The Stoney Creek Sabres might be the best team ever to miss the Esso Cup podium.
After a disappointing shoot-out loss in Friday's semifinal, the Sabres couldn't fend off the hungry Sudbury Lady Wolves, who had just a little bit more left in the tank.
Victoria Pitawnakwhe scored the game winner in the third period for a 3-2 Sudbury victory and a bronze medal in the national female midget hockey championship Saturday afternoon at Gateway Ice Centre.
The goal came just seconds after the Sabres' Stephanie Ayres had tied the score with a blistering slap shot from just inside the point.
Jesse Bellamy opened the scoring for Stoney Creek in the first period. But second period goals by Sydney Walker and Karli Shell gave the Lady Wolves their first lead midway through the second and despite allowing the Sabres to equalize, Sudbury never trailed the rest of the way.
In Saturday's main event, the Weyburn Gold Wings captured the gold with a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Thunder.
With a 4-1 record in round robin play, the Sabres posted a tournamenwin against every opponent, except the eventual silver medallists from Edmonton. The one-goal defeat at the hands of the Lady Wolves was the team's only regulation loss all week.
For a complete Esso Cup wrap, see the May 1 print edition of the Stoney Creek News.