The four-time defending OUA Champion Women’s Hockey Golden Hawks will head into their first exhibition game with the London Jrs. on Wednesday night at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex with high expectations for another successful season.
For the third consecutive year, the Hawks will have six new faces in the lineup this season including rookie forwards Candace Kellough (Bolton), Katherine Shirriff (Carrying Place), Alicia Martin (Etobicoke), Heather Fortuna (Kitchener), Kaley Powers (Kingston), and defence person Vanessa Ley (Richmond Hill). Head Coach RICK OSBORNE states that “Shirriff, Powers, Fortuna, Martin and Kellough are all fast, skilled, and very robust players, while Ley is a good ‘stay at home’ defenceman with an offensive upside. They all shoot the puck very well”.
The Golden Hawks will have another excellent year of leadership for both on and off the ice. Newly appointed Captain Lauren Meschino, along with assistants Andrea Bevan, Andrea Ironside and Lauren Barch will form the strong leadership team. “You cannot win championships without great team leadership in place and I have always had extraordinary leaders to work with on this team; Goodman, Stephenson, Kenworthy and now Meschino – you couldn’t find four better people to lead our teams”. “Our veteran players like Morgan Wielgosz, also step up and provide invaluable support to the coaches and captains on a regular basis”, he concluded.
Position by Position Review:
Goaltending: Morgan Wielgosz and Liz Knox were #1 and #2 in the OUA last year and both are determined to post best-ever numbers this season. Both will start the season in a rotation and provide the stability in the defensive zone headed to set the Hawks off to a fast start again this season.
Defence: Rookie Ley joins 7 experienced defence people with solid skillfulness to play this tough position. While Bevan and Meschino have spent time at forward in the past, they are both CIS/OUA all stars at the defence position. Third year vets Vanessa Bennett and Kate Psota are rock solid, as well as second year players Steph Crarey and Erin Weber. Ali Williams split time between forward and defence, along with her versatility, has been a helpful key in the creation of the team lineup.
Forward: Andrea Ironside and Lauren Barch, who have proven themselves to be elite CIS players over the past couple seasons, and are both gearing up for another big year. Third year player Ashley McMillin; 2nd year standouts Laura Bartolini and Daniela Di Felice and the five rookie forwards will make this edition of the Hawks the fastest and most skilled set of forwards to date.
Coaching/Support Staff: Cindy Eadie continues as an assistant coach with the program, focusing on goaltending and team offense, while Jim Rayburn will again be our head scout and assistant coach. Carolyn Shier returns as team manager with some trainer duties, and Jessica Berrigan, video coordinator, joins Cathy Reidel who will join our off ice staff when the soccer season is completed. We are also pleased with the return of Dr. Jill Tracey as Team Psychologist.
“Look for this years Hawks to be extremely well conditioned, fast and a creative puck possession team that will compete hard every game in a tough OUA league”, states head Coach RICK OSBORNE.