Huskies Add Talent With Top Recruits

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Daniel Herrick

May 21, 2013, Saskatoon, SK (ISN) – The University of Saskatchewan Huskie women’s hockey team is proud to welcome eight new recruits to the program.

One goalie, three defencemen and four forwards have all committed to suit up for the green and white in 2013-14 looking to fill the gaps left by the graduation of four fifth-year players. All eight played high caliber midget hockey last season.

“We are excited to have these athletes join our program and we are looking forward to see what kind of impact they can make in the Canada West next season,” said Huskie head coach Steve Kook, who is entering his ninth year behind the Saskatchewan bench.

GOALTENDING

Karen Lefsrud, Goalie, 6-2

Calgary Rangers (Boys – Midget AA)

Hometown: Calgary

Karen Lefsrud spent last season playing in a midget AA boys league in Calgary. She played in 15 games for the Calgary Rangers recording an 8-4-3 record and placing in the top ten in goals against average and save percentage in the league. Outside of hockey, she is also an elite rower. Before she steps on the ice with the Huskies this fall, she may be competing on the international and national level on the water.

COACH COMMENT ON GOALTENDING RECRUIT:

“Karen was a highly sought after recruit and we are fortunate to have her join our program. Even though she comes as a rookie, her commitment to training at an elite level will help her make an immediate impact. Her athleticism is an impressive compliment to her size and speed.”

DEFENCE

Ali Van Alstyne, 5-10, Defence

Winnipeg Avros (Midget AAA)

Hometown: Winnipeg

Manitoba midget AAA first team all-star Ali Van Alstyne will join the Huskies on the blue line in the fall. Ali was a member of the National U18 Championship silver medalists Team Manitoba and captain of the Winnipeg Avros.

Kira Bannatyne, 5-7, Defence

Winnipeg Avros (Midget AAA)

Hometown: Winnipeg

Joining her Avros teammate with the Huskies next season is Kira Bannatyne. Kira played in all 28 regular season and five playoff games for the Avros.

Brooke Patron, 5-9, Defence

Weyburn Southern Range Gold Wings (Midget AAA)

Hometown: Redvers, SK

Brooke Patron played in all 28 regular season and ten playoff games finishing second in scoring among defencemen in the Saskatchewan Female Midget Hockey League (SFMHL) with 17 points. She was also named as a second team All-Star for the league.

COACH COMMENT ON DEFENSIVE RECRUITS:

“It was important for us to improve in this area and we believe we were able to recruit three defencemen that have the ability to be everyday players for us. Ali brings size and strength to our defensive zone and I’m looking forward to seeing her play against bigger stronger players. Kira is a very smooth skating defenceman that sees the ice well, and does a good job of making simple plays. Brooke is a mixture of both Ali and Kira in that she’s got size and the ability to jump into the play and move pucks for us.”

FORWARDS

Kaitlin Willoughby, 5-5, Forward

Prince Albert A&W Bears (Midget AAA)

Hometown: Prince Albert, SK

Kaitlin Willoughby will bring offensive firepower and experience to the team in 2013-14. In her final season of midget AAA the second team SFMHL all-star was fifth in league scoring with 33 points in 18 games and was captain of the team that made it to the league finals. She also competed at nationals as a member of the U18 Team Saskatchewan in 2011 and 2012, leading the team in scoring in her second trip to the championship.

Kori Herner, 5-5, Forward

Saskatoon AAA Stars (Midget AAA)

Hometown: Kindersley, SK

Captain of the Saskatoon Stars, Kori Herner was seventh in SFMHL scoring last season notching 29 points and was named a second team All-Star at the prestigious Mac’s Tournament.

Hailey Tyndall 5-5, Forward

Saskatoon AAA Stars (Midget AAA)

Hometown: Saskatoon

Hailey Tyndall scored 24 points for the Stars last season and was a member of the 2012 U18 Team Saskatchewan that competed at nationals in Dawson Creek, B.C.

Kennedy Harris 5-6, Forward

Saskatoon Stars (Midget AAA)

Hometown: Kindersley, SK

A second team All-Star in the SFMHL and the Mac’s Tournament, Kennedy Harris recorded a team high 32 points for the Stars last season.

COACH COMMENT ON FORWARD RECRUITS:

“All the forwards in our recruiting class do a great job of making life difficult for their opposition. They’re all good skaters and are tremendously tenacious in battles and on the puck. Kaitlin has a knack of scoring big goals and I’m looking forward to seeing how that translates to CIS hockey. Kori and Hailey are good in all areas of the ice and we can use them in all situations. Kennedy has had impressive offensive numbers in her two years of AAA hockey. She’s got one of the best wrist shots coming out of AAA hockey in Saskatchewan.”

Kook and the Huskies will continue to prepare for the Canada West regular season. The schedule will be released in June.

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