WATERLOO, Ont. (October 9, 2015) - Following an uncharacteristic season a year ago, head coach RICK OSBORNE and the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s hockey team has reloaded as they eye a return to the top of OUA standings in the 2015-16 season.
Laurier opens up their regular season schedule on Friday night on the road as they face the Laurentian Voyageurs at 7:20 p.m.
The purple and gold’s roster will look very different from the team that lost in the OUA semifinals last season to the eventual CIS champion Western Mustangs. 10 new faces will wear the Golden Hawk on their chest this year including nine rookies and a NCAA transfer. However, Laurier will also have a solid stable of veteran players to help guide the new players as they transition to OUA hockey.
Up front, the Hawks will welcome back fifth year forward and last year’s leading scorer Jessie Hurrell of Palgrave, Ont. Hurrell, who scored 11 goals and added 13 assists last season, enters her final season with the purple and gold with 73 career points in 88 career games and has been one of Laurier’s most consistent offensive threats over the last three seasons.
She will be joined down the middle of the ice by fourth year forward Robyn Degagne of North Bay, Ont., as well as rookie centres Kaitlyn Hatzes of Whitby, Ont., and Rebecca Haddaway of Cambridge, Ont.
On the wings, third year forward Dollee Meigs of Owen Sound, Ont., will look to build upon her numbers from last season when she finished fifth on the team in scoring with five goals and nine assists. Fellow third year wingers Jessica Prevette of Mississauga, Ont., who scored six goals last season, and Heather Platt of Mississauga, Ont., who scored seven, will also be offensive threats for Laurier in 2015-16.
On the blueline, Osborne believes he has one of his strongest groups in years led by returning fifth year defenders and co-captains Blair Connelly of Amherstburg, Ont., and Haley Baxter of Waterloo, Ont. The Hawks also boast dual sport athlete Jacky Normandeau of Uxbridge, Ont., a physical presence on the backend, as well as Minnesota State transfer Giuliana Pallotta of Beeton, Ont.
Rookies Cassandra Calabrese and Megan Kingston, both of Brooklin, Ont., will have plenty of veteran experience to lean on with Calabrese being paired with Connelly while Kingston will skate alongside Pallotta.
In goal, rookie Lauren Webber of Burlington, Ont., has turned heads in the preseason as she posted two shutouts in three games and will start Laurier’s opener against the Voyageurs. She will be backed up by second year netminder Nicholle Kovach of Schomberg, Ont., who won once and lost once in two starts in the preseason.
Following their two-game road trip up north to open their season, the Hawks will return to Waterloo for their home opener on Friday, October 16 against the Windsor Lancers. That game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Waterloo Recreation Complex, will be broadcast live on OUA.tv.