Warming up for ice time

The first half of the Waterloo Warriors women’s hockey preseason has gone to plan as the team came away with two victories at home.

The first came over the Cambridge Rivulettes last Thursday after the Warriors eventually took the decision 3–2 by scoring in the 13th round of the shootout. New recruit Stephanie Sluys played the latter half of the game after splitting time between the pipes.

Sluys adds some depth to the Warriors in goal behind Rebecca Bouwhuis and Jamie Grove. Previous netminder Allie Mitchell was released from the team following last season. Sluys comes from the Durham West Lightning, the same team current Warriors starting goalie Bouwhuis player for.

The Warriors played the KW Rangers Sept. 8 and put up a convincing 3–1 win. Scoring for the Warriors was last year’s OUA rookie of the year Rachael Marriott as well as Marissa Redmond, who potted the game-winning-goal and added another insurance goal on a penalty shot.

Head coach Shaun Reagan said that again the Warriors are a team built from the back forward: strong in goal with a mixture of experience and youth on defence. They plan on using that stinginess to propel them into their third consecutive playoff appearance after an 0–2 ousting at the hands of the Guelph Gryphons last postseason.

The skill of the defence was on full display in Monday’s game as many of the girls, both forwards and defence, dove in front of countless shots, an absolutely selfless act when up by three in the preseason.

The Warriors have also added former Cambridge Rivulette Angela MacDonald, from Kitchener, to the roster this year.

“She’s had a strong camp so far and really adds a lot of strength up front for us as a power forward,” Reagan said.

Also added to the roster, but red-shirting this year, is Olivia Del Basso, an international student from Australia and member of the women’s national hockey team there. Del Basso comes from the NCAA having played for the University of Minnesota–Duluth. Changes were made to the OUA rules recently to allow players to join the OUA from the NCAA without having to sit out for one full season of OUA eligibility. This rule only applies to Canadians however, so the Australian will sit out this year on a technicality.

Women’s hockey will be in preseason action next against the Laurier Golden Hawks Sept. 17 and again Sept. 20 against the Toronto Aeros before starting off the regular season at home Oct. 1 against the Nipissing Lakers.