BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – The St. Albert Slash became the first team in Esso Cup history to repeat as back-to-back champions, defeating the Saskatoon Stars 2-1 to win gold at Canada’s National Female Midget Championship.
“It was pretty amazing, nothing can beat it,” St. Albert Slash captain Tyra Meropoulis, of Edson, said of her feelings after the game. “Winning two in a row is unbelievable. It is such an amazing feeling.”
After suffering a 4-1 loss to the Stars in the preliminary round, the Slash rebounded in the championship game by opening the scoring with just under three minutes remaining in the first period. Late-period goals were the key to the team’s success, as St. Albert took a 2-0 lead with less than one minute remaining in the second period. The Stars cut the deficit in half 47 seconds into the third period, but could not find the back of net as time expired.
“[St. Albert] did a great job. An absolutely great job,” said Greg Slobodzian, head coach of the Saskatoon Stars. “We haven’t been pressured like that in a long time. Our girls didn’t know how to handle it at the beginning, but I thought we answered really well in the third period. It could have went either way."
Meropoulis led the Slash with one goal and one assist in the final, while veteran Madison Willan of Edmonton recorded the game-winning goal in the second period. Jayme Doyle of Calahoo also registered one assist in the game.
Goaltender Camryn Drever of Edmonton made 14 saves on her way to securing the win, while Mackenzie Butz of Sherwood Park earned player of the game honours for St. Albert.