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Rebel rising in Vernon – Regina squad wins Esso Cup women’s hockey event

Host Thompson Okanagan Lakers finish fourth after heartbreaking 1-0 OT loss in bronze-medal game
The Thompson Okanagan Lakers (blue) fell 4-1 to the eventual champion Regina Rebels in the semifinals at the Esso Cup Canadian U18 Women’s Club Hockey championsnhip Friday, April 26, at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. (Bowen Assman - Morning Star)

Led by tournament leading scorers Berlin Lolacher and Stryker Zablocki, the Regina Rebels captured their first Canadian Women’s U18 Club Hockey championship in Vernon Saturday, April 27.

Lolacher equaled a tournament record with her 10th goal at 12:56 of the second period to snap a scoreless tie, and Stryker would strike with her 11th tournament point 2:07 later for the eventual game-winner, as the Rebels edged the North York Storm of Ontario 2-1 in the gold-medal match at Kal Tire Place.

Regina’s victory is the first by a Saskatchewan team since the Weyburn Red Wings won the title 10 years ago in 2014.

The upstart Storm – who defeated the top-seeded Edmonton Junior Oilers 4-1 in a semifinal Friday – made things interesting when Lily Paisley scored a powerplay goal at 13:37 of the final frame, but North York could not get the equalizer past Rebels goalie Hannah Tresek.

Jamie Sanford gave North York a chance at gold with a 47-save performance in net while Tresek finished with 26 saves.

Regina, seeded second after the round-robin, advanced to the championship with a 4-1 victory over the third-seeded host Thompson Okanagan Lakers Friday.

Lolacher, with a goal 36 seconds after the national anthem, Ashley Breitkreutz, and Rayla Hennie, on a powerplay, staked the Rebels to a 3-0 lead after the first period.

Zablocki added the fourth goal midway through 40 minutes.

Kelowna’s Emma Deleurme spoiled Hannah Tresek’s bid for a shutout with a powerplay marker for the Lakers at 3:48 of the third period. The goal was set up by Melani Brooks of Montrose (near Trail) and Felicia Girardo of Fruitvale.

Tresek made 24 saves while Kelowna’s Reese Sliskovic finished with 34 stops for Thompson Okanagan.

The Lakers fell 1-0 in overtime to Edmonton in the bronze-medal game Saturday.

Layla Matthew beat Sliskovic for an unassisted goal at 4:18 of overtime for the game’s lone goal.

“The girls fought hard and showcased their talent and class throughout the tournament,” said provincial body BC Hockey of the Lakers’ efforts at the Esso Cup.

Vernon’s Lily Roberts of the Lakers was the recipient of an Esso Cup Scholarship.

READ MORE: Thompson Okanagan Lakers face Reginal in Esso Cup women’s hockey semifinal in Vernon

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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