Waterloo, ON - As they prepare for their home and season opener versus the Queen's University Golden Gaels – a repeat of last year’s OUA Gold Medal Game – the Golden Hawk women’s hockey team has eight new faces in the lineup. That being said, two of these new faces aren’t new faces at all, rather they are players returning to the Hawks after taking a season off. At forward, Jessica Singh
returns to the lineup, and in goal Cindy Eadie
returns after spending a year with Canada’s national softball team. Joining them are six rookies, including goalie Morgan Wielgosz
, Andrea Bevan
, Jessica Judges
and Diana Cicchillo
on defense, and Samantha Cully
and Delaney Craven
up front. Returning players include OUA All-Stars Amanda Joseph
, Ashley Stephenson
, Fiona Aiston
and Laurissa Kenworthy
. The rest of the returning players all played pivotal roles in securing last year’s OUA Championship and will be key performers this year. Candice Djukic
, Lyndsey Parissenti
, Merritt Blundy
, Jennifer Heslin, Nicole Gooding
, and Lindsay Arbeau
complete the returning forwards, and Julie Mitchell
and Lauren Meschino
return on defense.
A look at this year’s exhibition games showed that the team is ready for any challenge. In the Thanksgiving tournament hosted by the Hawks, the ladies defeated the #2 ranked Concordia stingers, as well as the #4 ranked McGill Martlets. Not only did the ladies fare well in that tournament, they finished the pre-season with an outstanding record of 10-1-1-2 and in those 14 games, the line of Joseph, Aiston and Kenworthy amassed an incredible 46 total points. But it takes more than one line to win games and, as they have in the past, the entire team stepped up to the challenge and came out to play. You can expect the team to keep their momentum and continue to test their opponents in the regular season.
The Lady Hawks start off the season ranked 3rd on the CIS Top 10 List, but head coach RICK OSBORNE
cautions that, “The national rankings did not show enough respect for the outstanding season records that Toronto and Queens had last year. The OUA is a tough league and the balance from top to bottom is getting closer every year.” The Golden Hawks finished their pre-season with a record of 10-1-1-2 and are ready for a tough home opener this Friday against Queens.