The 2019 USPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship will be contested at the University of Prince Edward Island beginning March 14th. Eight teams will compete for the national title, and the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association has a remarkable 12 alumnae represented across the qualifying teams:
Guelph Gryphons: Kristen Jay, Kaitlin Lowy, Gabby Smyth, Gabi Underwood
McGill University: Shana Walker, Rachelle Champion
St. Thomas University: Florence Awde, Meghan Pardy*, Olivia Reid*, Alex Woods*
University of Toronto: Jessica Robichaud*, Mackenzie MacDonald*
*Players graduated from Toronto Leaside Junior Wildcats
University of Montreal, University of Alberta, University of Manitoba, and the host team, UPEI, round out the tournament.
“We are proud of these exceptional athletes who made the Wildcats a part of their minor hockey development. We wish them every success as they compete for the national title,” said TLGHA President, Mark Schrutt.
The Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association has, for 45 years, been committed to supporting the development of girls who are passionate about hockey. With over 1600 members, the Wildcats are the largest female hockey association in the country. In recent years the house league program has grown to nearly 1000 members, and with that has come an increase in the number of players wishing to participate in competitive hockey.
In 2012 the association added an Intermediate AA (or “Junior”) team that began competing in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL); a high-performance league consisting of 20 teams from across Ontario. The addition of this team enabled the association to better retain its top players, many of whom in the past had to leave the association to pursue high performance opportunities.
“In the GTA there are many options for girls to pursue top-tier hockey,” said Director of Player Development Pete Sampson. “By adding a Junior team to our program and crafting a high-performance strategy that connects our Bantam AA, Midget AA and Intermediate AA programs more directly, we hope to develop and retain more players who will graduate to competing at the University level and beyond.”
Since the addition of the team in 2012, the Junior Wildcats have graduated over 50 players in to USPORTS and NCAA women’s hockey programs. A complete list of can be found here.
The 2019 USPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship takes place at UPEI ‘s MacLauchlan Arena March 14-17, 2019. https://usports.ca/en/championships/hockey/f/info
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