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Women’s hockey look to improve on poor season

Tigers hope experienced players will help land them a playoff spot

Tigers look to wipe the slate clean in 2014 - 2015 campaign. (Photo by Kit Moran)
Tigers look to wipe the slate clean in 2014 – 2015 campaign. (Photo by Kit Moran)

The Dalhousie women’s hockey team is eager to open a new season after a forgettable 2013-14 campaign.

The Tigers finished in last place with a 5-16-3 record. But this time around, the team feels success is their only option.

Joleen MacInnis, a fourth-year veteran defenseman says, “we’re the team to beat.”

The optimism stems from the maturity and growth the team witnessed since last season. Last year’s squad featured a prominent core of young players – fifteen first years in all. Now the team feels more established, shaking off their young team reputation and now a force to be reckoned with.

MacInnis says the team’s greatest strength is their unity.

“We’re a very close knit team,” she says, “and that makes all the difference in competition.”

They look to hit the ground running against the Mount Allison Mounties on Oct. 17. The team went 1-3 in preseason action, losing to the Saint Mary’s Huskies in their first game and the St. FX X-Women in their next two. The team redeemed themselves in their last game, beating the Huskies 4-3 in overtime.

The Tigers will need to make their mark offensively if they want to find success. Scoring only 49 goals last season made staying competitive difficult, especially against the likes of St. FX’s staggering 3.62 goals per game.

Three players in their fourth year of eligibility will provide a veteran presence for the team. Sarah MacNeil, Sarah Robichaud and MacInnis will be the leaders throughout this year’s campaign.

However, MacInnis says the emphasis will remain on the team as a whole.

“We are coming into this season as a cohesive unit of 24,” she says, “filled with positive attitude, determination and ready to be one of the top teams in the league.”

The team also welcomes five rookies this year. Forwards Corrine Desjardins, Nicole Martin, and Jesse Rietveld, defenseman Morgen Kidney and goaltender Jessica Severeyns all look to make an impact for the Tigers.

Jeanna Morin will work between the pipes again this season, looking to add more to the win column than her three in nine starts last year. The French netminder’s record was a stark reality of last year’s rebuilding team, but this season is a chance for redemption. Morin collected a 2.90 goals against average and a .923 save percentage last season.

The team’s positivity is a result of the support and dedication of the teams coaching staff led by Sean Fraser, who is entering his third year as head coach, and the rest of the Tigers’ coaching staff. The team welcomes new assistant coach Danielle Kerr, a former player of Boston’s North Eastern University.

MacInnis noted the importance of playing a full 60 minutes every night. Consistency remains a key to this teams success.

After a season of retooling and rebuilding, the Dal women’s hockey team looks forward to opening a competitive campaign.

They’re back with a vengeance and a positive attitude to boot.

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