2015-16 Team-by-Team Previews: St. Lawrence Saints

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Chris Wells (8th Season)
2015-16 Captains: Unannounced

2014-15 Season Recap

Record: 19-12-5 (13-5-4 ECAC/5th place)
ECAC Postseason: Conference quarterfinals; swept by Cornell in first round of ECAC playoffs

The Saints opened up the 2014-15 campaign with a home-and-home series against Clarkson, and promptly defeated the defending national champions in their first night of action before settling for the split the next day. They then entered a tough series with Boston College, and managed to keep both contests low-scoring as they lost, 2-1, and then tied the Eagles, 2-2. A sweep over Robert Morris followed, and St. Lawrence then faltered a bit on a four-game road trip, losing three of those games but coming away with the win against Yale.

The rest of the 2014 calendar year went pretty well for the Saints, as they then posted a 4-1-1 record through Dec. 6, going unbeaten against Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Quinnipiac, and Colgate before falling to Cornell. The squad headed west to start 2015, and picked up a win over Minnesota State before getting swept by eventual national champion Minnesota. A 3-3 tie against the Big Red sparked an eight-game unbeaten streak, highlighted by five conference wins and a sweep over Mercyhurst. In their last seven games of the regular season, St. Lawrence failed to beat Clarkson and Princeton and had to settle for a tie with Union, but secured wins over Princeton and Dartmouth and a draw against Harvard.

Their fifth-place finish in the ECAC standings pitted the Saints against the fourth-seeded Big Red, and Cornell came out the victors after earning a 3-1 win and a 3-2 win. Senior goaltender Carmen MacDonald ended her career as the program’s all-time saves leader, and three Saints earned All-ECAC recognition at the end of the year. Defender Amanda Boulier and forward Brooke Webster both earned All-ECAC Third Team nods, and forward Kennedy Marchment was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team for her efforts.

Meet the Newcomers

G Allison Compeau

Her Saints bio lists her as a three-sport athlete in high school. Compeau was also a captain and an All-Northern selection at Potsdam.

G Grace Harrison, New Zealand Under-18 Team, Leaside Jr. Wildcats

Harrison, a co-captain of New Zealand’s Under-18 squad, is the first women’s hockey player from New Zealand to play NCAA ice hockey, according to this article from Auckland Now. The article also notes that she has been playing overseas for a couple of years now, for the Toronto Leaside Jr. Wildcats and the Ontario Hockey Academy.

G Sonjia Shelly, Joliet Catholic High School

Shelly was named a Joliet Catholic High School All-Star as well as a Joliet Catholic Academic All-League honoree and also competed in baseball and swimming.

F Nadine Edney, Mississauga Jr. Chiefs

Edney helped the Jr. Chiefs to a provincial championship in 2014, and also made the cut for Team Ontario Red in 2013, helping the squad capture gold at the 2013 Canadian National Women’s Under-18 Championships. At Our Lady of Mount Carmel H.S., she received such honors as the Most Promising Athlete as a freshman and the Junior Athlete of the Year as a sophomore. She’s garnered attention from Hockey Canada as well, earning an invite to the National Women’s Program’s Strength and Conditioning Camp in 2013-14.

F Justine Reyes, Anaheim Lady Ducks

Reyes attended three USA Hockey national development camps and was a two-time captain of her team in high school.

F Lydia Grauer, Chino Hills H.S.

F Kayla Nielsen, Anaheim Lady Ducks

2015-16 Season Preview

Key Departures: G Carmen MacDonald, F Kayla Raniwsky, F Jacqueline Wand
Key Returners: F Brooke Webster, F Kennedy Marchment, F Jenna Marks, D Amanda Boulier, D Kirsten Padalis, G Brooke Wolejko
Key Additions: F Nadine Edney, F Justine Reyes, G Grace Harrison

 

The Saints have long since held the reputation of a team that nobody wants to play. Even with a fifth-place finish last season, they helped keep the ECAC race a tight one, finishing just two points out of third place and four points out of first. They were pretty good at generating offense even without a superstar player, as their 31.94 shots on goal per game ranked third in the league. They struggled at times to keep the games low-scoring, and improving on that will be a focus this season.

Some of the issues with giving up goals were due to goaltending; Carmen MacDonald had a stellar career for St. Lawrence and was very reliable in net, but she missed a decent chunk of time last season. Brooke Wolejko started most of the games in her absence, and looks to have the edge on the starting role this season with MacDonald now graduated. But the Saints will have a total of five goaltenders on their roster, including three freshmen, so they’ll have several options to turn to. Grace Harrison is the most interesting addition; she’s a native of New Zealand and patrolled the crease for their Under-18 Team, but has spent the past few seasons in Canada honing her skills at Ontario Hockey Academy and with the Leaside Jr. Wildcats.

St. Lawrence had a pretty balanced attack last season, with seven players scoring at least 20 points. The loss of forwards Kayla Raniwsky and Jacqueline Wand hurts in that department, as both were counted on regularly to chip in and play attacking roles. But the team returns a good part of its offensive core, including its two leading scorers, Brooke Webster and Jenna Marks. Kennedy Marchment, who did a great job stepping in right away as a rookie with 29 points, should slot into an even more prominent role this year, and Kailee Heidersbach is another good secondary scoring type of player. Sophomore Hannah Miller, should contribute in the top-six, and junior Alex Moore and senior Abbey McRae will bolster the team’s top-nine forwards overall.

With no losses to speak of in terms of defenders, the Saints should be set to go on the blue line. Amanda Boulier posted 23 points last year to go along with a very refined set of puck-moving skills, and she returns for her senior season to lead the way for the defensive corps. Junior Kirsten Padalis has developed into another strong defender for St. Lawrence, tallying a respectable 13 points last season while asserting a very solid defensive presence as well, leading the team with 61 blocks. Senior Dominique Korakianitis is another stay-at-home type, while classmate Megan Armstrong was a solid addition to the top-four as a transfer last year. Amanda McClure is a bit unheralded so far but she had a good freshman campaign and should be able to handle some more responsibility this season.

The Saints always make for interesting team because of the brand of hockey they play despite lacking the same top-level talent that you might see elsewhere. They don’t really sit back, and diversity among their forwards and a reliable, veteran defensive corps with a reasonable amount of skill allows them to do that and be successful. It looks like the club may struggle with a transition in net, however; they’ll miss MacDonald’s 2.06 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. They have enough depth at both skater positions that they can get by without extraordinary performances in net, but they’re going to need someone they can count on if they hope to challenge for a spot at the very top of the conference.

Schedule Highlights

Sept. 26-27 vs. Northeastern
Oct. 2 at Clarkson
Oct. 3 vs. Clarkson
Oct. 11-12 at Boston College
Oct. 15 at Vermont
Oct. 16 vs. Vermont
Oct. 24 vs. Syracuse (Alumnae Weekend-Alumnae Game before)
Oct. 31 at Harvard
Nov. 21 vs. Quinnipiac
Dec. 4 vs. Cornell
Jan. 15 vs. Harvard
Jan. 23 at Cornell
Jan. 28 vs. Clarkson
Jan. 30 at Clarkson
Feb. 12 at Quinnipiac
Feb. 13 at Princeton

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