Dec. 21, 2011
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Providence College Women's Ice Hockey Head Coach Bob Deraney and his coaching staff have announced the signing of five players for the class of 2016. The Friars welcome forwards Molly Illikainen and Courtney Kukowski, defenders Lexi Romanchuk and Lexi Slattery, and goaltender Sarah Bryant to the women's hockey program for the 2012-13 season.
"Not only are they terrific young ladies who come from great families, but they are terrific students who love to compete on and off the ice," Deraney said of the class.
Sarah Bryant, Goaltender, Bethlehem, Pa. - Bryant is a 5-foot 8 goalie from the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J. She has also played club hockey for the New Jersey Colonials. Thus far this season at Lawrenceville, Bryant is 5-0 with two shutouts.
"Sarah is a very athletic goaltender that reminds me of (senior) Genevieve Lacasse at this stage of her career," said Deraney. "She is explosive, a terrific skater and has tremendous potential. She is also just as driven academically as she is athletically."
Lexi Romanchuk, Defenseman, San Jose, Calif. - Romanchuk is a 5-foot-6, left-shot defenseman from Valley Christian High School who has played club hockey for the San Jose Junior Sharks and the Anaheim Lady Ducks Under-19 team. Romanchuk also participated in USA Hockey's National Development Camp.
"Lexi is as well-rounded a defenseman as you'll find," explained Deraney. "She has the size, speed and intensity that everyone needs at the defense position. At this stage in her career she is very raw and we are excited with the fact she has just begun to scratch the surface of her capabilities.
Lexi Slattery, Forward, Circle Pines, Minn. - Slattery is a 5-foot-6 , right-shot defenseman from Roseville High School and the Minnesota Junior Whitecaps. Thus far this season for Roseville, she has accounted for 13 points on four goals and nine assists in just nine games. She has five, multi-point games to her credit. Slattery also participated in the National Development Camp.
"Lexi is a very offensive-minded defenseman that's very physical," lauded the coach. "She brings a very effective combination of speed and toughness that's very hard to find. We look for Lexi to add to our team offense from the defense position and are excited about the dynamic that she brings to our team. She is another player that's just begun to scratch the surface of her potential.
Courtney Kukowski, Forward, Apple Valley, Minn. - Kukowski is a 5-foot-7, right-shot forward who plays for Eastview High School and the Minnesota Junior Whitecaps. After averaging 2.3 points per game last season for Eastview, she already has 16 points thru 11 games this year. She, too, participated in the national team's Development Camp.
"Courtney is a point producer," said Deraney. "Her ability around the net is something every coach is looking to add to the line-up. She has the ability to contribute immediately to our offense and there is a lot of room for her to improve over her four years with us. We look forward to helping her grow into the player she is capable of becoming."
Molly Illikainen, Forward, Grand Rapids, Minn. - Illikainen is a 5-foot-10, right shot forward who has been selected to play for the USA Under-18 National Team at the World Championships. The tournament will be held December 31 to January 7 in the Czech Republic.
During the last scholastic season, Illikainen tallied 49 points in 28 games for Grand Rapids/Greenway.
"Molly is one of the most effective centermen I have seen in a long time," Deraney said. "Her ability to win draws and gain possession of the puck is critical for a team's success and very few centers are able to do that as consistently as Molly does. That, coupled with her offensive skills and point production, makes her one of the most talented senior forwards in the United States.
"The exciting thing about this class is the unlimited potential they all possess. With the addition of these five student-athletes, the future of the program is very bright. We look forward to working with all of them to help them reach a very high level of skill and success over their four years as members of the Providence College women's ice hockey program. "
The current edition of the Friars will be back in action Friday, January 6, when they host Robert Morris. Face-off at Schneider Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. and tickets are available by calling (401) 865 GOPC or by visiting Friars.com.
- Go Friars -
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