Fraser Valley Phantom impress at Esso Cup

in tournaments, playoffs

FV Phantom 2014 cropped

The Fraser Valley Phantom represented BC for the third straight year at this year’s Esso Cup, the national championships for Major Midget female hockey in Canada. Although the team finished out of the medals, the girls were competitive throughout the tournament and showed the rest of the country how much the women’s game has improved in BC over the past number of years.

The Female Midget AAA League was initiated in the 2007-2008 season in response to the BC Hockey’s desire to provide an  opportunity for elite female players to come together on zone teams to challenge other elite female midget teams.

Since its inception, the FMAAA league has had more than 50 players go on to play at post-secondary institutions in Canada and the United States.

Congrats to all on the team. Here’s a wrap of the tourney courtesy of the Phantom, full roster at end of post.


Courtesy of FV Phantom:

Now that the Esso Cup is over let’s look how the week shaped out for the Fraser Valley Phantom.

Day 1 vs Edmonton Thunder 1-0 Loss

Game 1 saw the Phantom battle hard and lose a tough one. The Thunder scored a weird one from behind the goal line in the dying minutes of the third to win the game 1-0. Hockey Canada’s write up below.

By Wendy Graves
STONEY CREEK, Ont. – It took almost 56 minutes for the first – and only – goal of the game, but it was well worth the wait.
Jessica Healey (Edmonton, Alta.) skated from her own zone, through the neutral zone and around a team of defenders until the Edmonton Thunder defenceman found herself behind the Fraser Valley Phantom net. After fighting her way through another set of defenders and reaching the left goal line, she was finally tripped up.
On her way to the ice she swung at the puck and beat Fraser Valley goalie Valencia Yardonov  (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) short side.
Down, but definitely not out

Day 2 vs Stoney Creek Sabres 3-0 Loss
Game 2, and the Phantom still can’t put one in. The Sabres controlled most of the game and you could see the Phantom begin to get frustrated with the lack of scoring. Stoney Creek won 3-0, with a 0-2 start the Phantom have an up hill battle. Hockey Canada’s write up below:

By Wendy Graves
STONEY CREEK, Ont. – In a matchup between the last two Esso Cup hosts, it was this year’s home team coming out on top Monday night.
Amanda Butterfield (Grimsby, Ont.), Natasha Costello (Guelph, Ont.) and Victoria Klimek (Orangeville, Ont.) each had a goal and an assist to pace the Stoney Creek Sabres to a 3-0 win over the Fraser Valley Phantom.
Serena D’Angelo (Stoney Creek, Ont.) made 18 saves to earn the shutout in her first Esso Cup start.
After a decisive opening night win over the Moncton Rockets, the Sabres expected a tougher fight against the Phantom, who were looking to rebound from a tough late-game loss to the Edmonton Thunder on Sunday.
The Sabres are the fastest team here, but early on the Phantom were up to the challenge of keeping up. The team just wasn’t able to generate enough quality scoring chances, and playing any time shorthanded didn’t help the cause.
Stoney Creek opened the scoring on the power play seven minutes into the first. With the Phantom penalty kill giving her plenty of space, Butterfield took a few strides in from the blue line and fired a wrist shot that beat goalie Valencia Yordanov (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) clean.
Stoney Creek doubled its lead five minutes into the second on another player advantage. The power plan unit cycled the puck down low before working it around the zone. Stephanie Ayers (Burlington, Ont.) fired a shot that was redirected in front by Costello. It was the five-foot forward’s second marker of the tournament.
“I don’t look at it as everyone is bigger than me,” she said. “I just say that I’m their size. I don’t really care how small I am; I’ll push through everyone to show that I’m able to play at their level, too.”
Good hand-eye coordination also helps negate any size disadvantage. It’s a skill Costello has honed on the road outside her house.
“My dad passes to me from behind the net and I’ll just keep tipping them from corner to corner,” she said.
Klimek sealed the deal late in the third. Her attempted pass to Claire Merrick (Oakville, Ont.) went off Phantom forward Courtney Vorster (Richmond, B.C.) and past a helpless Yordanov.
Yordanov was solid in the Fraser Valley net, making 28 saves in her second hard-luck loss of the tournament.

Day 3 vs Weyburn Gold Wings 3-2 Loss
Game # 3 versus the Weyburn Gold Wings, who the Phantom had defeated earlier this season the Mandi Schwartz tournament  2-1. The Phantom outshot the Gold Wings 40-24 but still could not come up with a win. Hockey Canada’s Write up below.

By: Wendy Graves
STONEY CREEK, Ont. – The Weyburn Gold Wings continue to roll.
Caitlin Dempsey (Heward, Sask.) had two goals, Bailee Bourassa (Weyburn, Sask.) added another, and Tessa Wilson (Mazenod, Sask.) and Kassidy Sjostrand (Midale, Sask.) added two assists each as the West Region champions defeated the still-winless Fraser Valley Phantom 3-2 Tuesday afternoon.
Jane Kish (Weyburn, Sask.) stopped 38 of 40 shots in backstopping her team to a third straight win.
Brianna Keats (Chilliwack, B.C.) and Mikayla Ogrodniczuk (Vancouver, B.C.) scored for the Phantom, the team’s first two goals of the tournament. Fraser Valley fell to 0-3 with the loss.
The Gold Wings run of wins precedes its arrival in Stoney Creek for the Esso Cup. After wheeling off eight straight wins to close out the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League regular season, the team went 11-3 in winning four rounds of playoffs.
It’s no surprise, then, that Weyburn got on the board first. After winning the battle for the puck behind the Fraser Valley net, Wilson kicked the puck to herself and fed an unmarked Dempsey out front.
“Tessa passed it right to me and I couldn’t do anything but score,” says Dempsey.
A little more than six minutes later Fraser Valley evened things up off a broken play. A centering pass intended for Mackenzie Wong (Surrey, B.C.) instead went off a defender to an open Keats on the other – and open – side of the crease.
The physical play picked up as the second period played on. Minutes after a perceived non-slashing call on Fraser Valley, a brief scuffle broke out in the Weyburn crease.
When Bourassa converted a one-timer from Cassidy Pirlot (Wauchope, Sask.) with two minutes remaining in the second, the celebration seemed particularly pronounced.
Dempsey increased her team’s lead early in the third with a low shot from the face-off circle 20 seconds into the power play.
The Phantom had several good chances as the clock ticked on to pull closer, with the best coming when Kirsten Martin (Rosedale, B.C.) got sprung on a break halfway through the period. But Kish closed the door, and continued to keep it shut most of the night.
“I told her after the game that if she didn’t already have a Player of the Game Award, I would’ve given mine to her,” says Dempsey.
It took a rocket of a shot from the blue line by Ogrodnicuk to beat Kish a second time.
Valencia Yordanov (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) faced 21 shots and suffered her third straight defeat

Day 4 vs Moncton Rockets 7-2 Win
Game # 4 finally saw the Phantoms hard work pay off, The girls took it to the Rockets and found the back of the net often, defeating the Rockets handily. Hockey Canada’s Write up Below:

By Wendy Graves
STONEY CREEK, Ont. – You fire 50 shots on net, and good things are bound to happen.
The Fraser Valley Phantom finally founds their scoring touch in defeating the Moncton Rockets 7-2 on Wednesday afternoon. It was the B.C. team’s first win of the Esso Cup.
Kirsten Martin (Rosedale, B.C.) paced the offence with two goals and an assist. Zoe Todd (Vancouver, B.C.), Michelle Toor (Burnaby, B.C.), Jodi Gentile (Richmond, B.C.), Brianna Keats (Chilliwack, B.C.) and Mackenzie Wong (Surrey, B.C.) also scored for Fraser Valley.
Kaely McMurtry (Port Coquitlam, B.C.), Chelsea Wilson (Langley, B.C.) and Courtney Vorster (Richmond, B.C.) had three assists each, in helping goalie Valenica Yordanov (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) pick up the win.
Brooke Murphy (Riverview, N.B.) and Sarah Bujold (Riverview, N.B.) both had a goal and an assist in the loss. Hayley Hallihan (Miramichi, N.B.) also had an assist for Moncton.
It was a must-win game for Fraser Valley if the team had any hope of making the playoffs. Coming into the game, the Phantom – the top-scoring team in the British Columbia Female Midget AAA League – had struggled to find the back of the net.
The team needed a fast start and Todd gave it to them 65 seconds in. The defenceman held the Rockets’ clearing attempt at the blue line and sent a shot on net. Goalie Jordan Carrier (Moncton, N.B.) seemed to misplay the puck, allowing it to go five-hole and in. The early strike gave the Phantom their first lead of the tournament.
“It was a big confidence booster,” Gentile said after the game. “We hadn’t been scoring a lot and getting that goal was a really good way to get momentum going and our confidence back up.”
Fraser Valley controlled the opening 20 minutes – firing 20 shots on Carrier – but went to the first intermission up just the one goal.
Two goals less than two minutes apart in the second suggested the team had finally solved the Moncton goalie. Although Delaney Duchek (Delta, B.C.) didn’t draw an assist on the play, her crowding the crease helped Toor’s point shot elude Carrier at 5:47. At 7:37, Gentile’s point shot through traffic made it 3-0.
Brianne Waterman (Memramcook, N.B.) came in to replace Carrier, who faced 26 shots over 27 minutes.
The change in net seemed to help change the tide. Five minutes later, Murphy had an open net to put home a rebound. Four minutes after that, Bujold buried a Hayley Hallihan rebound from just outside the crease.
But any thoughts Moncton had of a comeback were put to bed during an eight-minute span in the third that saw: Wong tip in Vorster’s point shot, Martin shoot low from the face-off circle, Martin tip in McMurtry’s point shot, and Keats one-time a feed from Gabrielle Roy (Chilliwack, B.C.).
Game over.

Check out TSNs write up here

Day 5 vs Sudbury Lady Wolves 6-3 Loss
Game 5 in a win to get in game the Phantom lost control for a minute and 24 seconds, and dug themselves into a deep hole, going behind 3-0. With and heart filled second and third period the Phantom just couldn’t get enough momentum to complete the comeback losing 6-3. Hockey Canada’s Write up below:

by Wendy Graves
STONEY CREEK, Ont. – One minute, 24 seconds.
That’s how long it took for things to go bad for the Fraser Valley Phantom.
Goals from Karli Shell (Lively, Ont.), Victoria Pitawanakwat (Manitowaning, Ont.) and Kennedy Lanktree (Mindemoya, Ont.) during an 84-second span of the first period staked the Sudbury Lady Wolves to a 3-0 lead, and well on the way to a 6-3 win.
The trio later scored again. Jamie Ricci (Sudbury, Ont.) and Stephanie Legault (Dowling, Ont.) chipped in with two assists apiece.
Chelsea Wilson’s (Langley, B.C.) hat trick provided all of the Phantom’s offence. Mackenzie Wong (Surrey, B.C.) and Brianna Keats (Chilliwack, B.C.) both picked up two assists.
Fraser Valley came in knowing it needed a win to improve its playoff chances. The coaching staff again donned its rally scarves, which had served the team well in its win over Moncton the previous day.
The Phantom were given a glorious opportunity to take control of the game when they went on the power play four and a half minutes in.
But it would be Sudbury getting on the board first, 25 seconds after killing the penalty.
Shell broke in from the corner, shoveling a backhand high past Valencia Yordanov (Port Coquitlam, B.C.).
That goal was still being announced when a Pitawanakwat shot from the face-off dot went top corner.
Needing to regroup after surrendering two goals on five shots, Yordanov took to the bench for a breather.
New goalie Morgan Symington (Surrey, B.C.) couldn’t stop the bleeding, though. Exactly one minute after coming into the game, she was beat and back on the bench.
Using a defender as a screen, Lanktree’s shot from the face-off dot found the far side post.
Her second of the game came later in the period on the power play. This time with Legault providing the screen, Lanktree finished a cross-ice pass from Shell.
“Karlie and I have been playing on the same line since Atom,” Lanktree said. “We just know where each other is (going to be).”
Shell scored her second of the game – and seventh of the tournament – after picking a defender’s pocket and beating Yordanov in tight.
It took until just past the 17-minute mark of the second for Fraser Valley to find its way onto the board.
With players from both sides buzzing around the net, Wilson tapped in the puck with two seconds left on the power play.
Two more goals in the third from Wilson – both on rebounds – bookended Pitawanakwat’s second of the game.
Danika Lefrancois (Sudbury, Ont.) made 24 saves in the win.

Now it was the waiting game for the Phantom as both the Edmonton Thunder and the Moncton Rockets were tied with the Phantom and whoever won their game would advance. If both teams lost the Phantom would advance to the semis. Moncton lost their final game and so the nervousness set in the for the Phantom.

Back at the hotel, the Phantom sat in their hotel rooms nervously watching the final game of the prelims, Edmonton Thunder versus the undefeated Stoney Creek Sabres. With Edmonton going up early with 2 goals in 2 shots the Phantom were hopeful that the Sabres could come back and save the Phantoms chances.  The Sabres tie it up 2-2 and as the dying minutes ticked through, the Sabres continued to bury the third goal but could not make it happen and with the regulation tie, the Edmonton Thunder get the 4th and final spot in the Semis and eliminate the Phantom. The Thunder would go on to win on OT.

The Semis saw Weyburn defeat Sudbury and Edmonton win against Stoney Creek for the second night in a row, creating an al west final.
In the Final Weyburn continued their win streak and defeated Edmonton 2-1 for the win. Congratulations to the Weyburn Gold Wings and a successful season and the 2014 Esso Cup Win, as well as to all the other teams who competed in the tournament.

Check out the Photos from the Esso Cup here:

# Last Name First Name POS Year of Birth Shot Height Weight Hometown Last team
2 Christopherson (AP) Sophia D 1999 Left 0’0″ 0 Surrey Female
2 Dobb (AP) Kaia Joy F 1999 Left 0’0″ 0 Chilliwack Chilliwack
7 Duchek Delaney RW 1996 Right 5’8″ 150 South Delta Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
2 Ericsson (AP) Madeline F 1999 Left 0’0″ 0 Tricities Female
3 Gentile Jodi D 1996 Right 5’6″ 140 Richmond Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
22 Hannon (AP) Brenna F 1999 Left 0’0″ 0 Abbotsford Abbotsford Minor
11 Keats Brianna F 1996 Right 5’2″ 130 Chilliwack Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
13 Korman Katelin F 1998 Left 5’8″ 135 Surrey Surrey Falcons A1
19 Martin Kirsten F 1998 Right 5’9″ 125 Chilliwack Chilliwack Boys Bantam A1
6 McMurtry Kaely F 1996 Right 5’5″ 125 Port Coquitlam Pacific Ravens Midget AAA
2 Merx (AP) Sarah F 1998 Left 0’0″ 0 Surrey
20 Morris-Reade Shannon F 1997 Right 5’8″ 145 Port Coquitlam Port Coquitlam Minor (Midget)
16 Ogrodniczuk Mikayla D 1997 Right 5’5″ 125 Vancouver Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
22 Paling (AP) Tyanna Marie D 2009 Left 0’0″ 0
17 Pollock Amanda D 1998 Left 5’7″ 140 Surrey Surrey Falcons A1
21 Read (AP) Michaela D 1999 Left 5’10” 135 Chilliwack
14 Rosner Taygen D 1998 Left 5’2″ 120 Surrey Surrey Falcons A1
9 Roy Gabrielle F 1996 Right 5’5″ 130 Chilliwack Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
35 Symington Morgan G 1998 Left 5’7″ 145 Cloverdale Surrey Falcons Bantam A1
4 Todd Zoe D 1997 Right 5’3″ 120 Vancouver Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
10 Toor Michelle D 1996 Right 5’4″ 135 Burnaby Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
1 Unger (AP) McKenna G 1999 Left 0’0″ 0
21 Vorster (AP) Courtney F 2000 Left 5’6″ 140 Richmond Seafair Bantam A1
18 Wilson Chelsea F 1996 Left 5’6″ 145 Langley Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
5 Wong Mackenzie F 1996 Right 5’3″ 120 Surrey Fraser Valley Phantom Midget AAA
21 Yim (AP) Natalie D 1999 Left 0’0″ 0 Surrey
31 Yordanov Valencia G 1996 Left 5’8″ 140 Port Coquitlam Poco Midget Boys