Campus Life

Horns hosting defending Canada West champs to open season

Following the best season in school history in 2011-12, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s hockey team took a step back last season and missed the playoffs. With a veteran laden roster set to return this season, the team looks to move back into the playoff picture.

A total of 19 players are returning from last season, although the ‘Horns have lost a good portion of their leadership group with the graduation of captain Ashley Beattie and Amy Van Buskirk. While both blueliners made great contributions to the program, the back-end is in good hands with senior Glenda Edie and fourth-year defenders Courtney Minor and Katie Mucha.

Goaltender Crystal Patterson will play a key role in any success the Horns women's hockey team has this season.

The returning goaltending tandem of Crystal Patterson and Shauntelle Williams give the Pronghorns a solid one-two punch in net. Patterson, a 2011-12 Canada West first team all-star, has carried the load the last two seasons and will look to replicate her stellar 2011-12 season. After leading the conference with six shutouts in 2011-12, she did not record one last season but had solid numbers with a 2.31 goals-against-average and 0.917 save percentage.

Despite being one of the lowest scoring teams in the conference last season, the Pronghorns possess a group of talent forwards and will look to score by committee. Megan Bailey had a breakout season last year and her team leading 16 points tripled her output from the previous campaign.

Third-year forward Kirsten Reeves led the ‘Horns last season with 12 goals, putting her in a tie for third in the conference, and she will be leaned on heavily for production again this season.

2011-12 Canada West rookie of the year Sadie Lenstra will look to rebound from an injury plagued 2012-13 campaign. After leading all Canada West rookies in scoring, Lenstra missed more than half of the season last year and never really found her stride.

Sarah Spence will be another forward to watch for the ‘Horns this season. Spence had a solid rookie season last year, registering 13 points, and will be counted on to take another step forward.

With seven of their first eight games at home to start the year, the ‘Horns have a great opportunity for a fast start.

The UBC Thunderbirds will not sneak up on the competition in 2013-14. Coming off an improbable season which saw the ‘Birds go from one regular season win in 2011-12 to a 17-7-4 regular season record, a Canada West Championship and a fifth-place finish at the CIS Championships in 2012-13, UBC will be the number one target in the conference.

Back between the pipes is Second Team All-Canadian Daniel Dube, while Second Team Canada West All-Star Christi Capozzi and Sarah Casorso will anchor the back end. Up front Second Team Canada West All-Star Tatiana Rafter, along with Rebecca Unrau, Stephanie Schaupmeyer, and Nicole Saxvik will expected to lead the charge offensively.

Keep your eye on towering newcomers Kathleen Cahoon (6’1) and Hannah Heisler (6’0) at forward, while fellow rookies Devon Morrison and Stephanie Payne could have an immediate impact on the blueline.

Reigning CIS and Canada West Coach of the Year Graham Thomas enters his second year behind the bench and is eager to prove last year was not a fluke.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Nicholas Sheran Arena both Friday and Saturday nights. Both games will also be webcast on, home for all Canada West webcasts.