The Nipissing Lakers women’s hockey team is coming off the best season in the program’s history, as they earned a pair of silver medals – one at the OUA level and the other at the USports level.
While their success on the ice translated to a third overall finish in the OUA, hosting the McCaw Cup championship game for the first time ever, grabbing a silver there and following that up with a 2-1 record at nationals, also earning a silver, the team did graduate a few key players.
With the natural cycle of grads, the team has re-loaded with six new recruits joining the program ahead of the 2022-23 OUA season.
Goalie Bryanne Baker, defenders Madisson Stitt, Elizabeth Laberge, forwards Ava Petty, Megan Hayhurst and Lana Duriez will all be wearing blue and green in the fall as the newest Lakers.
Lakers head coach Darren Turcotte is excited about the additions that will join the team.
“We are really excited about our class coming in. We have added depth at every position and we are confident that these players will have the opportunity to step in and make us competitive once again,” Turcotte said. “We lost some key players, but it is an opportunity for players to step up and be the leaders that they can be both on and off the ice”
Baker is a goaltender who comes from the Bluewater Jr Hawks squad in the PWHL.
The London product believes her stengths are her skating and positioning.
"I am accurate and quick with my movements which allows me to be in perfect positioning for when a shot comes," said Baker.
Madisson Stitt, meanwhile comes over as a transfer from the Lindenwood University Lions of NCAA Division II.league. The defender from Carleton Place, Ontario is enrolled in the Education program.
"I’m a versatile, team player with lots of fire and passion, a strong heads-up player with an infectious positive attitude who never gives up," said Stitt.
"I am excited to help build on the Lakers' exceptional season they had this past year to be a part of the winning culture."
That Lakers are adding more blueline depth with the addition of Elizabeth Laberge.
The Val Therese, Ontario product comes from the Mississauga Jr. Hurricanes PWHL squad.
"I’m smart, composed and aggressive on and with puck," said the Education student.
Up front, Turcotte and the Lakers added three new forwards to finish this six-pack of new recruits.
Ava Petty is a forward from the Thompson Okanagan Lakers of the BCFAAA league in British Columbia.
"My strengths as a player are my speed and hard, accurate shot, good hockey sense and a good team player," said the BPHE student.
"I chose Nipissing because of the amazing hockey program that they offer and the town of North Bay reminds me a lot of my own hometown," she added.
"The university itself is a smaller, close-knit community which I love."
Megan Hayhurst is a forward from the Regina Rbels of the SFMAAAHL in Saskatchewan.
The Walpella, SK product believes she is a strong skater, with a good hockey IQ.
"The Nipissing Lakers Women's Hockey program is, and continues to be a fun, hardworking and respectful environment," said Hayhurst.
"I am looking forward to becoming a Laker."
Lana Duriez is another forward from Saskatchewan. She played with the Lakeland Rustlers of the AJFHL.
She feels her strengths are her speed and hockey sense.
"The reason I chose to join the Lakers was that Nipissing has a good hockey program and I’m excited to experience a new city away from home," siad Duriez.