TORONTO, ON – The 2022-23 U SPORTS women’s hockey season has been filled with goals, and the best of the best at putting the puck in the back of the net are heading to Lake Placid with Team Canada for the 2023 FISU Winter University Games.
Canada’s roster, led by uOttawa’s Greg Bowles, is headlined by electric offensive talents with U SPORTS First-Team All-Stars Shae Demale (SMU Huskies), Maria Dominico (Nipissing Lakers), and current U SPORTS leading scorer, Maggy Burbidge (StFX X-Women), who has netted 18 goals and 34 points in just 15 AUS games this season.
Of the current top five in U SPORTS scoring, all are included on the roster, with MRU’s Tatum Amy, second in Canada with six goals and 18 assists, earning a call to wear the maple leaf. Additionally, Lea MacLeod (StFX X-Women), will get a chance to play alongside her teammate, Burbidge, as she looks to translate her nine goal, 15-assist season to the international stage.
The chemistry of Canada’s likely top line will be an intriguing one to watch, especially with Burbidge and McLeod leading the way with the fluidity they’ve found with StFX this season. However, they will be up against stern tests in mainly the European nations, with the Americans opting to send NCAA III players.
Demale, as well as Waterloo’s Leah Herrfort will be critical to team scoring as well, most likely seeing powerplay minutes and time on the second line. Herfort is the OUA’s top scorer with 10 goals and 11 assists on a Waterloo team that began the season firing on all cylinders.
Coming off a season where she won AUS MVP, Demale is proving to be one of the most dangerous attacking talents in Canada, but has made her presence known in the right faceoff circle, where she is able to fire a quick wrist shot that can often turn into a goal, or at least scoring chance. This season, per InStat, the SMU forward has created 26 chances, the 10th highest in Canada.
Meanwhile, Burbidge is tied for first in U SPORTS with Montreal’s Audrey-Anne Veillette, at 31, and the two are set to bring that chance creation to update New York.
With quick puck movement and the ability to create chances, it is a tantalizing potential to have Burbidge and Demale on the same team, let alone powerplay unit , but it may just be the electric boost Canada gets when the opponent heads to the penalty box.
Helping them as well will be some of the more tactical minds in U SPORTS hockey, in Emmy Fecteau (Concordia Stingers), Tatum Amy (MRU Cougars), and Herrfort, who have all excelled in very defined roles with their respective teams this season.
With Fecteau, she’s won the most faceoffs in all of U SPORTS this season with 231 and a 66% success rate, so expect her to take shifts on the powerplay as well, as Canada look to gain puck possession. She also has experience with Team Canada in Lake Placid before, playing with the National Women’s Development Team against Team USA in 2019.
Meanwhile, Amy brings leadership qualities to the team as captain of the MRU Cougars women’s program, as well as a keen eye for finding a threaded pass, which has helped her post a U SPORTS-leading 18 assists so far this season, while also chipping in on the goalscoring.
Although likely to feature in more depth roles, Scout Watkins Southward (Queen’s Gaels), Madison Willan (Alberta Pandas), and Rosali Begin-Cyr (Concordia Stingers), are three players that could make a significant impact on the Canadian squad with their elite hockey IQ paired with a hard-working physical playing style. In the case of Begin-Cyr, there’s also the championship mentality she gained winning U SPORTS gold in 2021-22.
It is not the easiest task to convince all the top players to head to an international tournament in the middle of the school year, but Canada and the managerial staff have been able to attract the best of the best U SPORTS talent, which will give them a very strong chance of reaching the podium’s pinnacle for the first time since Trentino 2013.
Canada’s full forwards:
- Tatum Amy, MRU
- Rosalie Bégin-Cyr, Concordia
- Maggy Burbidge, StFX
- Shae Demale, SMU
- Maria Dominico, Nipissing
- Emmy Fecteau, Concordia
- Leah Herrfort, Waterloo
- Lea MacLeod, StFX
- Hannah Tait, Guelph
- Audrey-Anne Veillette, Montreal
- Scout Watkins Southward, Queen’s
- Madison Willan, Alberta