UPEI women’s team knows it needs more goals to improve on 2012-13 season
The UPEI Panthers four assistant captains for the 2013-14 season are, from left, Keirstin Visser, Sam Sweet, Ferran Brown and Christina Kelly.
The UPEI Panthers will be sound in their own end and hope to pot a few more goals this year in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s hockey season.
The Panthers finished fourth last year with a 13-10-1 record. It allowed the third fewest goals and was tied for fourth in goal scoring in the seven-team conference.
“This year, we’re going to need to score a few more goals, but hopefully that will come with some time,” said Keirstin Visser, a 22-year-old defenceman from Victoria.
The Panthers begin the season tonight when they host the Saint Mary’s Huskies at 7 p.m. before welcoming the Mount Allison Mounties to town Saturday for a 2 p.m. contest.
“It’s exciting,” Visser said. “We’ve been practicing for a month now, so hopefully things will start to come together this week and we’ll pull out a win on opening night.”
The team lost a pair of games against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks to open its pre-season and lost 2-0 and 3-1 to the traditional powerhouse St. F.X. X-Women on Oct. 5 and 6.
“Against St. F.X. we did pretty well so it looks pretty good for the season,” said Ferran Brown, a 21-year-old forward from Calgary.
The team graduated its captain Jaime Lynn Donaldson, assistant captain Justine Wong and goalies Bailey Toupin and Kristy Dobson from the 2012-13 team.
It is going with four assistant captains to start this season. Visser, Brown, O’Leary’s Sam Sweet and Christina Kelly, from Miramichi, N.B., will all wear an A for the Panthers.
The Panthers also have seven first-year players this season.
Coach Bruce Donaldson said it has more size this year and he is hoping getting more pucks on net and improving on the power play can lead to more victories.
“We just need to be a lot more patient and choose better options on the power play,” he said. “We’re going to have to work in the offensive end to make things happen.”
Brown and Kelly are two of the veteran forwards, who will be looked to, to help bolster the offence.
One of the rookies is forward Amy Moutenay. While she plays up front, Moutenay has experience on the blue-line and is likely to man one of the points on the power play.
Two things the team does have are solid play in its own end and second-year goalie Marie Soleil Deschenes.
“She certainly has proven that she is one of the top CIS goalies,” Donaldson said. “She just works really, really hard.”
The team’s ultimate goal is to get back to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) nationals. They represented the AUS at nationals in 2011-12 after winning the conference championship.
To get back there they will have to take a slightly different route. The AUS has changed its women’s hockey format from a tournament to a series format.
The top six teams in the seven-team conference qualify for the playoffs. The top two get byes into the semifinal. Each round is a best-of-three series.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Brown, a fourth-year sociology student. “Sometimes we have our upsets in certain games, but we’re definitely better in the long run and we usually prove ourselves as the series goes on.”
A look at the UPEI Panthers women’s hockey team’s roster by position. Also includes year of eligibility and hometown.
Marie Soleil Deschenes 2 Ile-Perrot, Que.
Courtney Arseneau 1 Lower Sackville, N.S.
Christina Kelly 4 Miramichi, N.B.
Anja Weisser 5 Germany
Margaret Lockyer 3 Brampton, Ont.
Rebecca Watson 1 Richmond, Ont.
Keirstin Visser 4 Victoria
Emma Martin 1 Winsloe
Bria Harding 2 Plaster Rock, N.B.
Laura Bradley 3 St. Teresa
Olivia Doughart 3 Summerside
Lyndsay Oakes 4 Trenton, N.S.
Margaret Grimmer 2 Charlottetown
Courtney Stewart 3 Bayview
Jocelyn Dougan 2 Donaldston
Kiana Strand 2 Invermere, B.C.
Teagan Pringle 1 Glenboro, Man.
Jessie-Anne Howard 2 Kingston, Ont.
Ferran Brown 4 Calgary
Cornelia Geib 1 Calgary
Kaitlynn Roy 1 Arundel, Me.
Samantha Sweet 3 O’Leary
Amy Mountenay 1 Trenton, Ont.
AUS Women’s hockey
What – A seven-team conference where each team plays each other four times.
Playoffs – The tournament format has been replaced with a three-round playoff.
AUS past champions
2012-13 St. F.X.
2010-11 St. F.X.
2009-10 Saint Mary’s
2007-08 St. F.X.
2005-06 St. F.X.
2004-05 St. F.X.
2003-04 Saint Mary’s