STATION SIX FIRE COMING IN HOT AT THE ESSO CUP IN SUDBURY THIS WEEK
Apr. 21, 2019
SUDBURY, Ont. — The Station Six Fire kick off their quest for national Female Midget AAA gold tonight in northern Ontario.
The Station Six Fire face the tournament host — and reigning Ontario champions — Sudbury Lady Wolves this evening in their first game at the 2019 Esso Cup in Sudbury. The puck drops at 8 p.m. Atlantic at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
The Station Six squad is one of four regional champion teams that, along with the Ontario runners-up, will be vying for the national title this week.
Rounding out the Esso Cup field are the As de Québec (Quebec), the St. Albert Slash (Pacific) and the Saskatoon Stars (West) – as well as the Stoney Creek Sabres, who finished as the runner-up at OWHA provincials and will be the Ontario representatives.
(PHOTO: The Station Six Fire celebrate their Atlantic title in Bathurst, N.B.)
The national tournament will be full of experience – the Slash have won the last two national championships, the Lady Wolves took gold in 2015, the Stars are back for the fourth time in five years and the Fire have nine players who played with host Metro Boston Pizza at the Esso Cup in Bridgewater last April.
While the Atlantic representatives are sometimes considered underdogs at the national tournament, Station Six head coach Lou Lanceleve says his team will not be intimidated when they go up against the country's best.
“All year, I’ve preached, ‘Play on your toes, play with speed,’” Lanceleve said.
“We’re not going up there to sit on our heels. We’re bringing our game. If it’s good enough, it’s good enough. If it ain’t, it ain’t. But I’m not going to go up there and getting in the minds of my players.
“We play responsible. We’re good on the back-check, we’re good in our zone, but we’re not changing.”
That recipe has worked for the Station Six Fire during their inaugural campaign.
Station Six wrapped up the Nova Scotia Female Midget Hockey League season with an 18-2-4 record, two points back of the Northern Subway Selects for first in the league.
In the opening round of the playoffs, they swept the MacIntyre Chevy Panthers in three-straight games to advance to the provincial final.
After dropping Game 1 and Game 2 to the Selects in a pair of one-goal contests, Station Six rallied at home.
Their coach says that there was never any doubt that they could come back.
“They believed,” Lanceleve said.
In Game 3, Station Six battled back on home ice and skated to a 6-3 victory.
“That was the turning point where they knew if they could get through that series, they knew that they could put themselves in a position to get to Atlantics and maybe get to the Esso Cup — and they did just that.”
After forcing a fifth and deciding game with a 3-2 win in Game 4, the Fire faced off against the Selects on March 24 at the Hector Arena in Pictou with a ticket to Atlantics as the Nova Scotia representatives on the line.
Despite being outshot 43-26, the Fire got goals form Hannah MacNeil and Jillian Duggan in a 2-0 road win.
“There are games where, to be a good team, your goalie has to be your best player on some nights and in Game 5, we were out of gas. We had injuries. Our best player in Game 5 was our goalie and we needed that.”
Amelia Awad was stellar for the Fire, turning aside 43 pucks in the shutout victory.
After capturing the provincial title, Station Six tore up the competition at Atlantics, finishing the tournament undefeated and dismantling the Northern Lightning 5-2 in the gold medal final.
The Station Six Fire will look to continue their incredible season this week as they take on Canada’s best at nationals.
If they are to have success on the national stage, the formula will be simple: hard work.
“We’re a good transition team, we’re fast and we’re heavy on the forecheck,” Lanceleve said.
“The excitement level is high right now.”
Hockey Nova Scotia would like to wish the Station Six Fire the best of luck as they begin their Esso Cup journey tonight in Sudbury.