The Laurentian Voyageurs women’s hockey team as swept up its second wave of recruits for the upcoming 2013-14 season, the team said in a news release.
Head coach Stacey Colarossi said she is excited with the addition of a quintet of players in MacAuley Carr (Ridgeway, ON), Renée Leclair (Coniston, ON), Marissa Ukos (Woodstock, ON), Maggie Brennan (Ottawa, ON) and Mikayla Ferlaino (Sault Ste. Marie, ON).
Carr, who will be enrolled in the Sport and Physical Education program at Laurentian next September, is an imposing player who, at over 5-8, will bring a physical aspect to the lineup. Playing with her Stoney Creek Sabres team, who have allowed a PWHL league low 37 goals in 23 games this year, Carr isn’t afraid to mix it up as is evidenced by her 28 penalty minutes.
Carr looks forward to becoming a part of the Voyageur family for the next number of years. "I am really looking forward to becoming part of the Laurentian family; everyone that I have met has been so enthusiastic. I also can’t wait to be part of such a historic hockey town like Sudbury,” she said.
Carr said she also loved the tight-knit feel she had when visiting the Laurentian campus.
“From the first time that I visited the Laurentian campus it had a special feeling of home for me. Being rural, not too big and with such a close-knit community, it was exactly what I was looking for. I am so fortunate to be able to be part of the first women’s hockey team at Laurentian.”
“MacAuley is a relentless worker with excellent speed and presence on the forecheck,” said Colarossi.
“She is extremely coachable and can be put in a variety of roles and her willingness to go into the corners or the front net to finish a play is second to none. MacAuley brings good leadership and I believe we can develop her skills to become a consistent point producer during her career.”
Local girl, Renée Leclair, will be studying either kinesiology or biochemistry at Laurentian. On the ice she will be looking to continue her offensive production from the blue-line as she is averaging more than 0.63 points per game.
After stepping on the ice for the first time at the age of seven, Leclair continued to develop her game to a point where she is now the captain of the Sudbury Lady Wolves Midget AA team, currently ranked No. 4 in the country.
An athlete who enjoys playing multiple sports, Leclair said there is nothing like being on the ice in the dying minutes of a game.
“I love that adrenaline rush when you are playing in a tight game. Everything about this sport is great. I love it and I’d do anything to play it.”
Colarossi is excited to be adding some more local talent to the roster with Leclair.
“I am pleased to have Renée join us from the Sudbury Lady Wolves program. As their captain, she brings excellent leadership and tenacity to the rink each day. She is a strong skater who competes for the full game. She is a shifty defenceman who has the ability to carry the puck and start the rush with a nice first pass.”
Ukos will be joining the Voyageurs out of the Kitchener-Waterloo Rangers organization and will be enrolled in the BioChem, BioMed, or BioPhysics program in the fall.
A 5-7 defenceman, Ukos will bring a strong stay-at-home defensive game to the team next season. A native of Woodstock, Ukos is excited about being a part of the inaugural team but is also hoping that she and the rest of her teammates can inspire young girls to push themselves to play at the next level.
When it comes to the game, there is always something for Ukos to work on.
“There is always something to improve on in hockey. There is always a way to push yourself to a completely new level. Hockey is a way to escape from the stress of everyday life and just play a game but you get to play that game as hard and as fast as you can.”
Colarossi recognizes the potential that Ukos has to excel at the next level.
“Marissa is a very intelligent defenceman who is positionally responsible and brings good size to our back core. I look forward to helping her develop and learn how to utilize her size effectively as I feel she could become a very steady and consistent player at the OUA/CIS level.”
Colarossi continued the trend of building a defensive corps as Maggie Brennan enters the fold. The 5-9 defenceman out of Ottawa adds another physical presence on the back end who isn’t afraid to jump in the rush when the opportunity arises. It wasn’t just the opportunity on the ice that sold Brennan on Laurentian but also the opportunity in the classroom.
“The Sports Administration program really caught my attention. SPAD looks like a really interesting program and something I will really be interested in,” said Brennan.
“Of course, being part of the development of the Women’s Varsity program is going to be a great experience. As a girl, hockey for a long time was considered a boy’s sport and I am happy to be part of the growing population of females that play.”
Colarossi is excited to be adding a sure-footed defenceman to the mix for next season.
“Maggie brings excellent size and agility to the back end. She reads plays well and makes quick and smart puck decisions. I am excited to work with Maggie and have her game develop to the next level. Though she can dominate players with her 5-9 frame, she is smart and knows when to play physical when needed.”
Up front, another Northern girl will be lacing up for the Voyageurs next season as Sault Ste. Marie’s Mikayla Ferlaino has committed. The future Architecture hopeful is a versatile player who can play either the wing or centre position and has a nose for the net.
For Ferlaino, it is the team development and success that is most important.
“I love hockey because of the satisfaction you get when all of your hard work pays off and a group of girls comes together to achieve something great. I also love hockey because of the friendships you start and the family you become.”
Colarossi is excited to bring in a heady player like Ferlaino.
“An excellent athlete from Sault Ste. Marie, Mikayla is also a forward who I recruited with good size and skating. Mikayla plays a smart game, she reads the play well and has the ability to be where the puck is going and often ends up with puck possession. With her athleticism, I feel Mikayla has the potential to develop into a strong two-way player for our team and be a solid contributor both on and off the ice.”
On the whole, Colarossi is excited with her second crop of recruits who are going to be donning the blue and gold next season.
“I am excited about this group of recruits joining the Voyageur family. I have added some needed size and tenacity on the ice. The OUA is a physical league and these players all expressed an interest in building strength and a willingness to compete at a physical level game in and game out. They all have good skating ability and high level of compete.
“When recruiting these players, it was easy to see that they are quality individuals on and off the ice who put team and community as a priority. I am pleased to see how our inaugural team is shaping up. I have a few more athletes that will be announced in the coming month. I am also very pleased to say I spent some time at the annual SPAD tournament and there is some excellent hockey talent already at LU that will be strong additions to our young roster next season.”
With the women’s roster starting to take shape, Colarossi will continue to look for those final pieces to the puzzle to help put a contending team on the ice in September.
Tickets for next year’s men’s and women’s teams are on sale now at www.laurentian.ca/hockey2013. Be sure to follow www.luvoyageurs.com for up to date news on the hockey programs and all of your Voyageurs.