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2012-2013 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

In This Edition Team Previews Brock Badgers....................................8 Guelph Gryphons.............................10 UOIT Ridgebacks..............................12 Queen’s Gaels..................................14 Ryerson Rams..................................18 Toronto Varsity Blues......................20 Waterloo Warriors..........................22 Western Mustangs..........................26 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks........28 Windsor Lancers..............................32 York Lions........................................ 34

Courtesy of HHOF/ IHF Images/ Hockey Canada Images

VICKY SUNOHARA University of Toronto Program: Bachelor of Physical and Health Education Sport: Women’s Hockey Position: Centre Hometown: Scarborough, ON Twitter: @Varsity_Blues

Feature Articles Behind the Bench with Dan Church ..................4 Feature: Mattamy Athletic Centre....................16 OUA by the Numbers.........................................24 Feature: Fiona Lester..........................................30

Courtesy of HHOF/ IHF Images/ Hockey Canada Images


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Behind the Bench By Erin Meagher

When Dan Church laced up his skates in hopes of becoming a member of the University of Toronto men’s hockey team in 1991, he was pursuing a dream that many young Canadians have. However his dream was cut short after suffering a career-ending leg injury during the Varsity Blues training camp. While Church would not go on to play a game with the University of Toronto, he found another way to stay involved in the game he loved. Looking back on that moment, Church describes it as being a blessing in disguise as it paved the way for what would be a very successful coaching career. Church’s path to success began 16 years ago when he stepped behind the bench as an assistant coach of the University of Toronto women’s hockey team. After eight years with the Varsity Blues, Church went on to become the head coach of the York University Lions where he has spent the past eight seasons. This past June, Church was named head coach of the Canadian national women’s team at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. He says that it is an incredible honour to be part of such a distinguished list of coaches on both the male and female sides. Church joins the ranks of recent coaches Melody Davidson on the women’s side and Mike Babcock on the men’s side. “It’s something that I’ve been aiming for the past 10 years,” he says. “To be part of a program which sets a standard across the world is very exciting. It’s a tremendous opportunity. There’s a lot of pressure but I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to coach this team and be successful.” In addition to being appointed head coach of the women’s national team for the 2014 Olympics, Church was also named head coach for Canada at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship in Ottawa. This past April, Church served as head coach for the Canadian team at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship. Canada captured their first world championship gold medal since 2007 with a 5-4 win over the United States. Church became involved in the women’s game in 1996 through a friend of his who was a coach of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at the time. Together they worked alongside elite coach Karen Hughes.

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Photo courtesy of HHOF/IIHF Images Hughes had a tremendous impact on Church’s coaching career. She was involved with the Canadian national program from the mid-1990s and served as an assistant coach for the women’s team at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. “To have a mentor like that was tremendous – someone to teach you the game and get you


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Photo courtesy of HHOF/IIHF Images

started on the right foot,” says Church. “I learned so much about my attention to detail from Karen. I think it sparked my interest to become a better coach and fueled my passion for the game.” Since his introduction to coaching, Church has had the opportunity to witness first-hand the development of women’s hockey in the OUA. “At the time, there were five or six teams and there was a huge gap between the top few teams and the bottom teams. It was a great divide.” The introduction of women’s hockey at the Olympics in 1998 had a remarkable affect on the growth of the sport in the OUA. Church says that the quality of players entering the league is superior to what it was 15 years ago.

OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview 7 “The caliber has grown tremendously over that period.” The popularity of the sport has allowed the OUA to expand the number of female hockey teams in the league. There are 11 teams currently competing with another two set to join in the 2013-14 season. Church’s experience as an assistant coach with the University of Toronto and a head coach with York University helped him accomplish his dream of coaching at the national level. “The experiences that I’ve learned behind the bench through trial and tribulation, the successes and failures within the game and sports in general have been tremendous. The OUA is an incredible proving ground and learning ground for both coaches and players.” Balancing his head coaching duties is not easy as the schedules often conflict. Church gives credit to his fellow coaches at York who have been a great support system for him when he is away with the national team. “It wouldn’t be possible without support from some amazing people at York. You need really quality assistant coaches and I have a great team of coaches that help me out every day.” Church says that his values as a coach will not change when he steps behind the Team Canada bench at the 2014 Olympics. “My ethics are the same as a coach regardless of where I coach. I have a strong belief in developing great relationships between the coaches and players and helping them improve and focus on their every day successes.”

While Church is counting down the days to that moment when he first steps behind the Team Canada bench at the 2014 Olympics, he knows that a lot of work has to be done in the meantime. “There’s so much to do between now and puck drop in February, 2014,” he says. “There are 499 days as of today. I’m sure it will be really exciting. I’m trying to prepare myself and the team to treat it just like any other game and to enjoy the moment and be able to excel and produce a gold medal for Canada.” Church is one of several coaches in the OUA who have connections to the Canadian national women’s program. Former Olympic gold medalists Jayna Hefford and Vicky Sunohara joined the coaching staff at the University of Toronto prior to the 2011-12 season. Both Hefford and Sunohara are Varsity Blues alumni. Lisa Haley (Jordan), who was named head coach of the Ryerson Rams women’s team in April, 2011, was an assistant coach with Team Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship.


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Brock Badgers By Shawn Whiteley, photos by Michael P. Hall

The Brock University women’s hockey team is gearing up for the start of the 2012-13 OUA regular season which opens at home on Otober 6 at 3:15pm against the UOIT Ridgebacks. “With all but two of our top 12 forwards and two defencemen returning this year we are very optimistic about the upcoming season,” said Brock women’s hockey head coach Jim Denham. “Experience and an off season commitment to strength and conditioning should see the Badgers return to the upper echelon of the league standings.” Brock returns 17 players from a year ago and have added six newcomers. Offensively, the Badgers return 89% of their scoring from the 2011-12 season, led by the duo of juniors Jessica Fickel (Fort Erie, Ont.) (15G, 15A, 30PTS) and Leigh Vanderveen (Niagara on the Lake, Ont.) (10G, 13A, 23PTS). Also returning up front are seniors Hailey Webb (Orillia, Ont.) (6G, 9A 15PTS), Sara Brady (Thunder Bay, Ont.) (5G, 8A, 13PTS) and Brianne Veale (2G, 7A, 9PTS). Look for juniors Megan Keane (Pefferlaw, Ont.) (8G, 5A, 13PTS) and Katie Howlett (Burlington, Ont.) (8G, 4A 12PTS) along with sophomores Laura Neu (Ayr, Ont.) (4G, 6A, 10PTS) and Jaclyn Conacher (Burlington, Ont.) (4G, 5A, 9PTS) to be a key part of the Badgers offense. New to the lineup are freshmen forwards Sarah Dolden (Brampton, Ont.) and Natalie Mangos (Markham, Ont.) who both provide quickness and intensity up front. On the blueline, the Badgers return six players from last season, including senior captain Maja Samborski

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(Toronto, Ont.) (1G, 4A, 5PTS), senior Rachel Piotrowski (Waterloo, Ont.) (1G, 4A, 5PTS), junior Kaitie Phelan (Kitchener, Ont.) (3A) and sophomores Brittney Cabral (Hamilton, Ont.) (1G, 7A, 8PTS), Ally Graham (Thamesford, Ont.) (4A) and Samantha Green (Georgetown, Ont.).  Brock has also added Melanie Birdsall (St. Catharines, Ont.) and Laken Smith (Monkton, Ont.) on the backend who complement our returning defensive corps with size and grit. In goal, the Badgers return sophomore Emily Kelly (Port Elgin, Ont.) and have added freshmen Claire Shaw (Rosemount, Ont.) and Shelby Allard (Lasalle, Ont.) which will ensure depth and poise in net.

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders Jessica Fickel Leigh Vanderveen Hailey Webb Kristen Dewsbury Megan Keane

GP 26 26 26 25 24

G 15 10 6 5 8

A 15 13 9 9 5

PTS 30 23 15 14 13

Playoff Leaders Hailey Webb Brittney Cabral Jessica Fickel Katie Howlett Maja Samborski

G 0 1 1 1 0

A 2 0 0 0 1

PTS 2 1 1 1 1

PIM 4 0 0 4 0

GP 2 2 2 2 2

PIM 22 36 8 14 12 PPG 0 0 1 0 0

PPG 6 4 0 1 2


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Guelph Brock Badgers Gryphons

By Michelle Pino, Photos courtesy of Gryphon Athletics

After last year’s heartbreaking upset in the OUA quarter finals, this season’s women’s hockey team is looking to rebound and once again challenge for an OUA gold medal. There will be plenty of opportunities for growth with the mix of new recruits and veteran returnees, and the Gryphon’s are counting on another successful season culminating in an OUA crown. The Gryphons will have 17 returning members from last year’s squad that finished second after the regular season with an 18-6-2 record. While Guelph lost key players to graduation, including CIS second team AllCanadian Jacalyn Sollis and OUA second team all-star Erin Small, the Gryphons return plenty of talented players at every end of the ice. “We expect to play for an OUA title this season,” said head coach Rachel Flanagan. “We know we lost great players but I think there’s still quite a bit of high-end talent with a good goaltending tandem and offensive players to replace those that we lost. We’re in a good position talent-wise.” Captain Tamara Bell will be entering her fifth and final season with the Gryphons and will no doubt be a central figure in their success this upcoming season. The Guelph native has averaged 26 points a season after starting her career in 2008. Second year Jessica Pinkerton (Oshawa, Ont.) is expected to produce in an expanded role this season after being named to the all-rookie team last year. She notched 14 goals in her debut season, topping all rookies, and finished second with 26 points. Her nine power play goals led the league. Meanwhile, forward Jenna Lanzarotta (Mississauga, Ont.) returns for her fourth season and has been a constant point getter for the Gryphons.

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Stephanie Nehring (Oshawa, Ont.), a 2011-12 OUA second team all-star as a rookie, will be counted on to continue her extraordinary play in net. In her rookie season she was one of only two goalies to reach double digits in wins with 14 and finished second with a 1.89 goals against average. Third-year goalie Brooke Siddall (Windsor, Ont.) will continue to provide additional support on the ice and in the locker room as one of the leaders of the team. The Gryphons will be counting on a number of players to take the next step in their careers with the lofty expectations set as a member of this talented squad. Third year’s Katie Mora (Guelph, Ont.) and Kandace Charbonneau (Guelph, Ont.) are two players who should excel with the increase in playing time. Defensemen Emily Corbett (Toronto) and Kim Wong (Mississauga, Ont.) both are expected to rise to the challenge and provide veteran leadership in the back end of the Guelph defence. Many of the new faces in the Gryphon lineup will be given the opportunity to earn playing time right out of the gate. There will be a total of seven rookies on this year’s squad. Center Amanda Parkins (Kitchener, Ont.) has already shown promise scoring two goals and one assist in the Gryphons pre-season. Forwards Christine Grant (Mississauga, Ont.) and Averi Nooren (Aylmer, Ont.) should provide instant offensive support, while defenseman Alex McCord (Hamilton) will look to provide depth in the back end.

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders GP G A PTS PIM Erin Small 26 16 18 34 18 Jessica Pinkerston 25 14 12 26 18 Tamara Bell 26 7 17 24 12 Jacky Sollis 26 5 18 23 14 Kaitlyn Mora 24 10 8 18 4 Playoff Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Jessica Pinkerton 2 2 0 2 0 1 Kristen Nixon 2 0 1 1 0 0 Erin Small 2 0 1 1 2 0 Jacky Sollis 2 0 1 1 2 0

PPG 5 9 4 1 2


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UOIT Ridgebacks By Scott Dennis

Coming off their best season in the five year history of the women’s hockey program, the UOIT Ridgebacks are ready to hit the ice for the 2012-13 season. 288 c

The Ridgebacks set program highs for points and wins in a season last year and look to have similar success with 12 new faces bringing excitement and enthusiasm to the program. Expect another strong season from CIS second team all-star Jill Morillo, as the Ridgebacks captain looks forward to leading the team to another successful season. Morillo finished last year setting UOIT highs for the most goals (17), assists (15) and points (32) in a season, while finishing third in OUA scoring. “I couldn’t be happier with our teams’ success last year, but we still have a lot of work do in order to achieve our goals,” said Morillo. “Our team has looked impressive during training camp, and we cannot wait to begin regular season. Along with being named to the CIS second team all-star team, Morillo was named an OUA first team all-star and the recipient of the CIS Marion Hilliard Award, which celebrates excellence in athletics, academics and community involvement.

Photo Credit Ridgeback Athletics

Head coach Karen Nystrom is impressed with Morillo and what she brings to the team. “It’s people like Jill who get involved with the community and help out her fellow teammates, which is a vital part that make’s our team so strong on and off the ice,” said Nystrom. Morillo will be joined by former Whitby Wolves teammate Sarah Worthington, who is

UOIT Captain Jill Morillo

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third in the Ridgebacks all-time scoring charts. Worthington is one point behind 2012 graduating senior Rikki Palmateer, who will not be in the line-up for the first time in the history of the program. Earlier in the year, the UOIT Ridgebacks hit the road to Lethbridge Alberta to take on the teams in the PAC West. Nystrom was thrilled to be taking part in the first annual National Female Hockey Challenge. “What a way to start off your year,” said Nystrom. “Not only is it a great chance to see new teams, but it helps bring our team together with a number of freshman.” This year was the Ridgebacks biggest recruiting class ever, including the program’s first out-of-province recruits which include Alyssa Palmer-Dixon (Bedford, NS), Zoe Battie (Nanaimo, BC) and Rachel Budden (Richmond, BC). Also joining looking to make an impact in their first year are freshman Laura Marchese, Nicole LoPresti, Sam Forchielli, Joanne Moynes, Jennifer Sisson, Jenna Carter and Victoria MacKenzie, who all have experience a high level of junior hockey. Returning players include forwards Katie Gordanier, Jennifer Daly, Jaclyn Gibson, Gillian Morgan. Returning on the blue line will be Violette Long, Stephanie Spencer, and Melissa Berney. Goaltender Jessica Larabie will be returning between the pipes this year for the Ridgebacks. Her four years of OUA experience will help both first year goaltenders, Cassie Charette from Ottawa and Rikki Lund from Belleville. The Ridgebacks have already had a chance to be involved with the community this season, having taken part in the Oshawa Girls Hockey Learn to Skate program as celebrity instructors. Being involved in community events is important to the team, as they are trying to help grow the sport of women’s hockey.

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders Jill Morillo Sarah Worthington Jennifer Daly Jaclyn Gibson Vanessa Johnstone

GP G A PTS PIM PPG 26 17 15 32 14 3 26 10 12 22 20 2 26 6 15 21 14 1 26 5 9 14 22 1 26 10 2 12 12 5

Photo Source: Michael P Hall


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Queen’s Gaels The Queen’s Gaels head into the 2012-13 with a veteran lineup, and a sense of guarded optimism following their strong exhibition season. The Gaels went 5-0-1 in preseason play, including wins over Alberta and Guelph, both of whom finished last season in the CIS Top 10, and a shootout loss to McGill, last year’s CIS bronze medallists. The Gaels return 17 players from last year’s squad, and have added five players to the fold. Among the five newcomers is a pair of transfers: Chantal Morais, who was at Western, and Marlee Fisher, the former Team Ontario Blue U-18 player who comes to Queen’s from Wayne State in the NCAA. Among the 17 returners, the Gaels count nine players who were part of their run to the OUA title in 2011. Leading the returnees for Queen’s is veteran centre Morgan McHaffie, last year’s OUA Player of the Year and leading scorer. The Guelph native finished last season with 38 points (16 G, 22 A) in 25 games. The Gaels also return defenceman Katie Duncan, who scored 15 points in 26 games last year and was named a Second Team All-Star, along with All-Rookie Team member Taryn Pilon, who was fourth among league frosh with 21 points. While the Gaels will ice a veteran lineup, they know there will be no easy points to be had. “We expect the OUA to be incredibly competitive,” said Matt Holmberg, the Gaels’ head coach. “The league, from top to bottom, is the tightest it’s ever been. Every point is going to be crucial and we will need to carry our early jump into the start of the regular season. There could be some surprises, and we know three good teams will miss the playoffs this year.” The Gaels will be backstopped by the firm of Dodd-Moher, Savage and Lim for the third straight year, a record of stability that is almost unheard-of at the university level. Mel Dodd-Moher and Karissa Savage split time last year, and have done so again during the preseason. Last year, Savage posted a 2.38 goals-against average and a 0.915 save percentage in 12 games, while Dodd-Moher had a 2.68 GAA and 0.910 save percentage in 16 games. They are expected, once again, to split time in net this season, with Engi Lim pushing them for playing time. “Both Mel and Karissa have played well in the preseason, and we will be expecting a lot from them,” said Holmberg. “Our goalie crop is one of the deepest in the league, maybe the country. During the past three years, we platooned during the regular season with pretty good success. They are both too good to be on the bench for too long.” The defence corps is where the Gaels have seen the biggest turnover, with four newcomers patrolling the back line. So far, the results have been positive, with Queen’s having conceded only seven goals in six games – including a pair of shutouts. Fifth-year veteran Katie Duncan will lead the defensive corps. She scored 15 points, including a pair of power-play goals, last season. The other returning veterans are Mary Coughlin and Danielle Girard. Coughlin had eight assists last year while Girard had five points (1 G, 4 A). The newcomers are led by Marlee Fisher, the Wayne State transfer, who is coming back from a year off after the Warriors program was dropped in 2011. Among the true rookies, Alisha Sealy of Elora, Ont., has impressed with her early play, including scoring a great goal in the Alberta game. Fellow newcomers Sydney Cudmore and Molly MacLellan have also quickly integrated themselves into the Gaels’ lineup, and will provide much-needed depth during the long OUA schedule.

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“For the four new D-men to integrate themselves into our lineup so quickly has been excellent. I’m pleasantly surprised at how quickly the unit is coming together,” said Holmberg. Up front, the Gaels attack is led by the McHaffie twins. Last year Brittany finished with 25 points in 23 games, 13 points behind her sister. Fellow Guelphite Chantal Morais is pencilled into the other spot on the top line. She played with the sisters with the Cambridge Fury several years ago, and will be hoping to rekindle the old chemistry. The Gaels return three other forwards who were key components of their 2011 championship run: Shawna Griffin, Alana Smith and team captain Kristin Smith. Griffin scored 17 points last year, while Kristin Smith had 15 and Alana Smith 14. The trio, who coach Holmberg calls “200-foot players” will provide scoring and a solid defensive presence. The Tricolour will also count on a trio of sophomores: Taryn Pilon, Chelsey Verbeek and Courtenay Jacklin to make a greater contribution this season. Sophomores Samantha Regier and Allie Biglieri will get opportunities for increased playing time this year, and will be expected to provide energy off the bench this season. Regier had six assists last season in 26 games, while Biglieri had a goal and two assists last year. “This is the deepest forward group that we’ve ever had. We’re hoping to be able to put out three scoring lines this year, and make it difficult for teams to key on one line. A big reason for our success two years ago was that our second and third lines rose up and helped to carry us through. We’re hoping to replicate that situation this year,” said Holmberg.

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders GP G A PTS PIM Morgan McHaffie 25 16 22 38 52 Brittany McHaffie 23 10 15 25 38 Alex Cieslowski 24 10 11 21 10 Taryn Pilon 26 9 12 21 2 Shawna Griffin 26 8 9 17 20 Playoff Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Morgan McHaffie 3 2 5 7 8 0 Brittany McHaffie 3 3 1 4 0 2 Alex Cieslowski 3 1 2 3 2 0 Katie Duncan 3 0 2 2 4 0 Shawna Griffin 3 1 0 1 2 1

PPG 6 4 1 3 3


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Feature: Mattamy Athletic Cen By Andrea Elliott, photography courtesy of Ryerson Athletics

NEW HOME MEANS BIG THINGS TO COME FROM RYERSON After more than twelve years of sitting abandoned, the historic building at 50 Carlton Street finally has a new tenant and the Ryerson Rams are honoured to call the Mattamy Athletic Centre their new home. The former Maple Leaf Gardens has been transformed into a 220,000 square foot athletic facility that more than doubles the amount of athletic and recreational facility space on Ryerson’s campus. The conversion project has created state of the art facilities including a multi-purpose court for basketball and volleyball, a fitness centre, a high-performance gym, and a full sized ice rink under the iconic dome roof. Snapshots of events once housed within the building are on display on every level, original seats remain in the lobby, and exterior walls have been left virtually untouched to help preserve the historic background. Within the

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ntre arena, refurbished seats have been re-installed in balcony sections at the end of the ice, similar to the original layout. The Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) is the dawn of a new era for athletics at Ryerson and the whole community is getting on board. Vice President, University Advancement, Adam Kahan, summed up the enthusiasm at the opening of the building. “This building not only has a past, it also has a future. While we are honoured to house our athletic programs and teams under the hallowed dome of a great Canadian building, we look forward to generations of students and community members creating their own history within these walls.” The Mattamy Athletic Centre had its grand opening weekend September 6-9 where every Ryerson Rams team that calls the MAC home had the opportunity to play in front of their fans. The Rams women’s hockey team hit the ice for their first game on September 9 and the buzz on the bench was unbeatable. Anticipation of the first Ryerson goal grew stronger until the middle of the second period when rookie Samantha Pui (Toronto) scored the first Ryerson goal in the new arena. Pui’s excitement following the game was obvious. “I feel amazing right now. It’s an unbelievable feeling, I don’t have words to describe it,” said Pui. Her teammates and coach echoed the excitement. Starting goaltender Emma Crawley (Herring Cove, N.S.) stated, “It was an honour to be the first goalie to stand between the paint when the puck was dropped and the crowd support for our home opener was great to see.” Head coach Lisa Jordan found it hard to believe the opener had already arrived. “It felt incredible, I think we’re all still in a fog that it’s actually happening. I think it’s surreal to think about all the history that has already happened in this building and that we get a chance to be a part of it every day. It’s something that I won’t take for granted and I appreciate tremendously what Ryerson has done here.” The Rams have spent the entire preseason getting accustomed to their new home, playing all six of their games on Mattamy Home Ice. Posting a 4-2 record has kept the momentum alive and Ryerson is looking forward to kicking off their regular season with a win at the home opener on Friday, October 5 against Toronto.

The first goal scored at the Mattamy Athletic Centre by Samantha Pui on September 9.


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Ryerson Rams By Ryan McKenna BLOCK LETTER - PRIMARY

One year removed from their inaugural season in the CIS, the Ryerson Rams women’s hockey team is more experienced going into their second year of competition. After a season that saw them struggle to a 1-23-2 record, the Rams still face many challenges heading into the 2012-13 season. One of the issues that will need to be addressed heading into the new season is where the team will get its scoring production. Last season the Rams recorded a total of 35 goals and with leading scorers Kyla Thurston and Lauren McCusker graduated, the focus will shift to the youth. Head coach Lisa Haley, in her second year with the team, feels as though the rookies will need to step up. “Looking at the exhibition games, our rookies have been productive for us. The fact that they're already stepping up and taking a role is great,” said Haley. “I think with our team, it will be scoring by committee, and hopefully as the recruitment comes along this year and next year that the skill level continues to grow and that the goal scorers come by naturally a little bit more.” PANTONE 294


The new rookies will help support Melissa Wronzberg (Thornhill, Ont.) and her linemate from last season, Emily Rose Galliani Pecchia (Toronto), who are the likely goal scoring sources this year. Both Wronzberg and Galliani Pecchia have been dynamic in pre-season, highlighted by Wronzberg’s four goal, one assist, performance against the Brantford Ice Cats midget team on September 15. Rookies Samantha Pui (Toronto) and Emily Popelar (Toronto) will be looked upon to provide an offensive spark. Pui scored the team’s first goal in their new home at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on September 9. Popelar led her Durham midget team in goals, assists and total points last season. "All of the rookies are playing a regular role for us, either on the power play or the penalty kill. I think they would be the first to admit that the learning curve has been steep, but they've all embraced it in the right way; they've played with a lot of confidence,” said Haley. Already though, the team has been hit with some early injuries. The Rams top scoring defenceman from last year, Jessica Hartwick (Brampton, Ont.), is questionable for the team’s home opener against Toronto on October 5. Returning forwards Paulena Jakarsezian and Monique Cornett will miss the home opener on Friday and their return dates are unknown. To fill the void, third-year defenceman Victoria Arci (Woodbridge, Ont.) and rookie defenceman Stephanie Chiste (Nobleton, Ont.) will be looked upon. The 5’8” Arci is coming off a 201112 season that saw her given more playing time near the end of the year from head coach Haley.

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Arci feels as though her off-season training has got her ready for this season. "I worked out five to six days a week for almost four months. I went to a few camps to get quicker, stronger, faster. I did a lot of training, working on my cardio and really anything that would improve my abilities on the ice." Chiste played last season with the Toronto Junior Aero’s and will see lots of playing time on special teams opportunities. The Rams have also added a new face to put between the pipes. Newcomer Brianna Tremblay (Whitby, Ont.) has impressed so far, backstopping the Rams to a 4-0 win over the York Lions in pre-season play on September 27. Having three goalies in the likes of Emma Crawley (Herring Cove, N.S.), Dana Carson (London, Ont.) and now Tremblay is a situation that Haley feels is a good one to have. “We had the intention of the exhibition period being where the goalies would separate themselves out. The last three games haven't solved much for us, and we do have a problem on our hands. It's a good problem, and certainly a better problem than what we were faced with last year,” said Haley. A new home and one year’s experience will be a key going forward for the Rams in the 2012-13 season. "That's just a good demonstration of where we've come in a year," said head coach Haley after her team’s 2-1 loss against Toronto. "Now that we have some rookies that have some experience and players that are in their second and third years now, they're grabbing the ball and running with it and it's great to see as a coach and I'm excited about that," said Haley. "The future looks bright now and we're definitely ahead of where we were 12 months ago.”

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders





Kyla Thurston Lauren McCusker Melissa Wronzberg Jessica Hartwick Emily Rose Galliani Pecchia

24 10 9 19 66 3 26 6 10 16 40 2 26 6 7 13 8 2 26 3 6 9 40 2 25 5 2 7 6 3


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Toronto Varsity Blues By Jill Clark, photos courtesy of Varsity Blues Athletics

The Varsity Blues women’s hockey team begins their 2012-13 quest this weekend with a solid mix of veteran leadership and rookie talent. U of T has had a busy off season of training as they look to improve upon last season’s third-place finish. Having already solidified the host’s berth at the national championship, Toronto will be vying for their first OUA Final Four finish since the 2007-08 season. "This is a big year for us," said Vicky Sunohara, who is entering her second season as Blues bench boss. "The automatic berth into the national championship is great, but it's up to us to prove that we belong there and can compete with the best in the CIS." The Varsity Blues return two of the hottest goaltenders in the OUA in third-year veteran Nicole Kesteris and sophomore standout Krista Funke. Together, the duo combined for a 0.926 save percentage in 2011-12 and will look to backstop the Blues to success this season. Fourth-year veterans Brittany Kirby and Marlie McLaughlin are set to lead U of T’s defensive corps in 2012-13.

Blues forward Sonja Weidenfelder

OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

They will be joined by familiar faces in April Looije, Mary Claire Geneau, Kaitlyn Bannon and Caitlin Maikawa. This unit helped Toronto to rank third in the OUA with 62 goals against last season. Kelly O’Hanlon leads a mix of veteran and rookie talent up front. She, along with Ragan Danford, Amanda Ricker and Callie Bazak, are all smart technical players that will steer the ship this season. They will rely on sophomores Courtney Tougas and Jacqueline Scheffel to create opportunities around the net, while newcomers Taylor Day and Kristi Riseley have already proved to have a vital scoring touch this preseason. The Blues open their season on Friday, October 5 at Ryerson before returning to Varsity Arena for their home opener the next day (Oct. 6) as they host the Queen’s Gaels at 4 p.m. The season wraps up when the University of Toronto hosts the 2013 CIS women’s hockey championship, March 7-10.

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Amanda Fawns 26 8 11 19 24 4 Kelly O'Hanlon 26 7 12 19 2 1 Brenley Jorgensen 26 9 8 17 38 0 Karolina Urban 26 5 8 13 24 1 Amanda Ricker 26 7 5 12 36 4 Playoff Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Brenley Jorgensen 2 2 0 2 2 2 Karolina Urban 2 0 2 2 0 0 Callie Bazak 2 1 0 1 0 0 Kaitlyn Bannon 2 0 1 1 4 0 April Looije 2 0 1 1 0 0

Goalie Nicole Kesteris



OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Waterloo Warriors By Dan Ackerman, photos by Steve Brooks

The Waterloo Warriors women’s hockey team has been waiting all summer to score just one more goal. The 2011-12 season was clearly a game-changer for the women’s hockey program. First year bench boss Shaun Reagan led the club to a massive 15-point improvement in the standings, earning uWaterloo and OUA coach of the year honours in the process. First year goaltender Rebecca Bouwhuis (Orillia, Ont.) earned the OUA rookie of the year award and was named a CIS all-Canadian and member of the all-rookie team, while finishing in the top three in wins, save % and goals-against average. And, most importantly, the Warriors made the OUA’s elite take note that they were no longer the conference’s doormat. All things considered, the 2011-12 season was a resounding success. But they’d trade it all for one more goal. Despite their ascension from the conference’s basement, the Warriors finished tied with Brock for the eighth and final playoff spot. By way of their 12 wins to the Warriors’ 10, the Badgers went to the post-season, and the Warriors went home. And, in a season where they went 3-10 in one-goal games and 2-5 in games decided in overtime or a shootout, one goal – in any one of those 13 games – would have extended the Warriors’ season. In stead of wallowing in their hard luck though, the Warriors are turning their close call into motivation this year. “We are excited about the season,” said Reagan. “Our goal is to keep the momentum going from last season by making the OUA playoffs and competing for the championship.” Reagan continues his overhaul of the program this year, as fourteen new faces will debut for the Warriors in 201213, including one new recruit who will enter her first year with the black and gold – but by no means is she a rookie. Katie Dods transfers to Waterloo from Niagara University, where she played the last two years in NCAA division 1. The native of Kemptville, ON will be counted on to add major offensive punch to a Warriors offense that finished second-last in the OUA in goals last season. The Warriors will also add a quartet of former PWHL teammates, as former Durham West Lightning members Rebecca Rutherford (Ajax, Ont.), Marissa Redmond (Ajax, Ont.), Michelle Tanel (Toronto, Ont.) and Lindsey McDonald (Ajax, Ont.) will all make the move to Waterloo. Tanel and McDonald will add some much needed size, strength and puck-moving ability to the blue line, while Redmond and Rutherford will add to Waterloo’s depth up front. The youngest of the new Warriors will be 17-year old Nadiejda Tamitegama (Mont-Royal, Que.), who enters the Math program after graduating from high school in Quebec at the age of 14. “We have improved our speed, skill, and compete (level),” said Reagan. “The challenge will be to get our young players up to speed as quick as possible on our team systems. As a group, our hockey IQ is high and our system implementation is moving forward quicker than expected.”

OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview


Adding to all the fresh faces will be a core of returning veterans that Reagan can count on for effective play on the ice and leadership off of it. Up front, leading scorer Kelly MacLean (St. George, Ont.) and speedy centre Jessica Tracey (Woodslee, Ont.) are both back for their 5th year as Warriors. Captain Sarah Endicott (Toronto, Ont.) will once again be an ice-time hog and stabilizing force on the young Waterloo blue line. And upper-year forwards Lindsey Ceaser (Owen Sound, Ont.), Kelly Toms (Ennismore, Ont.), and Sarah Wolfe (Waterloo, Ont.) will bring grit and leadership to the forward corps. Between the pipes, Bouwhuis will once again backstop the Warriors as the undisputed number one goaltender. Bouwhuis is coming off arguably the best single season of any Warrior in the ten-year history of the program, and she’ll be ready to prove to the rest of the OUA that her sparkling rookie campaign was no fluke.

Warrior goalie Rebecca Bouwhuis

As the Warriors enter year two of the Reagan era, optimism is at an all-time high. Reagan acknowledges the youth of his team, but knows that his team has the necessary intangibles to compete with anyone in the OUA.

“We want to instill Warrior pride in the classroom, off the ice, and at the rink,” said Reagan. “Our team’s work ethic and attitude will be second to none.”

2011 - 2012 Leaders

Regular Season Leaders GP Kelly MacLean 26 13 7 Julia Endicott 26 4 7 Lindsey Ceaser 26 3 Caitlin Brydges 25 1 Emma McMillan 25 6

G 20 11 8 10 2

A PTS PIM 16 4 18 2 11 26 1 11 14 1 8 54 1



OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

OUA By The Numbers By Blair Hough

2620 - The seating capacity at the brand new Mattamy Athletic Centre arena, home to

the Ryerson Rams hockey program. The new facility is built in a portion of the former Maple Leaf Gardens and features the iconic white, domed roof. The Rams will play their first regular season game at the MAC on October 5 when they host cross-town rivals, the Toronto Varsity Blues.

18 - The number of goals scored by Laurier Golden Hawks forward Tammy Freiburger

(Wingham, Ont.) to lead the OUA in scoring during the 2011-12 season. Freiburger’s total was one more than three other players; her Laurier teammate Laura Brooker (Fergus, Ont.), Western’s Katherine Dillon (Oshawa, Ont.) and Jill Morillo (Whitby, Ont.) of the UOIT Ridgebacks.

11 - The number of teams that will make up OUA Women’s hockey

during the 2012-13 season. The Ryerson Rams began play last season to bring the number of participating schools to 11. The other schools are Brock, Guelph, Laurier, Queen's, Toronto, UOIT, Waterloo, Western, Windsor and York.

13 - The number of teams that will participate in OUA women’s

hockey in 2013-14. Both Laurentian University and Nipissing University have announced their plans to begin participation next season, with each already announcing their head coach. Darren Turcotte will become the bench-boss for the Nipissing Lakers, while Stacey Colarossi will hold the head coaching duties with the Laurentian Lady Vees.

620 - The approximate number of kilometres between the campuses of

the western-most participant in OUA women’s hockey (Windsor Lancers) and the eastern-most participant (Queen’s Gaels). This distance demonstrates that OUA women’s hockey reaches communities all across southern and eastern Ontario.

Photo Source: Queen’s Athletics

OUA UNCOVERED: OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s 2012 Football Hockey Season Preview 25 Preview 25

5 - The number of goals scored at the 2011-12 OUA Outdoor Classic. The Brock

Badgers and UOIT Ridgebacks locked horns on the rink at Ivor Wynne stadium in Hamilton, Ont. in January, 2012. The Badgers downed the Ridgebacks by a score of 3-2 with Brock’s Sara Brady (Thunder Bay, Ont.) scoring the game winning goal, a shorthanded marker, near the midway point of the third period.

27 - The number of shutouts recorded during the 2011-12 regular season. 16 goalies recorded at least one goose-egg, with Laurier’s Erica Thunder (Buffalo Point, Man.) being the only one to record more than two.


- The number of points record by the Queen’s Gaels sister duo of Morgan and Brittany McHaffie last season. The pair, from Guelph, Ont., were the top two pointscorers for the Gaels in helping the squad finish in fourth in the OUA. Morgan’s 38 points (16 G, 22 A) was tops in the province. The McHaffies will return to the Queen’s line-up for their fourth season in 2012-13.

8 - The amount of times an OUA team has played in the final game of the CIS championship tournament since 1998 when women’s hockey was established at the national level. The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks have appeared 5 times, while the Toronto Varsity Blues have played in 3 final games. Each team has won the national title one time.

Left: Queen’s Gael Morgan McHaffie Right: UOIT Ridgeback Goalie Jessica Larabie

Photo Source: Laurier Athletics Photo Source: Michael P. Hall


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Western Mustangs By Tony von Richter

The Western Mustangs women’s hockey team is set to kick off their regular season this weekend when the Stangs take on their close rivals the Laurier Golden Hawks at 7:00 p.m Saturday night at Thompson Arena. The last time both teams met was at the 2012 OUA Final in March, where the Golden Hawks took the playoff series in two games and qualified for the national championship. This year the Mustangs hope to build on last year’s success and challenge the Laurier Golden Hawks for a berth at Nationals. The Mustangs are one of the youngest teams in the OUA this year with no fourth-year players. “Last year, we learned to play with the best teams and expect to build off that experience. Our strongest point is our youth and the opportunity for them to develop into a championship squad,” said head coach Chris Higgins. The 2012 OUA Championship marked the end of veteran Katie Dillon, Lindsay Gidomski, Tawn Rellinger, and Chantal Morais’ varsity careers at Western. Dillon finished second in the OUA last year in scoring with 17 goals in the regular season, while Gidomski lead playoff scoring for Western with seven goals, good for second in the OUA. Rellinger has joined the team in a coaching role while Morais has transferred to Queen’s for teachers college. Leading this season’s forwards are third-years Carly Rolph and Ally Galloway who return with the most offensive experience. Stacey Scott was selected as a 2012 OUA All-Rookie Team member, and aims to build off of that success with second-year teammates Samantha Nastasiuk, Brittany Clapham, Kendra Deller, and Casey Rosen, who are key components to the Mustangs’ roster. New to the lineup are Jessica Ross, Cassidy Gosling, Marlowe Pecora, Kryshanda Green and Natasha Panahi who all join the forward ranks this season. Ross and Gosling – sister to second-year defender Katelyn Gosling – were key players on their previous London Devilettes Jr. team. Pecora was the leading point scorer on the MAA Sarnia team before joining the Mustangs, while Green played for the Toronto Aeros last season, leading the team in playoff scoring. Panahi joins the team from British Columbia, where she was previously on B.C.’s provincial under-18 team for two seasons prior to joining the Mustangs. On defence, Tara Cation, Sydney Kidd, and Michelle Saunders will patrol the blue line as third-year returnees. Katelyn Gosling returns for her second season after an OUA All-Rookie Team season last year, and together with fellow second-year Madison Turk, the Mustangs keep virtually the same defensive unit intact from last season. Brianna Iazzolino is the lone addition to the Mustangs defence , and is coming off of a strong 2011-12 campaign in which her Thunder Bay Queens MAA team was a national finalist.

OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview


Guarding the net will be Kelly Campbell and Olivia Ross who both return to the Mustangs this season. Campbell was the second-ranked goalie in the OUA last year with a 0.939 save percentage, while Ross, now in her third year in a Mustangs jersey, made 419 saves last season and played 712:18 minutes between the posts. Katie Jacobs joins the team as a backup and has shown well in exhibition games. Head coach Chris Higgins enters his third season at the helm of the women’s hockey team, after previously serving as an assistant coach with the Mustangs men’s hockey team from 2006-10. In addition to his coaching duties, Higgins is also a statistics professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business. Joining Higgins on the bench are Ted Brown, Brian Shewfelt, Kaley Sisler and Tawn Rellinger. This season, Higgins is confident in the women’s team’s progress after early exhibition games, where the Mustangs defeated Team China, currently ranked fifth in the world, by a 5-1 score, and played tough in a loss to the defending CIS Champion Calgary Dinos. “I really want this team to bond and grow better and better with each game and practice,” said Higgins. “We have the skill set to compete at a high level. If the players are dedicated and work hard, we will be successful.” The Mustangs regular season starts up this weekend, with their home-opening game against the Laurier Golden Hawks on Saturday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. at Thompson Arena. Following the rivalry game versus Laurier, the Mustangs will play the Waterloo Warriors on Sunday at 4:00 p.m.

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders GP G A Stacey Scott 26 11 16 Katherine Dillon 26 17 8 Kendra Deller 26 6 16 Casey Rosen 21 8 5 Katelyn Gosling 26 2 11 Playoff Leaders GP G A PTS Lindsay Gidomski 7 7 2 9 Stacey Scott 7 4 3 7 Carly Rolph 7 3 4 7 Marianne Filson 7 1 5 6 Katelyn Gosling 7 0 5 5

PTS 27 25 22 13 13

PIM 38 22 8 14 18

PIM 0 24 8 2 4

PPG 4 1 2 1 0

PPG 4 3 2 3 0

Photo Source: Michael P Hall


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Laurier Golden Hawks By Jamie Howieson, photos by Thomas Kolodziej

After returning to the top of the OUA podium last season, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks are once again considered favourites for the OUA Championship. With a very deep and veteran forward unit, some solid defenders and two young and talented netminders, the Hawks look good to make their 10th straight appearance at the CIS Championship. Despite the loss of some key veteran players, including last year’s team captain Abby Rainsberry and Katherine Shirriff, Laurier’s third all-time leading scorer, the Hawks boast a forward unit that will be able to put the puck in the net on a consistent basis. Highlighting the group are two of the OUA’s top five scorers from last year in Laura Brooker and Tammy Freiburger. Brooker, through just two seasons in the league, is already one of the most dangerous scorers in the history of league. With 36 goals in her career already, she is on pace to break, over five seasons, the Laurier and OUA record of 82 goals in a career currently held by Lisa Backman. As for Freiburger, she led the Hawks in goals and points a year ago and her big-body presence makes her tough to knock off the puck. Asides from Brooker and Freiburger, other names at forward to keep an eye on for Laurier this year include veterans Caitlin Muirhead, who is coming off a career-high 21 point season, and Devon Skeats, who six goals in 10 playoff games a year ago, as well as second year forward Jessie Hurrell, a nearly point-per-game player last season. As for the season’s rookie crop of forwards, head coach Rick Osborne has brought in three talented players who have shown a knack for finding the back of the net during the preseason. Robyn Degagne, Emily Kekewich and Erika Kiviaho will all have the opportunity to make a difference for the Hawks and could be in the conversation for rookie of the year come season’s end. Moving back to the blueline, newly-appointed team captain Fiona Lester will anchor the defensive core that will also feature returning players Maureen Mommersteeg, Candice Styles and Haley Baxter. Lester, entering her fourth year with the Hawks, is coming off a season that saw her register 19 points in 36 games, including playoffs, while also playing in a shutdown role. Laurier will have three new faces on the blueline this season but one of them brings with her three years of experience from the NCAA. Geneva Kliman, originally from Toronto, joins the Hawks after suiting up for Dartmouth College. The 5-8 defenceman brings some offensive flair as well as a physical presence to the position as in her final year with the Big Green she recorded 15 points to go along with 30 penalty minutes. Arla Biron and Lauren Blair will join Kliman as the three new additions to the Hawks blueline core. In goal, returning second year netminder Erika Thunder has the edge for the starter’s role after an outstanding rookie season. Thunder posted a 1.30 goals against average and a 0.930 save percentage, as well as a league-

OUA UNCOVERED: OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s 2012 Football Hockey Season Preview


high 19 wins. However, she will be pushed by incoming rookie Kayla Brown who brings strong credentials from the North Bay Ice Boltz program. Brown is coming off a season that saw her post 15 shutouts over the regular season and playoffs and has been described by Osborne as a Cindy Eadie-type netminder. “I am very excited about the potential of this year’s team,” says head coach Osborne of his troops. “Our strong mix of returning veterans along with some solid additions at forward, defence and in goal gives us excellent depth that should carry us throughout the season.” Laurier’s 2012-13 team will be put to the test immediately as they open the season on the road against the Western Mustangs in a rematch of last year’s OUA Championship series.

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Tammy Freiburger 26 18 12 30 10 3 Laura Brooker 26 17 13 30 18 0 Paula Lagamba 26 14 12 26 4 0 Abby Rainsberry 26 10 15 25 4 3 Caitlin Muirhead 25 11 10 21 22 2 Playoff Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Devon Skeats 7 5 2 7 10 0 Tammy Freiburger 7 3 4 7 12 0 Laura Brooker 7 2 5 7 4 0 Paula Lagamba 7 3 3 6 2 1 Katherine Shirriff 7 2 3 5 2 0

Photo Source: Michael P Hall


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Feature: Lester OUA By TheFiona Numbers By Matt Tonkin

By Blair Hough

Photo Credit: Thomas Kolodziej

After three seasons on the blue line with the Golden Hawks, Peterborough, Ont., native Fiona Lester comes into her fourth season of OUA hockey looking to add to an already impressive resume of stats. From her first season with the Laurier in 2009-10 Lester has been a consistent defensive force for the Golden Hawks and has become an important leader within the team. Lester has also been a contributing factor in the Golden Hawks’ offence, totaling 36 points over the course of her three OUA seasons. During the 2010-11 season, Lester scored a career-high six goals and put up a total of 16 points, a feat that would make her the season’s top-scoring defencemen in the OUA. “I believe her ability to identify and perfect the things that are within the team's control as the season moves on will help drive the players to another championship season,” said Coach Rick Osborne of Lester’s abilities. Lester’s on ice success has given her two OUA Championship titles as well as a spot as a 2010-11 OUA women’s hockey First Team All-Star but it is with her off ice accomplishments that she has truly exhibited the spirit of university sport. In all of her three seasons playing for Wilfrid Laurier, Lester has been named a CIS Academic All-Canadian, as well as being recognized by Laurier in 2011-12 with the Luke Fusco Academic Athletic Achievement Award for her continued success in her pursuit of a degree in Biology. In June of 2012 Lester was announced as a 2011-12 Capital One Academic All-America College Division at-large team member, one of only two Canadians named to the women’s at large team, and just the second Golden Hawk to ever earn the honour. For the upcoming season Lester will be taking over the position of team captain from the departing Abby Rainsberry. As an assistant captain in previous seasons, Lester is well seasoned for the leadership role with the team. “Fiona was named Team Captain because she is an expert at balancing individual and team excellence as she sets her personal goals to align perfectly with our team objectives for this season,” commented coach Osborne of Lester’s captaincy, “She is the role model for the work ethic and commitment required to paying the price to be the best you can be that forms the core of our process.” After going into the CIS championship tournament last season ranked no.1 in the country the Golden Hawks women’s hockey team faced a disappointing loss at the hands of the McGill Martlets leaving them to settle on fourth place. Moving into her fourth season with the Golden Hawks, it is hoped that Lester and the team will be able to accomplish something that has eluded the Golden Hawks since the 2004-05 season, a CIS championship. Photo credit: Adam Gagnon

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OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

Windsor Lancers

By Elisa Mitton

The Windsor Lancer women’s hockey team is gearing up for the start of the 2012-13 season. The Blue & Gold are coming off a solid 2011-12 season that saw them earn a third straight berth into the OUA post season. The graduation of key veterans Candace Rapchak and Manon Davis leaves some spots to fill in the line-up, but graduation brings opportunity for other to step up and shine. On offense, fifth year forward Alyssa Baldin is back at the helm of the Lancers and will be this year’s team captain. Baldin, along with third year forward Candace Chevalier, provide an unmatched commitment to winning and a wealth of experience that will help lead the Lancers back into the post season for the third straight season.

Photo Credit: Gerry Marentette

Baldin played only 14 games last season before being sidelined with a broken collarbone. However, she had 10 goals and 15 points and only failed to pick up a point in three contests. Courtney Spoors, a 2011-12 OUA all-rookie team member and the team’s leading scorer, will also be counted on for her offensive flair and scoring touch. Defensively, the Lancers will be lead by third year defenseman Adalina Tridico. An athlete who can play all situations, Tridico will be looked to lead a young Lancer defense. In addition to Tridico, the blue-line will be manned by the solid group of Annie Armstrong, Lindsay Hoogstraten and Kayla Dodson. But to bolster the depth on the blue-line head coach Jim Hunter is also converting Caitlin Connell, along with rookie Natalie Barrette, to defence. Goaltender Karlyle Robinson is also expected to have a big year. Stepping into the role of starting goaltender, the second year St. Catharine’s, Ontario native has had an excellent pre-season allowing only one goal in three games played. Head coach Jim Hunter has been extremely impressed with her performance thus far. Windsor Captain Alyssa Baldin

OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview


Photo Credit: Edwin Tam

“Karlyle has been real good in the pre-season. She’s battling for the puck better, and she’s established herself as our No. 1.” Hunter has also brought in top recruit Jillian Rops for the 2012-13 season. The standout defenseman is expected to add a significant presence on the Lancer blue line this year, and for years to come. Rops joins the Lancers from Sarnia Midget AA, where she served as an assistant captain last season. Also a graduate from Lambton Central Collegiate, the Petrolia, Ontario native recorded 16 points in 14 games played with her high school club and was named to the LSSAA all-star team. “Jillian brings tons of speed,” Hunter said. “She’s way better than I thought she’d be at this point. She’s a tall girl with a big reach. Her work ethic is a big part of her game. Combine it all together and she’s going to be a good one.” “This year’s team is very talented and very deep,” commented Hunter. ““We’re going to be an aggressive team. We’ll put pressure on the puck using our speed, and we’re going to force teams to try and beat us with skill.”

OUA All-Rookie Courtney Spoors

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Courtney Spoors 26 12 16 28 18 1 Candace Rapchak 26 10 15 25 16 3 Manon Davis 24 6 11 17 2 1 Alyssa Baldin 14 10 5 15 8 4 Jenny MacKnight 26 8 6 14 20 1 Playoff Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Krysten Bortolotti 5 2 0 2 4 0 Jane Gaffney 5 2 0 2 0 0 Kayla Dodson 5 1 1 2 0 1 Ally Strickland 5 1 1 2 0 0 Manon Davis 5 0 2 2 0 0 Photo Source: Michael P Hall


OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview

York Lions By Alyson Fisher, photos courtesy of Lions Athletics

Expectations are high for the York Lions women’s hockey team this season. The squad has been one of the top teams in the OUA in recent years and is coming off its best showing under head coach Dan Church, a semifinal run last season that saw the Lions finish fifth in the standings, upset the defending OUA champion Queen’s Gaels in the first round of the playoffs and finish the year ranked No. 10 in the CIS. Only one player from last year’s team graduated, setting up a roster that is experienced and comfortable playing together. As a result, the Lions are aiming for an even bigger season on the ice this time around. “With the nucleus of our team all back again, we hope to improve on what we accomplished last season,” said Church. “We finished in the top half of a very tough conference and our expectations are to do better this year. We are aiming for a top-three finish and want to push into the OUA final. We know that goal is ambitious but achievable if we play the way we are capable of.” The team’s most impressive player last year was defender Kristen Barbara, who played her way onto the OUA and CIS all-rookie teams and quickly emerged as one of the most talented players in the country. Not only is she a standout on the blue line but she also proved last year she has an offensive touch, finishing seventh in OUA rookie scoring with 15 points from the back end. After Barbara, the defensive corps is made up of a group of hard-working players that compete every night. This group includes a stabilizing force in Jamie Endrizzi, a physical, two-way defender in Lindsay Brook and a tremendous leader in Rebecca Bond, all of whom will help keep the puck away from the net. Up front, the squad’s top 11 forwards from last year have all returned, a group that includes the team’s top four scorers in Kristie Wilson, Katrina Tollis, Stephanie Dovaston and Chloe Milano. Wilson, Tollis and Dovaston each topped their previous career high by at least 10 points last season, while Milano, the captain for the second straight year, equaled the points total that earned her OUA all-rookie honours in her first season. The Lions also have the OUA’s top playoff scorer in Lisa Stathopulos, who averaged nearly two points per game (11 points in six outings) in the post-season, and will benefit from the return of Jennifer Petkovics, who was the team’s top scorer in 2010-11 and led the CIS in power play goals that season. “We have really good top-end lines with plenty of experience, and those lines feature a good blend of ‘skill and sandpaper’,” Church said of his forward group. “We have offensive ability and players with good hands, and others that are grinders. We are a team you don’t want to go into the corners with.”

OUA UNCOVERED: 2012-13 Women’s Hockey Season Preview


The goaltending duties will be shared by Megan Lee and Jessalyn Bogacki, who both saw significant ice time last year. Lee emerged as the starter and the end of the season and started five of six games in the playoffs, while Bogacki appeared in 10 games and lowered her goals against average by 0.6 from her rookie season. “The strength of this team is its balance,” said Church. “We have good offence up front, responsible defenders and solid goaltending. This team is very hardworking and plays an honest, in-your-face style. We will be tough to play against every night.” The whole group will be led by Church, one of the best coaches in the CIS, and a staff that includes a new face in Jen Rawson, who joined the Lions as an assistant after serving as the head coach at UBC one year ago. Church’s off-season included leading Team Canada’s senior national women’s team to the gold medal at the world championships in April, and an appointment to serve the same role for the 2013 world championships and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. He will be at the helm of a squad that is poised for another deep run in the playoffs. The Lions now know what it will take to reach the upper echelon, and they are ready for the challenge.

2011 - 2012 Leaders Regular Season Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Kristie Wilson 26 11 14 25 16 1 Katrina Tollis 22 12 8 20 6 1 Stephanie Dovaston 22 8 9 17 4 3 Chloe Milano 22 9 6 15 6 2 Kristen Barbara 24 4 11 15 20 3 Playoff Leaders GP G A PTS PIM PPG Lisa Stathopulos 6 3 8 11 6 0 Chloe Milano 6 4 3 7 0 2 Dallas Boyd 6 2 4 6 2 0 Katrina Tollis 6 3 0 3 2 1 Kimberly Ramcharan 6 2 0 2 4 0




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Profile for Ontario University Athletics

2012-13 OUA Women's Hockey Season Preview  

Featuring previews of all 11 OUA teams, plus exciting articles about some difference makers in the OUA game and some exciting facts about On...

2012-13 OUA Women's Hockey Season Preview  

Featuring previews of all 11 OUA teams, plus exciting articles about some difference makers in the OUA game and some exciting facts about On...


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