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Road to the 2023 Esso Cup: Stoney Creek Sabres

The Ontario champions hope a combination of chemistry, tenacity and structure will lead to success at the Esso Cup

Shannon Coulter
|
22 April 2023

The Stoney Creek Sabres may be a younger team, but the chemistry runs deep. The core of the team has played together for five years, and head coach Taylor Abbott has been behind the bench for three seasons.

“We’re a family-based team,” Abbott says. “It’s a team that’s bought in on a winning culture of excellence. Everybody’s here for the team.”

This season has been one to remember for the Sabres. In the seven tournaments the team has played in, they have played for hardware every time and won four.

“It’s been one of [those seasons] that you pinch yourself to see if you’re going to wake up and it’s not real,” Abbott says.

Stoney Creek has faced some strong competition along the way. It met the reigning Esso Cup champions, the Durham West Lightning, at the Stoney Showcase and the Canada/U.S. Cup, coming away with wins in both tournaments.

“At that point, the girls were really starting to believe in themselves,” he says. “I think all the girls were like, ‘OK, this is the year.’ They are such a good hockey team.”

Stoney Creek only qualified for the Esso Cup on April 16, leaving them just a few short days before it travelled to Prince Albert to compete for a national title. The Sabres also bringing up three U15 players to join them at the Esso Cup, giving the players only three days of practice to get caught up.

“I think on one hand, it helps because you’ve played a lot of competitive hockey [recently],” Abbott says. “On the other hand… you play six games in a weekend [at OWHA provincials], you get some bumps and bruises along the way.”

Although it’s a quick preparation period, Abbott is driving home the point that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for his team in Saskatchewan.

“We welcome the challenge and look to try to keep the Esso Cup in Ontario again.”

HOW THEY GOT TO PRINCE ALBERT

OWHL Southern Playoffs
Round 1: defeated Etobicoke Dolphins 2-0 (4-0, 3-0)
Round 2: defeated Oakville Hornets 2-0 (5-2, 4-1)
Semifinal: defeated Bluewater Hawks 2-0-1 (6-1, 1-1, 3-0)
Final: defeated Durham West Lightning 3-0

OWHA Provincials
Preliminary round: 3-0-0 – first place in Group A (defeated Nepean Wildcats 3-0; defeated Rideau St. Lawrence Thunder 10-0; defeated Waterloo Ravens 7-1)
Quarterfinal: defeated Ottawa Senators 4-0
Semifinal: defeated Peterborough Ice Kats 4-0
Final: defeated North York Storm 3-0

REGULAR SEASON

Record (W-L-T): 19-1-2 (T-1st in OWHL – Southern)
Goals for: 96 (1st in OWHL – Southern)
Goals against: 15 (2nd in OWHL – Southern)
Longest winning streak: 12 (Nov. 5-Jan. 13)

PLAYOFFS

Record: 13-0-1
Goals for: 60
Goals against: 6
Top 3 scorers:
- Madi Burr – 16G 9A 25P
- Jaela Carter – 4G 20A 24P
- Caileigh Tiller – 9G 12A 21P

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2019 – Stoney Creek Sabres | bronze medal | 3-2 | 21GF 12GA
2014 – Stoney Creek Sabres | fourth place | 4-1 | 19GF 8GA

PLAYERS TO WATCH

MADI BURR
creative playmaker ... highly skilled player ... excellent vision ... leading scorer

CAILEIGH TILLER
very competitive … heavy shot ... elite and complete two-way player ... 15-years-old

HOLLY VANNETTEN
strong defender with heavy shot ... elite vision ... great passes out of the D-zone ... defensively sound

UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

Ava Beck – Carleton University
Mya Castrillo – Niagara University

Pour plus d'informations :

Esther Madziya
Responsable, communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Responsable, communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

 

Jeremy Knight
Responsable, communications organisationnelles
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

 

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