North Vancouver’s Solana Cooper goes on the attack for the Fraser Valley Rush at the National Women’s U18 Club Championship in Okotoks, Alta. | @tiffanylukephoto/Tiffany Luke
By Andy Prest, North Shore News.
Three North Shore hockey players made big contributions for the Fraser Valley Rush as the team earned silver at the Esso Cup National Women’s U18 Club Championship May 22 in Okotoks, Alta.
North Vancouver’s Solana Cooper and Meghan Breum, and West Vancouver’s Vienna Rubin all suited up for the elite regional team as the Rush battled to the championship final before losing 4-1 against Ontario’s Durham West Lightning. The second-place showing by the Rush was the best-ever finish by a B.C. team at the event.
All three North Shore players earned tournament honours along the way. Rubin led the team with eight goals and 10 points in seven games, earning the tournament’s Top Forward award. Cooper picked up the winning goal and added an assist to earn game MVP honours in the team’s 3-1 semifinal win over the Notre Dame Hounds. And Breum, the team’s captain, earned a Hockey Canada scholarship at the tournament.
The Rush went 3-2 in preliminary play with wins over Quebec’s Remparts du Richelieu, Notre Dame, and the Northern Selects from the Atlantic region, while dropping games to the Prince Albert Bears and Durham.
In the semifinal, both Rubin and Cooper shined, picking up a goal and an assist each in the win over Notre Dame.
In the final, played at Pason Centennial Arena in Okotoks, Durham scored twice in the second period and added a third midway through the final frame. The Rush finally broke the shutout at 13:31 of the third with a goal from Aynsley D’Ottavio, but they couldn’t complete the comeback, and the Lightning scored an empty netter to seal the win. Durham goaltender Sophie Helfenstein made 27 saves to help secure the championship victory.
The three North Shore players all came up playing for the North Shore Avalanche before moving over to the Rush to play at the top U18 AAA level.