ST. LOUIS, Mo. On Saturday night the southern Manitoba-based Pembina Valley Hawks won the 2012 Esso Cup, Canada's National Female Midget Championship.
It was the mens' midget A team of the same hockey program that in the mid-1990's cut Dustin Penner at a tryout, one of several junior and college programs that said 'thanks, but no thanks' to an eventual Stanley Cup winner whose production has helped lead the Kings to a 5-1 playoff record and a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven second-round series against the St. Louis Blues.
"I remember my mom driving me and my dad driving me to those tryout camps, and always being the first cut. I don't hold a grudge against them. This has all worked out. It just gave me the perseverance and determination to get here," Penner said.
It has certainly worked well for the Kings in the postseason. Reversing a first period effort described by Darryl Sutter on Sunday as being "probably fortunate to be out of it 1-0 ...