2022 esso cup durham west lightning 960

Road to the 2022 Esso Cup: Durham West Lightning

The Ontario Region champions set their eyes on the Esso Cup early this season and hope to carry their momentum into Okotoks

Shannon Coulter
|
May 6, 2022
|

Even in the early days of this season, it was clear the Durham West Lightning had something special.

The team got off to a hot-start in the Ontario Women’s Hockey League (OWHL)—going 5-0-1 in its first six league games—before various COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns prevented the team from playing any games until February.

Instead of taking a break during the lockdown, the Lightning got to work, with each player taking turns leading daily workouts and competing in AMRAP workouts to stay connected and focused on their goals.

“I think because this team was so driven and they love the game […] when we hit the ice after the break, the individual skill level and the actual love for the game was [raised],” head coach Patrick Teggart says. “The girls were really hungry, and we hit the ground running like you wouldn’t believe.”

When the Lightning were back at the rink, their dominance continued. Overall, Durham West only dropped one game during the OWHL regular season, finishing at the top of the U18 AA division with a 21-1-3 record and a noteworthy 95-19 goal differential. That momentum carried into the OWHA provincial tournament, where the Lightning finished atop their group, allowing only five goals on its way to the championship and a spot at the Esso Cup.

They may not have experienced as much adversity as other teams this season, but the Lightning know how to react when times get tough.

“We’ve had a few situations that were pressure cookers, and the team seems to rise to the challenge,” Teggart says. “There doesn’t seem to be any panic and the team seems to rally behind everybody.”

One of the key factors about this Lightning team is its self-motivational culture.

“I don’t need to reiterate a lot of small details of the game, they just seem to bring it,” Teggart explains. “These girls don’t need to have so much motivation from the coaches and encouragement. They know what they want, they set their sights on the Esso Cup and more successes.”

On the ice, Durham West is a fast-paced, offensively minded team, but it is also strong defensively. The team is also very disciplined during games, seldom taking penalties or engaging in extracurricular activities on the ice.

Away from the rink, the players give back to their community. They participated in the Terry Fox Run, raised $2,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Network in October and led the Durham West Lightning Night in support of a local food bank. On top of that, the team is a unique group of individuals with different interests that collaborate well together.

“It’s the most eclectic group of athletes,” Teggart says. “We go to a team dinner, I have four or five that play Euchre and they’re off on their own, then I have some that are making TikTok videos. Some that are just sitting there watching hockey on TV, but the beauty of it is watching them bring it all together when it’s practice time or game time.”

With all the ingredients to make a big impact in Okotoks, the team is excited and eager to improve upon the bronze medal the Lightning earned at the 2017 Esso Cup.

HOW THEY GOT TO OKOTOKS

OWHA Provincials
Preliminary round: 2-0-1 – first place in Group A (defeated Ottawa Lady 67’s 4-0; tied Stoney Creek Sabres 3-3; defeated Bluewater Hawks 3-0)
Quarterfinal: defeated Saugeen-Maitland Lightning 2-1
Semifinal: defeated Etobicoke Dolphins 4-0
Final: defeated Whitby Wolves 3-1

REGULAR SEASON

Record (W-L-T): 21-1-3 (1st in OWHL – Southern)
Goals for: 95 (1st in OWHL – Southern)
Goals against: 19 (T-1st in OWHL – Southern)
Longest winning streak: 8 (Feb. 24-March 12)

PLAYOFFS

Record: 5-0-1
Goals for: 19
Goals against: 5

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2017 – Durham West Lightning | bronze medal | 3-4 | 22GF 19GA

UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

None

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

Recent News
Most Popular
Videos
Photos
2022 WJC: CAN 5 – LAT 2 (Preliminary)
Bedard and Greig finished with 1G 1A apiece as Canada opened with a win.
2022 WJC: CAN 4 – SWE 3 (Pre-Tournament)
Gaucher and MacTavish scored 0:34 apart early, and Canada held on.
2022 HGC: CZE 3 – USA 1 (Preliminary)
Šprynar scored game winner as Czechia earned a semifinal spot.
2022 HGC: SVK 3 – SUI 2 (Preliminary) OT
Cedzo scores pair in overtime win over Switzerland
Schedule