Hawks continue winning streak

In what has become routine over the past few seasons, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ women’s hockey team remained undefeated over the weekend with a 3-0 win over the Waterloo Warriors on Saturday afternoon. The win puts the Hawks’ record at a perfect 9-0 as they complete their first runthrough of the other nine teams in the division.

“This was our ninth game, so we’ve played every team once, and we have a better indication of what each team brings to the table,” said head coach Rick Osborne. “Waterloo is a team that battles hard no matter where they are in the standings, so we had to make sure that everyone was focused and playing with good energy.”

The Hawks dominated every facet of the game, using their speed and skill as well as their physical strength, winning almost every battle for the puck. The purple and gold received goals from third-year Kaley Powers, second-year Abby Rainsberry and rookie Devon Skeats, who notched her first goal in a Golden Hawk uniform.

“I was very pleased with the effort today,” said Osborne. “I thought our cycle game was really strong which really shows our quickness and our skill level. We made maybe three or four mistakes all game and I was really happy with the energy level from everyone in the lineup today.”

Another key to the Hawks’ success was veteran goalie Liz Knox, who put forth yet another stellar effort, stopping all 22 shots she faced, recording her Ontario University Athletics (OUA)-leading fifth shut-out of the season.

In addition to leading the province in shut-outs, Knox also currently leads the league in goals against average (0.66), save percentage (.971) and wins (9). Despite her success, the net-minder remains humble and doesn’t allow the stats to affect her play.

“I try not to think about it at all,” said Knox. “I really don’t keep up-to-date with where I am when it comes to stats; in the end, it’s more about the process of getting better than the numbers.”

Knox is widely considered to be the top goaltender in the OUA and Osborne realizes the importance of having such a talented athlete between the pipes.

“You can talk about her athleticism, her squaring to the puck, her glove hand and you can add puck management, she’s a great puck manager,” he said. “One real strength that doesn’t get noticed because of her ability to make all the saves is the way she moves the puck. She can initiate the break-out as well as a defenceman and really catch the other team napping and get some offence going.”

The powerhouse Hawks will look to continue their perfect start to the season this Saturday against the Brock Badgers. Despite the team’s accomplishments at this point, Osborne maintains that staying grounded will be crucial.

“We’re certainly not going to let [the 9-0 start] go to our heads,” he said. “We’ve still got a lot of things to work on and I look for the next nine-game segment to be very competitive.”