The Mercyhurst College women’s hockey team has started off right where it left off last season with a pair of 10-0 victories over Vaughn and the University of Guelph as the Lakers finished off their preseason competition.
The Lakers faced off against Vaughn, a semi-pro team from Canada headlined by six former Mercyhurst players, Friday, Sept. 25 at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
The Lakers put Vaughn to shame with an offensive attack led by junior Jesse Scanzano that would post 25 points on their way to a 10-0 win.
Scanzano posted seven points with two goals and five assists while sophomore Jess Jones scored two goals and added four assists.
The Lakers faced off against Guelph, a Canadian university, and had similar results, as the Lakers again demolished their opponents with a 10-0 victory.
This time the Lakers were lead offensively with a fresh face in freshman Jessica Christofferson, who would tally two goals, one of which was shorthanded.
The Lakers now look to tackle its regular season schedule which starts this weekend in a weekend series with Bemidji State University.
The Lakers also look to step out of the shadows, at least temporarily, of one big elephant in their living room, and that is the absence of last year’s team captain, Meghan Agosta, as she competes for Canada in this year’s Winter Olympics.
Some critics are taking the Lakers less seriously as last year without the sensational Agosta but the Lakers are ready to make them start worrying about this year’s Lakers.
“People have come up to us and stated we will take a step back this season without Meghan, but we aren’t that worried about it. It just means we are going to have to prove them wrong and show the critics we can fend for ourselves,” said sophomore Kelley Steadman.
The Lakers did not just lose Agosta as they also lost key scorer Valerie Chouinard to graduation and defenseman Geena Prough, who transferred.
The Lakers have gained some valuable players through recruiting in freshmen Christofferson, Kelci Lanthier, Samantha Watt, Lauren Jones, Stephanie DeSutter and Stephanie Ciampa.
They also gained junior Kylie Rossler, who is a transfer from Robert Morris University, and sophomore Kyleigh Palmer, who transferred in from the University of Vermont.
“We lost some key seniors from last year but we gained some key freshman, and we can definitely do better than last year with this roster,” said Steadman.
The Lakers look to take on this year’s schedule and match its success from last year and with the preseason results, this is not out of the realm of possibility.
“We have some momentum now going into our regular season. We also got to work on some different sets, lines and shifts, which should help us to get off to a fast start,” said Steadman.
With the early results, hard work and grit of a team playing with a chip on their shoulders, the critics may be in for more they can handle with this Lakers’ team.