WATERLOO, Ont. (July 18, 2012) - Wilfrid Laurier men's hockey head coach GREG PUHALSKI is pleased to announce 14 players who will be donning the purple and gold in the fall of 2012.
"We have a strong group of student-athletes coming into the program next season," said Puhalski on the incoming group."We anticipate this year's class will strengthen our program for over the next numbers of seasons."
Headlining this year's recruiting class are six players who have major junior hockey experience, including goaltender Brandon Foote of Whitby, Ont., defencemen Derek Holden of Peterborough, Ont., Matthew Provost of Oakville, Ont., and Dylan MacDonald of London, Ont., as well as forwards Trent Hawke of Wiarton, Ont., and Ryan Lopes of Brampton, Ont.
Foote, who has spent the past four seasons with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), is a welcome addition to the Hawks who will provide support for incumbent starter Ryan Daniels of Peterborough, Ont. Over his four year OHL career, the 6-0, 183 lbs. netminder posted a 66-45-10 record with a 3.48 goals against average and a 0.896 save percentage.
Holden comes to Laurier after finishing last season with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. Prior to joining Windsor at last years trade deadline, Holden spent time with both the Erie Otters and the Peterborough Petes. Over his five year major junior career, Holden tallied 20 goals, 92 assists and 107 penalty minutes in 264 games. His best season came with the Otters in 2010-11 when he had 39 points (4 G, 35 A) in 68 games.
Provost joins the Hawks after a three year career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he split his time between the Montreal Juniors and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. In 163 career games, Provost had seven goals, 16 assists and 108 penalty minutes.
MacDonald rounds out the list of defencemen joining Laurier next year with major junior experience. He played two seasons with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL where he recorded three assists, 24 penalty minutes and was a +2 over 65 games.
At forward, Lopes will make a return to the tri-cities area after he spent the 2010-11 season with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. Also playing with Sudbury and the Mississauga during a four year career, Lopes recorded 23 goals and 17 assists along with 98 penalty minutes in 170 games. Last season, the 5-11, 170 lbs. centre had 22 goals and 30 assists in 42 games with the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL).
Joining Lopes at forward will be Hawke, who played 65 games with the Barrie Colts of the OHL in 2010-11, scoring nine goals and six assists. Last season, the 5-11, 193 lbs. winger suited up for the Brantford Golden Eagles of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL), where he finished second in team scoring with 53 points (25 G, 28 A) in 51 games.
Also coming the Hawks this season will be defencemen Ryan Hamberg of Mississauga, Ont., Matthew Brown of Calgary, Alta., Drew Henry of Dorchester, Ont., and Matt Sollows of Aurora, Ont., along with forwards Brett Priestap of Cambridge, Ont., Kyle Wilhelm of Tavistock, Ont., Miles Maclean of Port Elgin, Ont., and Greg Cerilli of Barrie, Ont.
Both Hamberg and Brown spent last season playing in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) with Grand Prairie and Calgary respectively while fellow defencemen Henry and Sollows played their junior hockey in Ontario. Henry suited up for Cornwall of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) and Sollows played for Vaughn of the OJHL after playing for one game for the NCAA's Division III SUNY-Plattsburg Cardinals.
Of the remaining group of forwards, both Priestap and Wilhelm highlight the list as products of the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Wilhelm, a native of Tavistock, played for Kingston of the OJHL last season where he scored 47 points in 43 games while Priestap suited up for the Elmira Sugar Kings of the GOJHL and had 68 points in 50 games.
Meanwhile, Maclean joins the Hawks after competing with Trenton of the OJHL while Cerilli played for Thorold, also of the OJHL.