Winter Hawks in review
It was hard for this year’s squad not to be compared to Laura Crocker and her rink, but Carly Howard skipped Laurier’s team to an impressive transition year. Despite not qualifying for the playoffs at this year’s OUA championship, they finished with a 3-3 record, while winning the UOIT Ridgebacks bonspiel. There were some hiccups along the way; illness at the OUA championship plagued their starting second and missed rocks in a must-win game against the Carleton Ravens cost them a shot at the playoffs. This is the first year in three years that Laurier was not be on the podium. A young team with one year playing together, the Hawks were unable to adapt to the experience of the competing rinks.
After a win in their opening game, men’s curling lost three in a row to fall immediately in threat of being eliminated from playoff contention at the OUA championship. Aaron Squires and his rink were faced with a tough final two games, however, managed to win both, missing the playoffs by one position. Laurier finished third in their pool with a 3-3 record. The team won the earlier UOIT Ridgebacks bonspiel, but had trouble at both the Brock and Waterloo bonspiels. It still takes a bit for this team to be considered thoroughly competitive.
Men’s hockey had almost their entire roster returning this year. However a slow start to the season put the team in a hole early. Thanks to a strong second-half run that saw the team go 9-3 after the holidays, the team finished in fifth place with a record of 14-2-2. Ryan Daniels led the team in his final season as a Golden Hawk. However, despite the strong finish to the year, Laurier was bounced from the playoffs in the first round again. After grabbing the series lead against the fourth-seeded Guelph Gryphons, the team lost consecutive close games, including a heartbreaking overtime loss on the road in a decisive game three. With Daniels, Mitchell Good and captain Kyle Van De Bospoort the only players graduating, the season can be seen as a solid building block for a young, talented team.
Laurier’s women’s basketball team saw both highs and lows in 2012-13. Winding down towards the end of their season, the Hawks were able to win three of their final five games, giving them a playoff berth. Overall, Laurier finished their regular season fourth in the OUA West conference with an 11-10 record. However, Laurier’s season ended abruptly in the first round of playoffs with a 54-58 loss to Western who had an identical record. Going beyond their season, the Hawks maintained an impressive lineup with notable performances from their vets.
It was a good season for the Laurier women’s hockey team; unfortunately this is a team that is used to having great seasons. The team had its eyes set on a CIS championship, but was shocked to see its season come to a halt in the OUA semi-finals. Laurier clinched the number-one seed in the final game of the season, and only five points separated them and fourth-place Western. In the playoffs, the team ran into trouble from the Mustangs. Western shutout Laurier twice, ending their season with a tragic 1-0 loss in game three. Still, there were a lot of positive moments for the team this year. Candice Styles and Laura Brooker were named second-team OUA all-stars, while captain Fiona Lester was named to the first team. But as long as Rick Osborne is in charge, this team will be held to a much higher standard. To see the team miss out on nationals for the first time in ten years means this season held disappointment.
Laurier’s swim team decorated their trophy case with achievements such as finishing third at the Brock invitational tournament, sending four swimmers to the CIS finals and boasting a 15th overall ranking in all of Canada. The Hawks managed to put together a strong campaign at the CIS championships. Renee Dijk put the team on her back as she led the Hawks to all 26 points they accumulated, finishing ninth in the 100m backstroke and 11th in the 200m backstroke, respectively. This great output by Dijk lead to Laurier’s respectable 15th place ranking in Canada. On the horizon, Laurier has very promising cast of rookie swimmers on the rise as they had five new additions to the women’s team and eight new additions to the men’s team this year.