Olga Steblyk / Sputnik Photography
With the fall semester now underway, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford hockey players are preparing for the quickly approaching season, which is starting up after fall Reading Week.
The upcoming year not only gives new players a chance to join the team and meet new people, but it also gives returning players a chance to further grow their skills with Laurier’s hockey program.
Fourth-year social work student and returning member of the women’s team Kira Hoskins is thrilled for hockey to be returning. Hoskins is looking forward to seeing her teammates again and “having fun on the ice.”
Hoskins also added some words of encouragement for incoming first-year students who are interested in playing hockey. She said it is “important to step out of your comfort zone and get involved. It might be scary at first but it is so worth it.”
On the men’s side, the team is looking to build off a strong 2022-23 campaign that saw the group finish with a birth in the RECCup regional finals, which were hosted in Barrie last March.
Second-year criminology student and team member Jon Duka is looking forward to the upcoming season with the men’s team.
“I’m most excited about getting back on the ice this year and hopefully bringing a trophy home,” he said.
Apart from winning a trophy with the team, Duka is also hoping to improve his own skills as a player.
“A goal of mine is to improve my defensive skills overall and become a more reliable defenseman,” he said.
Head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams, Eric Collins, is not only excited to see the returning players come back for another season and another shot at a championship, but also looks forward to seeing a lot of new faces on both teams.
“It’s always great seeing former players move on from Laurier, graduating, getting jobs and starting families, but seeing new faces joining the program is something that is exciting every year,” said Collins.
Players and coaches of the men’s and women’s teams are finishing up their preparations for the upcoming season, where they look to make the school proud once again.
This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 2 on Thursday, Oct. 5.