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Thompson Okanagan Lakers split pair of games in Esso Cup back-to-back

Lakers defeated the Edmonton Jr. Oilers 3-2 and then lost, 5-0 to Ontario’s North York Storm

The Thompson Okanagan Lakers are facing their first test of adversity at the Esso Cup.

The Canadian women’s under-18 hockey club championship, hosted in Vernon, is now three days in, and the host Lakers suffered their first defeat in weeks.

After winning the BCEHL Club championship back in early April, the Lakers defeated Northern Subway Selects of Nova Scotia, 2-0 on Sunday to kick off the national championship. Then, on Monday, they bested Alberta’s Edmonton Jr. Oilers, 3-2. On Tuesday, they fell 5-0 to the North York Storm.

Monday’s game against the Oilers began with teams trading goals in the first period. The Lakers scored on a power play in the second from Mena Bhatt and Lily Roberts scored her second of the game 10 minutes later.

A late tripping call in the third saw the Oilers strike on the power play to come to within one with just 30 seconds left, but it was too little too late.

The Lakers were out shot heavily, 37-13, as Reese Sliskovic put on a stellar goaltending performance in the win.

On a Tuesday matinee, Okanagan was humbled by the powerful North York team out of Toronto. The Storm scored four times in the opening frame, en route to a dominant 19-2 shot differential.

The Lakers were able to generate more offensive opportunities in the latter two frames, but the Storm padded their lead in the second to go up for good, 5-0. Lakers goalie Denali Forsyth was barraged for 51 shots, while North York’s Brigitte Armatys got the shutout, stopping all 25 faced. Olivia Vansickle scored twice for the Storm in the victory.

The Lakers were down a player eight times in the game, and North York was able to score on the power play three times.

Now at 2-0-1, the Lakers have two more round-robin games, on Wednesday, April 24 against the (1-0-0-1) Regina Rebels and Thursday against the Quebec champion, (0-0-3) L’Intrepide de L’Outaouais. Lakers sit second in the six-team standings, with the top four advancing to the semifinals, which begin Friday, April 26.

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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