Kirsten Toth says this is the Notre Dame Hounds year at the women's midget hockey national championships.

Kirsten Toth says this is the Notre Dame Hounds year at the women's midget hockey national championships.

Aldergrove’s Toth keen on hockey championship

Aldergrove hockey defender Kirsten Toth is upbeat about her team’s chances at this weekend’s midget women’s hockey national championships.

“Things are going great at Notre Dame right now — we won provincials, we won westerns, and starting on April 17th is the Women’s Esso Nationals, in St. Albert, Alberta.”

They’ve officially earned the right to return to the Esso Cup. The Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League swept a best-of-three series over Hockey Manitoba’s Pembina Valley Hawks to claim this year’s Pacific title, and a second shot at national championship bragging rights.

Last year the Hounds, who are based out of a private school in Wilcox, Sask., were forced to settle for silver when the OWHA’s Thunder Bay Queens edged them 4-3 in the final game of the 2010 Esso Cup.

Notre Dame will become only the second team in Esso Cup history thus far to make more than one appearance at Canada’s National Female Midget Championship. The only other team to do this is Hockey Alberta’s Edmonton Thunder, who will make their third straight appearance at the event in St. Albert.

There’s no doubt both returning teams will be looking to top off last year’s performances by bringing home the national title. Will the Notre Dame Hounds be able to turn their silver into gold? Find out by following along at HockeyCanada.ca/EssoCup

The final game will be televised on TSN2 on Saturday, April 23, and Toth is “confident that we will be in that game. Last year the Hounds lost in the National final to Thunder Bay Queens, but this year we are going to take it. We went undefeated in the regular season, undefeated in playoffs, provincials, and westerns, and now hopefully nationals.

“I am home for my second year of the U18 B.C. Cup, after the Nationals, on April 27th in Salmon Arm,” said Toth. “The tryout process for Team B.C. starts again, and I am a returning player.”

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