Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dutchwomen announce incoming recruiting class

by Ryan Fay

The Union women's hockey team announced its incoming recruiting class Thursday.

The six-player group consists of forward Hannah Erickson, forward Erica Kelly, defenseman Caitlyn McLaren, goaltender Alexx Ridding, forward Nicole Russell, and defenseman Brandy Streeter.

Hannah Erickson in action for Achiever Academy
last season
Erickson, known for her smooth skating and offensive touch, spent last season at Achiever Academy in Vadnais Heights, Minn. She scored 15 goals and 24 assists in 39 games while serving as team captain. She is the younger sister of current Dutchwomen forward Emily Erickson and could spark an offense that ranked fifth-to-last in Division I at 1.53 goals per game last season.

Kelly is another offensive weapon as she is coming off back-to-back 100-point seasons for King's-Edgehill School in Windsor, Nova Scotia. She served as team captain last season while racking up 63 goals and 55 assists. She impressed the Dutchwomen coaching staff with her ability to play in all three zones, her defensive awareness and ability to score goals.

McLaren spent the past two seasons with the Ottawa Senators Intermediate AA team of the Provincial Women's Hockey League (PWHL). She was the team's top scoring defenseman last season with a goal and 11 assists and was an assistant captain. At 5-foot-8, McLaren could be counted on to replace some of the size lost on the blueline following the graduation of Ashley Johnston.

Ridding is a quick, athletic goaltender who tended net this past season for the Barrie Junior Sharks of the PWHL. She recorded an 8-8-2-1 record in 19 starts with a 1.94 goals-against average, a .936 save percentage and two shutouts. Ridding, who has the potential to become one of the top goaltenders in ECAC Hockey, is the heir apparent to Shenae Lundberg, who graduates next spring.

Russell brings a mix of great stick skills with quickness and great vision on the ice. She spent the past five years with the Detroit-based Honeybaked program, winning back-to-back state championships in 2013 and 2014. Russell was the top scorer from Michigan at the 2014 Toyota USA Hockey National Championships (Tier I Under-19 Division), where she registered five goals and two assists in seven contests.

Streeter is an in-state product from Morrisville, located two hours west of Schenectady. The quick defenseman spent the past four years with the Buffalo Bisons program, most recently with the Bisons Under-19 squad. Streeter also skated for one of the nation's top prep programs, the Nichols School in Buffalo. She served as Nichols' team captain this past season and helped the Vikings to the North American Prep Hockey Association (NAPHA) title and the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) championship.

"We are excited about this class because it is going to add depth to all ends of the ice," said Dutchwomen head coach Claudia Asano Barcomb. "We look forward to their leadership, work ethic, energy and skill on the ice."

The Dutchwomen open their 2014-2015 schedule with a home exhibition against the Ottawa Junior Senators on September 27. The regular season gets underway Oct. 3 with a trip to RIT.

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