The Esso Cup is 4 days away and the Pembina Valley Hawks are ready to welcome the countries best Midget "AAA" girls hockey teams for a chance to hoist the Esso Cup.
"Speaking for me personally and the team probably, the nerves are starting to rise," said Hawks defence Kenzie Heide. "I know for myself, knowing the countdown is hardcore on is definitely smacking me in the face honestly. With the nerves of this is such a big experience for us individually and as a team."
The tournament will start with opening ceremonies around 8:45 Saturday evening. This will include a fireworks display and the host committee says everyone is encouraged to come out and welcome the teams to the community.
As for the hockey side of things, action will commence Sunday at noon with Ontario taking on Quebec. The host Hawks will start its tournament that evening with puck drop at 7:00 p.m. against the West representatives.
Pembina Valley is the host team for this national championship and have been practicing, playing exhibition games, and preparing since they went undefeated in the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League playoffs and captured the league title March 19th with a double overtime win over the Westman Wildcats.
"I think we need to keep working on our teamwork, working on our systems and playing as a team heading into the Esso Cup," said Hawks forward Hannah Petrie who scored the double-OT winner to capture the league title.
The time off should have allowed the Hawks time to heal up after a terrific playoff run and gave them plenty of time to hone in on the fine details of their game.
"It definitely gave us more confidence in our play and abilities," said Pembina Valley defence Cora Fijala.
On Monday the Hawks will play their second round robin game against Pacific. Game three on Tuesday against Ontario, game four will see the Hawks play Quebec, and Pembina Valley will end the preliminary games against Atlantic.
The Esso Cup will take place April 23rd to 29th at the Access Event Centre in Morden.Previous Volumes;