Coming off of a season in which they won the McCaw Cup OUA Championship, the Brock Badgers women’s hockey team returns with the same core leadership group from last year’s championship. Kaitlyn Colonna returns as captain, Paige Cohoon and Emma Irwin are returning as assistant captains, and Rebekah Feld – fourth year defenceman – has been newly named an assistant captain.
After the Badgers were named OUA champions, Paige Cohoon described the team to The Brock News in one word; Family.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter the talent you have, what matters is the heart. This team’s heart is unstoppable”
The same family feeling is in the room this year, according to third-year player Maddie Nicholson.
“It is the same feeling this year. We have a lot of returning players along with some great new additions and I think we are all buying into how good we can be this season.”
Although the Badgers are off to a mediocre start just 1-1-2 in their first four games the team doesn’t seem too worried.
“Even though it’s early in the season and we have already battled adversity, this team has proven to have heart, on and off the ice,” said Nicholson.
The Badgers showed that heart in the first game of the season against the Guelph Gryphons battling back from down 1-0 and winning the game 2-1 in OT on the game winning goal by Captain Kaitlyn Colonna.
“Our leadership group motivates our team by exemplifying what it means to be a devoted and hardworking hockey player. They have established a strong team culture over the past two years, which unquestionably contributed to our OUA success. They are all incredible people and teammates, and I feel very grateful to be led by such an inspiring group of female athletes” said Matteau Rushbrook.
It was hard work that got Nicholson her first career OUA goal in a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Varsity Blues in the second game of the season. When asked about her first goal she responded “It started with a dump into Toronto’s end and I was first to the puck and saw my teammate Claudia Murphy in the high slot so I passed it to her. She made a sweet move around the defenceman and then gave me a backdoor pass where I was able to capitalize. It was a really exciting moment and was a combined effort.”
Despite losing 3-1 to the Varsity Blues, the Badgers remain optimistic.
“It’s still early in the season and these close games against strong teams help us build character,” Said Matteau Rushbrook, “The UofT game showed us that we still have work to do to get better. I think everyone on our team agrees with me when I say that these types of games are our favourite. We thrive off of a good battle and it teaches us so much about what we need to work on.”
The Badgers did indeed respond with a 1-0-1 record in their next two games. Beating Ontario Tech 3-2 and winning in a shootout against Queens 2-1.
The reigning OUA Champions continue their season on Nov. 4 at home against Queen’s University followed by a 2 p.m matinee on Nov. 5 against Ontario Tech. Tickets for all home games can be bought here and games can be streamed on OUAtv