By Kirk Jessome
After falling just short of an appearance in the AUS playoffs last season, the Tigers women’s hockey team is looking to turn it around this year and gain some post-season experience.
Coming off a stellar season in nets for the Tigers, Fabiana Petricca posted the highest number of total saves in the conference last year with 822, finishing fifth with a goals-against average (GAA) of 2.77. Petricca will look to further improve her GAA going into her fourth season and continue to be a rock for this Tigers team.
In front of her is a fairly developed roster with plenty of experience amongst the senior skaters. Most notably is defender Natalie Stanwood who was a member of Canada’s silver-medal winning FISU team in Krasnoyarsk, Russia last March.
Also joining Stanwood for their fifth and final seasons are Lauren Ellerton and Tara Morning who led the Tigers in points with Danika Phillips last year. Tigers head coach Sean Fraser has leaned on all three fifth-year seniors to provide leadership to his group, both on and off the ice.
After impressive rookie campaigns full of much needed scoring for the Tigers, both Taylor Joyce (the Tigers leading scorer last year) and Brooklyn Paisley will return for their second seasons and will be counted on to add to their production in the offensive end.
This season’s rookie class will hopefully add to the Tigers scoring touch as much as last year with the addition of Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) champion, Alix Yallowega. Yallowega earned nearly a point per game while on the championship run last season and will look to keep that productivity alive for the Tigers.
Also joining Yallowega out of the JWHL is high-scoring forward, Kaela Thomson. A native of Norwalk, Connecticut, Thomson led her team in scoring last season and finished in the top 20 in the league in total points.
With some great additions to the lineup and plenty of development through experience in the offseason, the Tigers are sure to improve on last year’s 10-16-2 record and make a run in the AUS playoffs this year.
“We have come back focused and are holding a team-first attitude,” says Fraser. We are determined to improve and get better each and every day.”
That run will get started on Wednesday as the Tigers host the Saint Mary’s Huskies in their regular season home opener at 7:00pm at the Halifax Forum.