TORONTO,ON- The Nipissing Lakers have been very active this offseason in acquiring players to help them push farther in the postseason. Their 2019-20 season ended at the hands of the York Lions in Round 2 of the OUA playoffs.
Last season, the Lakers finished second in the OUA with 14 wins, tied for second-most in the league. They had a dominant regular season but unfortunately met an even stronger opponent in the playoffs. These new additions could be the pieces that put the puzzle together and create a juggernaut for the 2020-21 season. They added three forwards and one defenseman: Madyson Lebel, Madison Desmarais, Mikaela Presseault, and Tessa Kosec.
Lebel may be small, but she is not afraid of anyone on the ice. She is extremely aggressive and plays with an edge that will be very helpful for the Lakers. Her hockey career has been surrounded by boys which has helped develop her physical play which will come very handy, especially in the playoffs when the tension ramps up. As a track athlete as well, she is a well-rounded player that has a variety of athleticism to bring onto the ice. She’s a great team player and will be a very good fit for the Nipissing Lakers.
Desmarais spent last season in the PWHL and put up very impressive offensive numbers. In 36 games played with the Cambridge Rivulets, she put up 11 goals and 23 points while also demonstrating her speed and strength as a skater. She is strong on both ends of the ice and has a lot of key tools that she can bring to the table next season.
Presseault is a power forward that brings a lot on the ice as well as in the locker room. She is a physical player that racks up penalty minutes, posting 41 PIM in 46 games with the Barrie Jr Sharks in the PWHL. Presseault spends her summers mentoring hockey which shows her leadership skills and her dedication to the sport.
Kosec is a defenseman that displays a lot of maturity with her style of play. She’s always calm and uses her big frame to clear out the net. She spent last season in the OHA (Ontario Hockey Acad Tarriff) and put up 11 points (2G 9A) in 49 games. For someone who is considered a stay-at-home defenseman, that is quite impressive. The Lakers are a very sound defensive team and Kosec will be a very important player for the years to come.
There is a running theme with the Lakers’ additions and that is physicality. These four players have offensive potential but are most known for their hard-hitting style of hockey. Perhaps this is the detail that puts Nipissing over the top and brings them the OUA championship.