL by allowing only 41.

Powering the Jr. Oilers were forward Daniella Martorana (15-18—33) and defender Ella Lloyd (17-14—31), who finished atop the AFHL in points among all blue-liners.

At the back end, Ella Dunham-Fox (7-3, 1.14 GAA, .944 SV%) and Mackenzie Gould-Sharpe (12-3, 1.15 GAA, .943 SV%) were sensational. The duo finished one-two in goals-against average and save percentage, and Gould-Sharpe’s five shutouts put her third among netminders.

The Jr. Oilers cruised through the preliminary round at the Alberta provincial championship with a perfect 3-0 record, and a nail-biting 2-1 win over the Red Deer Chiefs – the only team to finish above Edmonton in the regular season – secured an AFHL title. Edmonton allowed just four goals in four playoff games.

That championship came with a trip to the national tournament when the Thompson-Okanagan Lakers – the Esso Cup hosts – clinched the B.C. Elite Hockey League title, sending the Jr. Oilers to Vernon as Pacific representatives.


Alberta Female Hockey League 
Preliminary round: 1st place – defeated Calgary Fire 3-1, defeated St. Albert Slash 2-1, defeated Red Deer Chiefs 3-1)
Championship game: defeated Red Deer Chiefs 2-1


Record (W-L-OTL): 21-7-2 (2nd in AFHL)
Goals for: 104 (2nd in AFHL)
Goals against: 41 (tied for 1st in AFHL)
Longest winning streak: 8 (Feb. 2-25)
Top 3 scorers:
- Daniella Martorana – 15G 18A 33P (3rd in AFHL)
- Ella Lloyd – 17G 14A 31P (4th in AFHL)
- Tayla Lamabe – 15G 11A 26P (6th in AFHL)


Record: 4-0
Goals for: 10
Goals against: 4
Top 3 scorers:
- Claire Carruthers – 2G 3A 5P
- Ciara Lang – 2G 1A 3P
- Tayla Lamabe – 2G 0A 2P


2015 – Edmonton Thunder | 5th place | 2-3 | 9GF 10GA
2014 – Edmonton Thunder | silver medal | 3-4 | 16GF 18GA
2013 – Edmonton Thunder | bronze medal | 6-1 | 23GF 18GA
2012 – Edmonton Thunder | bronze medal | 3-4 | 15GF 12GA
2011 – Edmonton Thunder | silver medal | 6-1 | 26GF 12GA
2010 – Edmonton Thunder | bronze medal | 3-4 | 17GF 18GA
2009 – Edmonton Thunder | 4th place | 2-4 | 17GF 14GA


Claire Carruthers – St. Francis Xavier University
Callie Dach – Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Aeryn Flanagan – University of Saskatchewan
Mackenzie Gould-Sharpe – Lakeland College
Camryn Karaki – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Ella Lloyd – Northeastern University
Layla Matthew – Clarkson University
Riley Scorgie – Cornell University
Maren Stachniak – SUNY Cortland

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Road to the 2024 Esso Cup: Thompson-Okanagan Lakers

Even after winning their way to the Esso Cup, the hosts still feel like they have something to prove

Nicholas Pescod
April 15, 2024

The Thompson-Okanagan Lakers didn’t just get to the Esso Cup because they’re the hosts. They earned their way to the big dance.

After going 22-8-1-1 in the regular season – good enough for second place in the B.C. Elite Hockey League (BCEHL) – and sweeping the Greater Vancouver Comets in the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers joined an exclusive group of hosts who won their league titles by going on the road and vanquishing the two-time defending champion – and two-time Esso Cup silver medallist – Fraser Valley Rush in the BCEHL final.

That means they didn’t have to play the Pacific Regional series against the Edmonton Jr. Oilers, sending the Alberta champions straight through to the Esso Cup as Pacific representatives and giving the Lakers almost a full month off ahead of Canada’s Women’s U18 National Club Championship.

Thompson-Okanagan was all about scoring by committee during the regular season, putting four players in the top 10 of BCEHL scoring – Alexandra Recsky (10-21—31), Emma Kohl (18-10—28), Lily Roberts (11-12—23) and Holly Magnus (8-13—21), while Denali Forsyth (1.70) Reese Sliskovic (1.87) both fashioned goals-against averages under 2.00 to backstop the Lakers.

Magnus stepped up in the playoffs with a goal and four assists (her only goal was the OT winner in Game 1 of the semifinal series against the Comets), and Roberts scored two of the biggest goals of the season, netting the lone marker in Game 2 of the final as the Lakers staved off elimination and opening the scoring in Game 3 to send Thompson-Okanagan on its way.

 The Lakers are staring at a couple of opportunities for history when the Esso Cup begins April 21 – they can become the first host team to claim the national title and the first team from British Columbia.


British Columbia Elite Hockey League 
Semifinal: defeated Greater Vancouver Comets 2-0 (3-2 OT, 4-1)
Final: defeated Fraser Valley Rush 2-1 (2-3, 1-0, 2-1) 


Record (W-L-T-OTL): 22-8-1-1 (2nd in BCEHL)
Goals for: 91 (2nd in BCEHL)
Goals against: 59 (2nd in BCEHL)
Longest winning streak: 7 (Nov. 18-Jan. 5)
Top 3 scorers:
- Alexandra Recsky – 10G 21A 31P (4th in BCEHL)
- Emma Kohl – 18G 10A 28P (5th in BCEHL)
- Lily Roberts – 11G 12A 23P (9th in BCEHL)


Record: 4-1
Goals for: 12
Goals against: 7
Top 3 scorers:
- Holly Magnus – 1G 4A 5P
- Kilah Hodder – 0G 5A 5P
- Emma Kohl – 3G 1A 4P


First appearance


Holly Magnus – University of Alberta
Lily Roberts – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Hannah Robertson – Dalhousie University
Reese Sliskovic – Trinity Western University

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'You’re always fighting for them’

For more than two decades, Braden Robertson has volunteered his time and given financial support to ensure the growth of girls' hockey in Vernon

Nicholas Pescod
April 15, 2024

For more than two decades, Braden Robertson has been a stalwart figure in the Vernon, B.C., hockey community.

Whether it’s been coaching minor hockey, helping his daughter’s hockey team or in his current role as co-chair of the Esso Cup host committee, Robertson has dedicated countless hours giving back to the game he loves. 

“I started off playing minor hockey like every other Canadian kid and just evolved from there,” Robertson says about his passion for volunteering. 

After his playing days were over, Robertson got involved with coaching teams in the Vernon area in 2001. He took a few years off when his daughters Myah and Hannah were born but got back behind the bench when Hannah began playing hockey.

“Once my daughter started playing hockey, I got back into coaching. Head coach, assistant coach, I did all of that for quite a while,” Robertson says.

However, as Hannah, who will participate in the 2024 Esso Cup with the Thompson-Okanagan Lakers, grew older and began playing at a higher level, Robertson took a step back from coaching. He instead found other ways to stay involved, working to help secure sponsorships for the Lakers over the past couple of seasons. 

“When your kids get older and they play at a higher level, they have higher coaching, more than my experience,” Robertson says. “You’ve always been a part of the game, and now you’re like ‘Where can I fit in, how can I help out?’ and that’s my part, helping out wherever is needed.” 

And that’s exactly what he’s done. This past summer, Roberston built a dressing room for the Lakers inside Kal Tire Place. A business owner and contractor by trade, Robertson covered the majority of the construction costs — close to $7,000 — and secured sponsorship funding to cover whatever was outstanding. 

“I wish we could have done this sooner,” he says. “It leaves a bit of a legacy on my behalf of the sport that I love playing and watching and it was nice to give back. It's nice that they have a home instead of having to use a broom closet or something. They now have something that they take pride in and that’s awesome. You’re always fighting for them.”

Robertson has also led numerous sponsorship initiatives over the years, raising thousands of dollars for the Lakers. Robertson says he’s proud of how the people of Vernon have come together over the years to ensure the girls have a chance. 

“It obviously pays some of the bills that it helps families out the parents out, lowers the cost, brings the community in with the team,” he says. “I can’t say enough about the community I live in. Their mindset with kids and sports here is huge. It’s a very giving community. We’ve surrounded ourselves with very good people. We love giving back and I do too.” 

Kevin Bathurst, who shares Esso Cup co-chair duties, says without Robertson, the Lakers dressing room never gets built. 

“This team finally has a home and it’s been a long time coming,” says Bathurst, who is also the executive director of hockey operations with the Greater Vernon Minor Hockey Association. “I think it is a legacy that Braden can hang his hat on. That dressing room is going to be a mainstay in the community for a very long time. The girls can walk down the hallway where the dressing rooms are at Kal Tire Place and see a Lakers logo, not just a Vernon Vipers logo. It’s through some of Braden’s hard work that they’ve got the recognition and the facilities that these girls deserve.” 

Today, Robertson serves alongside Bathurst as they work to ensure Vernon and Kal Tire Place are ready to host Canada’s Women’s U18 National Club Championship. He’s excited for the girls who will be participating in the tournament and the impact the event will have on the broader community — profits will be going towards the creation of a post-secondary scholarship fund and a grassroots development fund that will support girls’ hockey in the region. 

“I'm looking forward to all the kids coming. Hopefully we put a good product out there and they enjoy it because this is one of the biggest tournaments these girls are ever going to play in,” Robertson says. “We are giving back to the community through scholarships, and we have a grassroots program that will help young girls get into hockey that maybe couldn’t afford it. It will help them out with the bills, whether it is hockey equipment or team fees, league fees or whatnot.” 

Bathurst says Robertson has been the “flagship volunteer” for girls’ hockey in the Vernon area and that his dedication and commitment to the game is unparalleled.

“You couldn't find a better volunteer and champion of female hockey than Braden,” says Bathurst.
“He really is an example for many of us to follow in terms of the growth of the female game.” 

At the end of the day, Robertson says giving back to the game he loves so much isn’t just about hockey, it’s about shaping the next generation of adults and having a positive impact early in life. 

“It’s about trying to create good human beings, members of society that can move on and work hard,” he says. “It’s about finding out what they are good at. It’s about being a good human being and I think hockey and all sports are that way. Sometimes people lean too much towards the sport itself, but we are raising these young adults that will have to contribute one day.”

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For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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