WINNIPEG, Man. – The Edge School for Athletes (Calgary, Alta.) claimed the inaugural gold medal at the Female World Sport School Challenge, defeating the Okanagan Hockey Academy (Penticton, B.C.) 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Iceplex.
Five different players scored en route to the win, with Daria O’Neill (Cochrane, Alta.) and Alex Serpico (Calgary, Alta.) both scoring on power plays in the first period, Emily Monaghan (Calgary, Alta.) notching one midway through the second and both Karly Heffernan (St. Albert, Alta.) and Cassandra Vilgrain (Calgary, Alta.) scoring empty net goals in the last minute of the third period. Netminder Emma Pincott (Cochrane, Alta.) earned the win between the posts.
Sunday’s gold medal game was the second meeting in four days between Okanagan Hockey Academy and the Edge School for Athletes. Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask.) had the shootout winner, as Okanagan Hockey Academy scored a 4-3 win in the tournament opener for both teams Thursday afternoon.
Earlier Sunday, the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy (Kelowna, B.C.) edged Shaftesbury Hockey Academy (Winnipeg, Man.) 1-0 to win the bronze medal. Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man.) scored the lone goal of the game on a power play at 11:31 of the third period. Sara Besseling (Vaxholm, Sweden) recorded the shutout for Pursuit of Excellence.
In Saturday’s semifinal action, Okanagan Hockey Academy blanked Shaftesbury Hockey Academy 3-0, while the Edge School for Athletes beat the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy 6-4.
The tournament all-star team for the 2013 Female World Sport School Challenge was also announced Sunday, with forwards Hannah Miller (North Vancouver, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy), Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pursuit of Excellence) and Cassandra Vilgrain (Calgary, Alta./Edge School for Athletes), defencemen Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man./Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy) and Marie-Jo Pelletier (Dalhousie, N.B./Rothesay Netherwood School) and goaltender Rachel Dyck (Winnipeg Beach, Man./Shaftesbury Hockey Academy) earning spots on the team.
The Female World Sport School Challenge is a new event that is expected to become an important venue for elite female players attending prep schools to compete in front of scouts from post-secondary institutions across North America, including from Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), as well as scouts for Canada’s National Women’s Program.
The event was developed in line with a commitment made by Hockey Canada to help sport schools across the country as they create learning environments for players that are both encouraging and competitive, while promoting a positive balance between academic and athletic achievements. Hockey Canada is also dedicated to offering these specialized schools flexible infrastructure so that they can help their student-athletes reach their goals of being the best they can be, both on and off the ice.
Hockey Canada currently supports 15 sport schools across the country through formal partnerships that enhance learning opportunities while developing hockey skills. This year’s Female World Sport School Challenge host team, St. Mary’s Academy, has been an official Hockey Canada sport school since 2011, establishing a respected and reputed program, with teams that participate in games and tournaments across Canada and the United States.
For more information about the 2013 Female World Sport School Challenge, follow along via social media at www.twitter.com/wsschallenge and www.facebook.com/wsschallenge, and please visit www.hockeycanada.ca/fwssc.