Sydney Baker: Adding Speed to the Dream Team
By Veronica McFadden
This year the Ontario University Athletics saw Sydney Baker breakout this season with 17 points in 24 games. This put her 2nd just behind teammate and best in the country, April Clarke. Many of Baker’s goals were big motive-shifting goals. With one season under her belt for the Mustang, you can guarantee that Sydney Baker will be one of the major reasons why Western will be making another big push for playoffs. These are Sydney Baker’s top 5 plays of the season.
Number 5: Cross-Ice Pass
Throughout the season Sydney Baker has been called upon to produce and she can do it via scoring or by making a sweet pass. With 8 assists on the season Baker is one of the best passers on this team. She makes the space on the ice for her to suck in 3 Ryerson Rams players which leaves her teammate Sam Wood in front for the easy tip-in goal.
Number 4: Right Place
Sydney Baker’s on-ice awareness is a key reason as to why she is such a dangerous forward. She knows exactly where to place herself and when she needs to be there. Baker’s role is on the powerplay is to filter the puck from down low to either Renae Nevills, as she quarterbacks the PP, or to the front of the net for a tip in. Baker’s pass is able to find a couple sticks out front and the rebound is sitting at her side of the net for the easy tap-in.
Number 3: Beauty Backhander
Right off the faceoff Baker picks up the loose puck and decks out one defender and the goalie. She picks it up out of the feet of the centers and quickly lifts her head to see that she has a lane to drive to the net. She sees the attacking player and makes the quick decision to deke her out and backhands it through Laurier’s goalie hole between her block and pad. Baker’s small space stickhandling is just another skill that she has and makes her standard against the rest of the league.
Number 2: One-Timer Bullet
There is just something striking about Sydney Baker’s one-timer. With her ability to know where she is on the ice, Baker opens up for the pass and can quickly release her dangerous shot. She swings herself wide enough to cut in to align herself with the faceoff circle, which gives her teammate enough time to find the gap defenders and fire one across to Baker’s open stick. Baker is in the perfect position to quickly release a shot above the Queen’s goalie glove.
Number 1: Forsberg Goal
Sydney Baker doing what she does best. She stands tall in the defensive zone and is quickly moving the other way. She realizes that the puck is loose, uses her speed, and her body to create the space that she needed for this beautiful goal. The way that Baker opens her hips increases the space between her and the goalie to allow her to go to the backhand as the Guelph goalie is fooled by Baker’s move and she is able to quickly pull the puck to her backhand for the goal that would the game for the Western Mustang.
Sydney Baker’s 2019-2020 highlight reel: