CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Pembina Valley Hawks (West) were able to get the job done Wednesday night at CARI Complex, coming out particularly strong in the third period to top the Capital District Cylones (host) 4-2, continue their undefeated streak at Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, and dash any chance the hometown favourites had at claiming the 2012 Esso Cup.
But it was Capital District that set the tone early on in the game, grabbing their first lead of the tournament when Emma Weatherbie (Sherwood, P.E.I.) seized her opportunity by burying a shot in the back of the Pembina Valley net at 6:21 in the first. The Hawks were able to tie it up late in the period, when Kari Braun (Altona, Man.) broke in alone on Emma MacKinnon (Charlottetown, P.E.I.), and waited for the goalie to drop before making her move and tucking the puck past the goal line.
In the second it was Pembina Valley’s turn to take the led, as captain Madison Hutchinson (Manitou, Man.) finished off a 2-on-1 with Cassidy Carels (Bruxelles, Man.) to put Pembina Valley up 2-1. At 8:39 in the period. However, Emma Martin (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) tied the game up again just 29 seconds later, driving inside on a Pembina Valley defender and putting the puck past Kristen Hunt (Winnipeg, Man.) to square the game at 2-2.
Shortly after, MacKinnon was injured in a post-whistle scrum around the Capital District net, forcing her to miss the rest of the period. Taylor Hill (Sherwood, P.E.I.) played out the second, stopping every shot she faced.
MacKinnon returned to the Cyclones net for the third, only to have Drummond score off a faceoff a minute into the period to give Pembina Valley the lead for good. Lauryn Keen (Manitou, Man.) added a shorthanded marker at 14:35 for the final 4-2 score. MacKinnon and Hill combined to stop 35 shots for Capital District, while Hunt stopped 24 shots for Pembina Valley.
The victory sets up the Pembina Valley Hawks for a showdown against the tournament’s only other undefeated team, the Thunder Bay Queens (Ontario), when the puck drops at 4 p.m. AT on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Capital District Cyclones will look to play the spoiler Thursday night, when they take on the Rebelles de Saguenay-Lac St-Jean (Quebec) at 7:30 p.m. AT. A regulation Saguenay victory, combined with a regulation loss by the Edmonton Thunder (Pacific), will put the Quebec reps into the medal round after losing their first three games.