Hawks await first round opponent
Last Friday, the Laurier women’s hockey team dominated on the ice against their neighbours the Waterloo Warriors. Despite somewhat of a slow start in the first period, the Golden Hawks demonstrated their expert passing skills and stole the game at a 2-0 win. The two goals were credited to team captain Abby Rainsberry and third-year veteran Vanessa Schabkar.
With the regular season now finished, the team is looking with excitement to the upcoming playoff games. Because of their impressive 24 wins this season, the Lady Hawks have earned themselves a bye into the playoff semi-final round. Head coach Rick Osborne is confident that if his team continues to do what they are doing, they will do well in both the playoffs and the upcoming nationals in March.
“We are just going to make sure that our practices and our workouts are up-tempo and a pretty high-speed pace,” he said. “We have home ice advantage. We have the largest ice surface for two out of three games in each series, and we’re going to be playing on the largest ice at nationals. I think everything will be a building stone or stepping stone towards our ultimate goal.”
Rookie Laura Brooker, echoed Osborne’s confidence in the team.
“We’re just going to keep rolling and playing our game,” she said. “And if we are going to be on our game we’ve got everything.”
Having such a diverse and talented team, the girls have been able to rely heavily on each other during the games. Now with the regular season behind them, Osborne believes that his team will be prepared for anything that comes their way.
“Our roles are all sorted out now heading into the playoffs. Our team is so deep and it’s so strong our depth has carried us all season long,” he said.
“We have three of the top scoring ‘D’ in the league. We have a couple players in the top three or four scorers, Brooker and Shirriff. And if you go to the next twenty, most of our team is right in there. We are the highest scoring team in the league, and we’ve done it with our jets. Yes, we’ve got a couple of big scorers but we’ve got a lot of other pretty big scorers too.”
Looking back on their past season and looking forward to their future, the team is eager and enthusiastic about what is to come next.
A reflecting Osborne said, “It’s been a long tough season. We clinched first last weekend so I am looking forward to get the playoffs going in a couple weeks.”
Brooker revealed her team’s excitement and focus for the future games. “We practice these things, and then we come out into the game and that is our main focus. We just practice hard and play hard. Just focus on the next shift. That last shift is history. You just keep going. Next shift is a new one – a new puck.”