PWHL Providing Opportunity For Local Hockey Players
Goldhawk and Whiteye are playing for the Bluewater Hawks, and have each found the scoresheet early this season.
Goldhawk, who played for the Chatham Outlaws ‘AA’ last season, along with Ridgetown’s high school girls hockey team, has a goal and 3 assists in 6 games for the Hawks.
“My experience playing in Bluewater has been great,” says Goldhawk.
“The coaching staff and girls on the team definitely make you feel a part of the family. Playing in the PWHL is definitely where I have always wanted to play. The competition is very competitive, and you go head to head with some very talented hockey players.”
From ‘AA’ to the equivalent of Junior hockey, Goldhawk and the rest of Chatham-Kent’s hockey prospects playing in the PWHL, know there is an adjustment period stepping into a league known for producing NCAA and OUA stars, but they’re willing to put in the work to reach that level themselves.
“The biggest change from playing in the OWHL last year would be the speed of the game I have on the ice. I found that in this level of hockey, you have to know what you’re going to do with the puck before you get it because if not, the puck is picked off your stick in a second. To reach my dreams in life, the PWHL is, by far the level I need to play at, to hopefully play University hockey next year. As well, playing at this level, I’ve been noticed and contacted by far more university and college teams in order to further my hockey career.”
Whiteye, who as a grade 9 last season helped the UCC Lancers to an OFSAA entry, and affiliated with the PWHL Hawks, while playing with Bluewater’s Midget ‘AA’ team, has a goal and an assist in seven games.
They’re also joined on the Hawks by Devon Facchinato, a defender from Windsor who played for the Chatham Outlaws ‘AA’ team last season.
Another local, Sydnee Baker of Chatham, who also played for the UCC Lancers last season, is just getting her season rolling with the PWHL’s London Devilettes after a strong pre-season, and collecting an assist in her opening game of the season. In that same opening game, Baker suffered an injury, which held her out of action until this past weekend when she rejoined the Devilettes.
London and Bluewater will face off this Thursday, October 30, at Argyle Arena in London, Ontario.
The PWHL is the highest level of Junior hockey for girls in Ontario, and is a key recruiting ground for NCAA and OUA schools. Former Chatham hockey stars Hokey Langan, Katrina Protopapas, and Chelsey Stevenson all cut their chops in the PWHL before moving on to the NCAA.
Next season, Chatham will undoubtedly send another wave of girls to the PWHL, as Lauren Nicholson, a current star for the Chatham Outlaws Midget ‘AA’ and UCC Lancers could likely already be playing in the league, and will be a lock next year. Several other local players, including Maddy Lalonde, and other Outlaws ‘AA’ players, as well as a group of five Chatham-Kent athletes playing Midget ‘AA’ in Windsor, could also crack PWHL lineups.