By Ron Guillet
With a bevy of recruits imported to the Laurentian Lady Vees’ hockey team, the roster is beginning to round out as Oct. 5 inches closer.
This will mark the first time in history Laurentian University has a women’s hockey team competing in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Head coach Stacey Colarossi has been tasked with building Laurentian’s first club in the league, and she has been hard at work importing a total of 14 players.
So far, those recruits include the following:
Forwards: Amanda Pereira, Lindsay Brazill, Emma Leger, MacAuley Carr, Mikayla Ferlaino, Victoria Medeiros, Samantha Morell and Elissa Bertuzzi.
Defense: Renee Leclair, Marissa Ukos, Maggie Brennan and Nicole Vigilanti.
Goaltenders: Emily Toffoli and Laura Deller.
More players are on the way to round out the roster and encourage internal competition, but Colarossi is content with the recruits thus far.
“I believe I have a solid foundation and well rounded base of character players and people,” Colarossi said. “All our players believe in two-way hockey and have a willingness to put the work in the off-season. Offensively, we have some speed, good puck distributors and players willing to play physical in all areas of the ice. Defensively, I would say we have a few solid penalty killers with our forwards and defenders.”
Colarossi noted the difficulty of transitioning to the Ontario University Athletics from Midget or Junior and expects several players to undergo a learning curve before demonstrating their full potential. While Colarossi wouldn’t divulge specific names, she believes some will come to the forefront and relish the increased competition.
“I see a couple of players as penalty killing specialists,” Colarossi said. “I do have a couple also in mind as forecheckers and playmakers. As I get the group together, roles and identities may change and evolve throughout the course of training camp and tryouts as many of the girls are working hard over the summer and may come in with a new skill set that they were working on over the past few months to increase their overall versatility.”
When Colarossi’s team hits the ice for its first regular season game on Oct. 5, she is hopeful they will exemplify her team philosophy, which is to show awareness in all three zones and display a hardworking persona.
While Colarossi expects a transitional period before her team plays as she envisions, she is hopeful they will be a tough team to play against all season long.
“I foresee this group being competitive each game and as a coaching staff, over the next few weeks, we are meeting to set specific team goals and expectations for this group in terms of penalty killing, power play, goals for and against and so on,” Colarossi said.
Colarossi said they are privy of their impact on the Sudbury community and will aim to utilize their role for future athletes.
“… We will also be active with Sudbury Girls Minor Hockey, hopefully to mentor a couple of the youngsters and give some guidance of the opportunities that exist for female athletes,” Colarossi said.
With the roster beginning to take shape, look for the Lady Vees to hit the ice on Oct. 5 at home against the Guelph Gryphons.