Sports

Esso Cup ends in tense OT goal

Joel Nickel

The Pembina Valley Hawks faced off against the Durham West Lightning for the bronze medal spot but were edged out by the Lightning who won 4-1.

The Pembina Valley Hawks faced off against the Durham West Lightning for the bronze medal spot but were edged out by the Lightning who won 4-1.

The nation watched as the City of Morden hosted the 2017 Esso Cup which saw teams from all over the country competing for gold.
The games started on Sunday, April 27 with a noon match between the Durham West Lightning and the Harfangs du Triolet and culminated in a tense OT win for St. Albert Slash against the Harfangs du Triolet. The St. Albert Slash went undefeated the entire tournament.
Tyra Meropoulis (Edson, Alta.) netted the single goal of the game with only five minutes remaining in the overtime period.
“It was nerve-wracking going into overtime; being on the penalty-kill, we had to stay defensive and then worry about getting shots on the net,” said Meropoulis. “We were on a two-on-two and Madison [Willan] dropped the puck back for me to pick up and I toe-dragged around their defenceman to go top shelf; it was an amazing feeling.”
The St. Albert Slash are the first team to have a winning record of 7-0 since the tournament’s inception in 2009.
“The kids played incredible all week. Camryn Drever was on top her game with two straight shutouts,” said Slash head coach, Dan Auchenburg. “This is a great tournament and the top teams were here. We’ve been really impressed with how the whole event was run. It was unbelievable.”
Harfangs du Triolet goaltender Michelle Thibault was named player of the game, after facing 45 shots through 75 minutes of play.
The  bronze medal game came down to our own Pembina Valley Hawks and the Durham West Lightning who upped the host team 4-1.
Chavonne Truter (Uxbridge, Ont.) posted a three-point game when she notched two goals plus an assist on Brooklyn Donaldson’s (Oshawa, Ont.) game-opener.
“We were the underdogs coming into the game and we came out and gave them all we could,” said Truter. “We played our game the entire 60 minutes and there’s nothing to describe the feeling of winning a medal.”
Rebounding from a loss in the semifinals, Durham West sought redemption against Pembina Valley from a 4-1 loss earlier in round-robin play.
 Though the Pembina Valley Hawks outshot Durham West 29-24, the Hawks’ lone goal was scored shorthanded by Mackenzie McCallum (Morden, Man.).
Fourth overall is a remarkable achievement on the national stage and Hawks players say they’ll always remember the feeling of playing on home ice.  “I’ve always wanted to play in a national championship and to score a hat trick is an unbelievable feeling. My teammates’ support and the hats thrown on the ice were unforgettable,” Makenzie McCallum, forward for the Pembina Valley Hawks, said.