Women’s Hockey announces eight recruits as part of 2020 recruiting class:

Eight new skaters have committed to join head coach Kelly Paton and the Laurier Women’s Hockey program for the next season. 

The 2020-2021 recruiting class is headlined by local athletes and features a good mix of three forwards, four defensemen and one goaltender. 

Coach Paton is entering her third season behind the bench of the Golden Hawks hockey team and is hoping the addition of these eight student-athletes will improve the playmaking and scoring abilities of her squad.

“Our staff is very excited! With this incoming class of student-athletes, we feel we have added depth by position to our current roster,” Coach Paton said. 

The Golden Hawks had a challenging year last season, only winning five games throughout the course of the season. There were moments of optimism as Coach Paton had her team playing competitive in nearly ever game and Laurier was able to beat two nationally ranked teams on the road during the second half of their schedule. 

The eight skaters will have room to compete right away as Laurier lost six of their skaters to graduation at the end of last year. The six seniors will leave a large void as three of them were Laurier’s top scorers a year ago and one of them was the team’s captain. 

Jamie Watson has become the team leader over the past four seasons, while Emily Woodhouse, Aynsley Harrison and Jaden Head have consistently been in the top three statistically throughout their years with the Golden Hawks.  Coach Paton knows that the team is undergoing a roster transition and points to the eight new recruits to propel the Golden Hawks to the playoffs for the first time in five years. 

“We feel confident that this group of individuals will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the tradition of academic and athletic excellence held at Laurier. We are excited to welcome the eight outstanding individuals to the Golden Hawk family,” Coach Paton said. 

Four new student-athletes join the defensive blueline including Brianna Bowman, Jaiden Duncan, Rylynn Sinclair and Sophia Lombardo. 

Bowman most recently played in Whitby with the Jr. Wolves and helped them to a championship. The play-making defenseman played in 34 games last year and scored eight points, seven of them being assists. 

Duncan joins the purple and gold from the Sudbury Lady Wolves Midget AA team. Paton believes that Duncan will bring leadership and experience as she recorded 17 assists in 45 games last year while also being the captain on her junior team. 

Rylynn Sinclair is one of the local recruits that decided to stay in the tri-cities as she played her most recent hockey with the Cambridge Rivulettes of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. In 18 games played Sinclair tallied 10 points on five goals and led her team to a gold medal. 

The final recruit on the defense is Sophia Lombardo. An Oakville, Ontario native, Lombardo scored three assists in 20 games and was a key part of her team winning a silver medal at the USA-Canada cup series this past season with the Oakville Junior Hornets. 

Following Lombardo to the Golden Hawks is her teammate, Christina McCulloch. McCulloch played with Lombardo on the Hornets and was as equally as important in helping them win at the cup series. In 38 games as a forward, McCulloch scored 14 points. 

The two other forwards committed to the Golden Hawks are Toronto born Grace Sumi and Cambridge native, Olivia MacMillan. Coach Paton believes that Sumi and MacMillan can be the most productive new recruits based on their experience and offensive skill. 

This past season, Sumi recorded 45 points in 51 games, while MacMillan scored 60 points in 66 games. 

The final recruit for the Golden Hawks is goaltender, Acadia Carlson. Carlson is another local recruit as she is from Kitchener. Playing her most recent hockey with the Toronto Leaside Jr. Wildcats, Carlson posted 2.28 goals against average and a 0.912 save per centage in 26 games played last season. 

Crediting Laurier alumnus, Liz Knox as her inspiration to become a goaltender, Carlson is thrilled to wear the Laurier sweater having cheered for the Hawks growing up. 

While the season remains postponed for now, Coach Paton is determined on preparing the recruits for puck drop and hopeful of ending Laurier’s four-year playoff drought. 

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