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Regina Rebels seize gold at U-18 National Women's Hockey Championship

The Regina Rebels took gold for the first time ever at the 2024 U18 women's hockey national championship in Vernon, B.C. (Courtesy: Hockey Canada) The Regina Rebels took gold for the first time ever at the 2024 U18 women's hockey national championship in Vernon, B.C. (Courtesy: Hockey Canada)
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The Regina Rebels made history over the weekend — taking home gold for the first time ever at the U-18 women’s hockey national championships.

The underdog Rebels defeated the North York Storm 2-1 Saturday afternoon at the tournament’s final in Vernon, B.C.

“It was crazy,” centre Ashley Breitkreuz told CTV News. “It’s kind of hitting me right now. But the moment when it happened – it was a feeling I’ll never forget.”

Pilot Butte’s own Berlin Lolacher was named top forward of the tournament — while the title of most valuable player went to Prince Albert’s Stryker Zablocki.

Rebel’s goaltender Hannah Tresek had a near shutout – blocking 26 of 27 shots on goal.

Lolacher opened scoring midway through the second period , while Zablocki piled on with another just two minutes later.

“We came out of the gates a little sluggish,” Head Coach Kim Perepeluk told recalled. “Maybe a little nerves but nonetheless I think our goaltending played very well in the first period until we were able to adjust for a little bit. But I think in periods two and three we played quite well.”

A late power play goal brought the Storm to within one. However, Tersek effectively shut the door in the closing minutes of the game, making four saves.

“Their ability to adjust and adapt and to play for each other is something we emphasize from day one," Perepeluk added. "With lots of talent, you can get through a lot of games in your regular season and against provincial teams but when you get to an elite level – you’ve got to play like a team, play for each other and play for the crest and I think they did.”

When asked what she'll remember from the experience, Breitkreuz highlighted the connections she formed on the long road to the Esso Cup.

“This year we’ve been through a lot and we built a tight bond through everything and I think that’s the biggest thing I’ll take [away]," she explained.

"I’ll never forget the moments we shared this year.”

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