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Tuesday, May. 21, 2019
Lady Wolves open Esso Cup on a winning note
by Randy Pascal

It took more or less one period for the Sudbury Midget "AA" Lady Wolves to settle in, but once they did, their opening encounter of the 2019 Esso Cup versus the Halifax Fire was really no contest.

Before a large, vocal and very supportive crowd at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex on Easter Sunday night, the local reps built up a 2-1 lead after twenty minutes of play, outshooting their opponents 14-10 in the opening frame.

A bullet from defenseman Madison Laberge however, just 42 seconds into period two, seemed to take all of the wind out of the sails of the champions from the Bluenose province.

With Alexe Clavelle and Taylor Scott both netting their second goals of the game by the 7:42 mark of period two, the Lady Wolves had increased their lead to a very comfortable 5-1 margin, trading third period goals in registering a 6-2 triumph.

"At first, we were nervous, we were pretty uptight," said Scott, a second year midget who has already committed to the University of Ottawa Gee Gees and will be playing in the PWHL, next year, with the Ottawa Lady Senators.

"Most of us hadn't experienced that before. Going into the room, we had to calm down, and then things would fall into place. Having the crowd here with us, it helped, it hyped us up and we got back into our game, and once we got back into our game, we were good."

In fact, Scott and company were very good, directing 31 shots at Halifax netminder Amelia Awad over the final two periods, while Cailen Hanzlik faced just 15 more, for a game total of 23 saves, in recording the win in net for Sudbury.

Katie Chomiak rounded out the scoring for the Ontario champions, with Courtney Boone and Allie Norris countering in a losing cause for the Fire. Though the Lady Wolves have played roughly half of their LLFHL at the McCrory Complex, there was still some acclimatization required for the local crew.

We've played here some times throughout the season, we've practiced here, so it wasn't that bad," said Scott. "But the twenty minute periods took some getting used to."

The Lady Wolves vs Fire match-up wrapped up a three game slate to kick off the week long festivities. A hat trick from Grace Shirley helped to power the Saskatoon Stars past the Stoney Creek Sabres 6-4 in the noon encounter, with Anna Leschyshyn, Kaitlin Jockims and Calli Arnold also finding the back of the net for the prairie reps.

Vanessa Upson answered with a two goal performance in a losing cause, with solo markers coming courtesy of Alicia Juras and Jenna Duarte. The two-time defending Esso Cup champs also opened with a win as the St Albert Slash (Alberta) trimmed the As de Québec 3-1.

Goals from Isabelle Lajoie, Madison Willan and Jaden Bodgen propelled the Slash to a 3-0 lead midway through the contest, before Ann-Sophie Bédard got one back for Québec.

St Albert will tangle with Sudbury tonight at 7:00 p.m. in what promises to be a very intense battle for early bragging rights.

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