ConU storming out of gates early in season

There aren’t that many people left around from the time when the Concordia women’s hockey team reeled off three consecutive seasons without losing a game.

Although that’s a feat that will probably never be realized again, this year’s edition of the Lady Bees is off to a pretty impressive start.

This past weekend the Lady Bees were solid again with a 4-2 win against Carleton on Saturday and a 2-2 tie against the McGill Martlets on Sunday.

With a record that has seen them go unbeaten in their first six games, five wins and a tie, Head Coach Les Lawton has his team cruising to their best start in four years.

“We have a good mix that has gelled well and we’re really happy with our balance and depth,” Lawton said.

Thanks to a well-blended mix of veterans and younger players on defence Concordia has given up just six goals in six league games this season. Also helping their cause in this department has been the stellar play of rookie goaltender Cecelia Anderson from Vaddo, Sweden.

Despite being unbeaten in her first four regular season appearances, Anderson says the level of competition in Canadian university hockey is much higher then what she was used to in her homeland. “In Sweden I was the only goaltender but here I have some good competition and it makes me work hard.”

The good news for the Bees is that, even with her strong start, Anderson still feels she has room for improvement.

“I wasn’t developing back there and here you have to learn how to adapt. I know I can do better with this team,” Anderson said.

Another important decision made by Lawton that is working out well, was the naming of fifth-year defender Janna Gillis as the team’s captain. “We have a lot more confidence than we did last year and if we stick to our game plan things should work out well,” Gillis said.

After losing to Ottawa 7-6 in the opening round of the playoffs last season Gillis said that the women are using that defeat as motivation to work harder this season.

As far as Ottawa is concerned, the Lady Bees have already gained some small amount of redemption by outscoring them 8-1 in two victories this year. “We’ve got a really great team dynamic going here and everyone’s having a lot of fun,” she said.

Although Concordia has been blazing a trail in the QSSF conference, Lawton says that he is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to play some of the teams outside of their conference. “Once we play those teams then we’ll have a better idea of where everyone stands nationally.”

It’s also worth noting that the last time Concordia got off to such a great start they wound up taking home the bronze medal at the National Championships.

The Lady Bees’ next game will be against McGill @ McConnel Arena on Sunday Nov.16 – 1:30 p.m.


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