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2017 Esso Cup Day 4: Goalies Thrive in Penultimate Prelims

By Steve Seto on April 27, 2017

(Dennis Pajot/Hockey Canada Images)    

DAY 4 RESULTS:

St. Albert Slash (Pacific) – 4
Prince Albert Bears (West) – 0

Durham West Lightning (Ontario) – 8
Mid-Isle Wildcats (Atlantic) – 1 

Harfangs du Triolet (Quebec) – 1
Pembina Valley Hawks (Host) – 0

Goaltenders made the biggest impact on Day 4 of the 2017 Esso Cup, while two teams locked up playoff berths on Wednesday. 

St. Albert was able to earn their semifinal bid early in the day after taking care of Prince Albert. Forward Shyla Kirwer opened the scoring just before the two-minute mark of the first period to get the Slash up and running. After a power play goal by Tyra Meropoulis to finish the first, the Slash wouldn’t let anything stop them. Kaylee Vader and Isabelle Lajoie added insurance goals in the third, but the play of G Camryn Drever put the confidence in her teammates to close out the game. The Slash netminder set aside 37 shots to secure her second shutout while leading the tournament in goals against average and save percentage. 

The Wildcats still weren’t able to find any traction as the Lightning struck with eight goals in the second game of the day. Kate Gallant had one of the best performances of the tournament with a five-point game that included four goals to put her atop the points leaderboard. Mackenzie Macdonald added two goals to secure a spot behind Gallant in tournament points, while Julie Gough and Brianna Brooks found the back of the net to round out the scoring. 

In one of the closest games of the tournament, and in a fight to secure their spot in the semis, the Hawks and Harfangs found themselves in a goaltender battle. Nelly Lapointe opened the game with the only goal of the night, sneaking the puck underneath the right pad of G Halle Oswald in the first two minutes of the game. After that, Oswald and Harfangs G Michelle Thibault shut down both offences as Thibault skated off with a 24-save shutout to put her team into the semifinals. 

On the final day of preliminary competition, the Lightning will try and be the first team to beat the Slash and secure their spot in the semifinal round. In the second game of the day, the Bears will be fighting to avoid a repeat of Day 4 as they face the Harfangs. Prince Albert needs a win in order to have a chance at a playoff spot. The Wildcats will be looking to play spoiler as they take on the host Hawks in the final game of the day.

Current Standings: 
St. Albert (Pacific) 4-0-0
Triolet (Quebec) 3-1-0
Pembina (Host) 2-2-0
Durham West (Ontario) 2-2-0
Prince Albert (West) 1-3-0
Mid-Isle (Atlantic) 0-4-0

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April 27, 2017
Categories:  Minor Hockey|Events

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