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The STU women’s hockey team has big dreams this year. With seven new players on the team it’s a bit of a shift in the core group.
The Tommies won their season opener against Université de Moncton 4-2, but it doesn’t mean they can slack off in practice.
“There were some aspects of the game I wasn’t really pleased with,” said head coach Peter Murphy. “We were a little lazy on the back check and not as strong on the face-offs. Our power play wasn’t that sharp. Penalty kill was okay.”
Something Murphy was pleased with was how the new players have been fitting in. He travels all across Canada to scout potential players. One of the key aspects of getting players to say yes is seeing the campus he said.
“Usually what we do is go and talk to them, we send a package of information about STU talk opportunities. We usually have good success with players who fly down. They fall in love with the small campus.”
One of the goals this year is to build a team that will represent STU especially well when they host the national competition in 2014.
“Right now we’re building for hosting nationals, so the group this year will be our core for that.”
Rookie forward Emily Francis, who scored during the second period of their season opener, expects the team to have a good year.
“The first game felt really good. I’m expecting a big year for us. I think we can do a lot of good things” said Francis.
Captain Kayla Blackmore agrees. This is her fifth and final year playing for the Tommies and she’d like to see it end with a banner.
“You never set out for anything but the championship. For us we know that we have the talent to win this year and even though we’re young we know that our young players have the skill and the talent that we need and our veteran players have the presence of knowing how hard we have to work to get there.”
These ladies will definitely be working hard this year. Two new coaches have been added to the women’s hockey team staff including a video coach who can help players review their shifts on the ice, and an assistant coach to help with all the new forwards.
Murphy expects the team to compete for the championship. “You don’t go if you don’t plan to win” he said.
They didn’t disappoint the fans who came out to watch. The Grant-Harvey Centre had quite a few people, both current students and alumni out to watch on Saturday afternoon. Kids danced and took pictures with Tommy, and a few students even brought a special STU blanket to huddle under while they watched the game.
“Big shout out to everyone who came out, it was nice to see the stands so full for us and we hope to see that all year” said Blackmore.