The Gee-Gees women's hockey team commences RSEQ regular season play this week. First game action is Friday night in Montreal against the Carabins, while Concordia visits the Minto Sports Complex for the Home Opener on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
The 20-game slate has a balanced start to the schedule with ten games before the December exam break. Following one road game to return to play, 2019 will see the Gee-Gees at home for five straight games in January before wrapping up the four road games in February.
Ottawa sported a 10-7-1-2 record last season with the advantage in season-series against Concordia, McGill, and Carleton. The team returns 18 players with nine additions to the lineup.
Laurence Morissette (F), Veronik Samson (D), and Maude Lévesque-Ryan (G) enter their fifth seasons in Garnet and Grey, and are joined by fifth-year Alexane Papineau who played previously for the Nipissing Lakers. Papineau totaled 26 points in 93 games for the Lakers between 2013-2017 before taking last season off.
Mélina Roy, a fourth-year Biomedical Mechanical Engineering Co-Op student from Amos, Que., returns as captain and along with U SPORTS All-Rookie team member Christine Deaudelin will help to anchor the Garnet and Grey defence as it brings a different system to the ice this season.
"The system change is a good challenge for us. We are a fast team and we want to use our speed to create quick transitions, so I think the change is a good thing," explains Roy.
"I think everyone is really excited about the home opener game. We've created a good chemistry through training camp - everyone is talking to each other, having fun with everyone. That gives us an advantage early in the season."
"We're really happy about the work ethic that the players have displayed since day one. We feel we have a solid group that is ready to compete," says Gee-Gees head coach Yanick Evola to sum up the pre-season schedule. "Our forecheck was really good and we can create a lot of danger off that with our size and speed."
"Our goal is to be the best we can be every day. We're stronger this year, but the competition in our league is so tight that you need to be ready to go every day. We know if we do that on a consistent basis we will have success," says Evola.
"It's an amazing journey, and I can see that it's going fast," says Roy. "We want to show our culture to the young players – respect, hard work, discipline. All the values that help you in hockey, but as a person too. It's a big step to show the example for the new team members, and I think we have a strong team."
All Gee-Gees home games will be webcast on OUA.tv, with away games periodically webcast by the opposing teams. Information will be available on the team twitter account, @geegees_whockey as well as the Gee-Gees website.
Tickets for home games are for sale online at tickets.geegees.ca, while Gee-Gees pass holders get access to the games for free.