WATERLOO, Ont. (July 24, 2012) - Wilfrid Laurier women's hockey head coach RICK OSBORNE
announced today the six members of his recruiting class for the 2012-13 season which includes three players from one of the top midget programs in the country last season, the North Bay Ice Boltz.
Joining the reigning OUA Champion Golden Hawks next season will be a pair of netminders, Emily Robinson of Oakville, Ont., and Kayla Brown
of Lively, Ont., two defencemen, Arla Biron of Desbarets, Ont., and Lauren Blair
of Burlington, Ont., as well as two forwards, Robyn Degagne
of North Bay, Ont., and Emily Kekewich
of Kingston, Ont.
"This year's recruits will help us address a few key areas that we identified following last season," said Osborne of this year's class. "Our strength up the middle has been improved, especially in the faceoff circle, our physicality on the blueline has been increased and we've added depth and skill to the goaltending position."
Robinson, a 5-5 goaltender, comes to Laurier from the Burlington Barracudas of the Provincial Women's Hockey League (PWHL). Last season, Robinson appeared in three games for Burlington, posting a 3-0-0 record with a 0.97 goals against average (GAA) and a 0.940 save percentage. Over her two year career with Burlington, Robinson had a 16-4-2 record, including five shutouts, with a 1.98 GAA and a 0.926 save percentage.
Meanwhile, Brown played last season with the Ice Boltz under the tutelage of former National Hockey League player Darren Turcotte. Competing in the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League, Brown posted 15 shutouts over the course of the regular season and playoffs, helping North Bay to a 17-2-3 league record.
Biron, a teammate of Brown's in North Bay, will help patrol the blueline for the Golden Hawks next season. Biron is described by Coach Osborne as a player who has a "real physical presence on the ice" that is able to move the puck quickly and has a good shot from the point.
Blair will don the purple and gold after playing for the Brampton Thunder of the PWHL last season. In 30 games with the Thunder, the 5-9 blueliner had two goals and six assists along with 60 penalty minutes.
Up front, Degagne is the third member of the Ice Boltz coming to Laurier next season. Her team's captain last season, Degagne is described by Osborne as "an intense player who distributes the puck to her teammates" and "knows her responsibilities in all three zones of the ice".
The final member of this year's group is Kekewich, a 5-5 forward who last played for the Durham West Lightning of the PWHL. In two seasons with the Lightning, Kekewich scored 11 goals and 15 assists in 60 games.
The Golden Hawks, who finished last season ranked No. 1 in the country, will open up their regular season schedule with a rematch of last year's OUA Championship series when they face the Western Mustangs on the road October 6. Laurier's first home game will be on October 18 when they take on the York Lions.