Women’s hockey off to a slow start at WLU

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File Photo, Paige Bush
File Photo, Paige Bush

The Laurier women’s hockey team has gotten off to a rough start in their 2016-17 season, winning just one of their first seven games.

Coach Rick Osborne addressed his team’s poor play. “We just haven’t played well enough yet,” he said.

“We haven’t been able to play back-to-back games well. We seem to lose our intensity sometimes on the second game in a weekend. We’ve found ways to throw points away.

It’s been a combination of [bad] puck luck and [lack of] focus and we just all have to do a better job,” he added.

More than anything, the team has been injury plagued, which has made it hard for them to find their groove in the early going.

While speaking to Osborne, he made it clear that most of these injuries were simply bad luck, with the bulk being freak injuries or concussions.

Despite the team’s lackluster record, Osborne did point out that there have been some bright spots.

“Our top scorer is Emily Woodhouse. She started quick. I think our rookies [in general] have played well moving in. [Jessica] Prevette has also chipped in with three points over seven games,” he said.

“We’ve got some players that are just underperforming and trying too hard. Some of our older players are in mild slumps, but the rookies have picked up the slack.”

As for the rest of the season, the team hopes to get back on track quickly and become much more competitive than their current position in the standings would indicate.

With a healthier team, it should be much easier to gain some stability and in turn, more consistent play.

“Our plan [moving forward] is to really make a concerted effort to play solid defence. We tend to have some players who kind of play like they’re top scoring players when they really need to be looking after defence first and scoring maybe on counter-attacks. We’ve always generated our offence from good defence and we’ve just gotten away from that a little bit this year. I think we need to realize that we’re at our best when we play like we did last year during our playoff run: not giving up [goals] and grinding teams down,” Osborne said, expressing disappointment with his team.

He was very focused on that “defence first” mentality, adding, “Our group needs to be able to look after our own zone first and make our offence work from good defence.”

This is the style that took Laurier to the OUA semi-finals the past couple seasons. Should things turn around for this group, they seem to know where to start.

Women’s hockey looks to get their season back on track this Thursday as they host the Ryerson Rams at Sun Life Financial Arena.


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