Knox ends stellar career
Sunday’s loss to Queen’s in the bronze medal game was anything but the ideal way to end Liz Knox’s career as a Laurier Golden Hawk. However, it also won’t come close to putting a black mark on the decorated goaltender’s five years at the school.
Knox leaves WLU as one of the most decorated athletes in Laurier history, taking home awards on the school, provincial and national levels.
Last season Knox took home a particularly incredible amount of hardware, being named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) player of the year, the Outstanding Woman of Laurier, along with winning the President’s Award as Laurier’s top female athlete and the Luke Fusco award for academic and athletic achievement.
But accolades aside, she was simply a rock solid goalie who consistently gave her team a chance to not only win, but dominate.
“We were always confident with Knoxy back there,” said Abby Rainsberry, who was co-captain with Knox this season. “She’s such a great goalie and having her on the back-end was just amazing. We’re definitely going to miss her.”
Beyond her stellar on-ice play, Rainsberry notes that Knox will also be missed for her presence in the dressing room.
“The feeling in the room is definitely going to be different with her gone,” she said. “She’s been an amazing teammate. We were co-captains this year and we just worked so well together. She’s one of the easiest people to work with you’ll ever meet. We’re going to miss her a lot.”
While the fourth-place finish may not have been a very fitting ending to a career like Knox’s the way she played in that final game was an almost perfect conclusion. Making key save after key save, Knox held her team in the game.
While obviously disappointed after the final game of her career, Knox showed why she’s the great leader Rainsberry said she was.
“This is a pretty special group of girls, I would’ve really liked to have shared [a championship] with them,” said Knox. “On the whole, we did have a good season, we faced a lot more adversity than we’re used to and that builds character. It’s a special group and I’m glad I could’ve been a part of it.”
For head coach Rick Osborne, the near impossible task of replacing a netminder like Knox begins. Whether it will be one of the two goalies currently on the roster — Kristen Kilgallen who played in five career games or Rachel Hamilton who has played in one — or a recruit is yet to be seen. Osborne, however, is confident his team will recover.
“I think our program will inspire another great goalie,” he said. “The same questions were asked when [Cindy] Eadie left and we did it. We’re certainly going to miss Knox, but I’m confident we’ll recover.”
When it comes to the future, in the short-term Knox will be trying out for a spot on the Canadian national team next month. In the long-term, she will be taking next year off to pursue a spot in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.