Ever since the end of training camp, the Sudbury Lady Wolves have been
determined to prove they have a legitimate chance to become the first host
team to win the Esso Cup.
Sudbury compiled a 19-1-2 regular-season record in the Lower Lakes Female
Hockey League, outscoring opponents 95-19 in the process, reached the
championship game of the LLFHL playoffs and won gold at OWHA provincials to
enter Canada’s National Female Midget Championship through the front door.
Head coach Jay Duncan credits his players committing to playing a
relentless brand of hockey as a major cause for a season full of great
The defining moment, though, was how his team performed in the face of
tragedy early in the season.
On Oct. 31, former Lady Wolves forward Mélisa Kingsley passed away after a
two-year battle with sarcoma. Mélisa – the older sister of Sudbury
netminder Mireille Kingsley – was a member of the Lady Wolves squad that
captured gold at the 2015 Esso Cup in Red Deer, Alta.
The Lady Wolves had to play a three-game weekend series less than two days
“We completed those three games winning two and tying one,” Duncan says.
“Not sure how we did it. It was emotionally tough. It was a train wreck for
the whole weekend for these kids. That was the toughest adversity in that
sense. We thought we might lose all three games, but we found a way.”
The intensity has ramped up through the season, including an unbeaten romp
to gold at provincials, but Duncan says he believes his team can find
another gear leading up to the Esso Cup.
“I am hoping that at the end of the day we realize we are a really good
team,” he says. “We’re built for success. I believe we have it in us.”
HOW THEY GOT TO SUDBURY
Preliminary round: 3-0 – first place in Group E (defeated
Markham-Stouffville Stars 3-1; defeated Hamilton Hawks 3-0; defeated London
Quarter-final: defeated Kingston Ice Wolves 3-0
defeated Chatham Outlaws 3-2
Championship game: defeated Stoney Creek
Record (W-L-T): 19-1-2 (1st in LLFHL)
Goals for: 95 (1st in LLFHL)
Goals against: 19 (1st in LLFHL)
Longest winning streak: 11 (Nov. 10-Jan. 19)
Goals for: 20
Goals against: 5
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
2014 – Sudbury Lady Wolves | bronze medal | 4-3 | 19GF 15GA
2015 – Sudbury
Lady Wolves | gold medal | 6-1 | 27GF 11GA
PLAYERS TO WATCH
strong and powerful skater … good shooter with great hands … works
extremely hard … plays with a smile
very good skater … has a big shot … not afraid to get involved
offensively … aggressive in all three zones
great hockey IQ … can see the play develop … has a pass-first mentality
… sneaky quick with nice hands