Lakers’ hockey pre-season starts Friday
Nipissing men host Ottawa, women skate off to Quebec for three games
The Nipissing Lakers hockey program begins its 2017-18 OUA pre-season this weekend with the men’s team hosting the Ottawa Gee-Gees at Memorial Gardens Friday, while the women hit the road for three exhibition games for three days in Quebec.
Featured on the men’s roster are four local forwards, including returning OHL grads Dylan Staples of Callander and Danny Desrochers of North Bay. They are joined this season by Battalion graduate Brett Hargrave of North Bay and former Trenton Golden Hawks captain Lucas Brown of Powassan, who is fresh off backto-back Dudley Hewitt Cup championships.
New in net this year is a familiar face to local fans in Brent Moran of Orleans, Ont., who spent his overage OHL year with the Battalion last season.
Coach Mike McParland told The Nugget he likes what he sees with the new blood, noting Hargrave and Moran are looking good and added that Brown (along with rookies Tyler Brown and Travis McEvoy) are “hard on their stick, hard workers who give us a little more jam up front.”
Puck drops Friday at 7:30 p.m. and that contest is followed by a trip to Sudbury to take on the Laurentian Voyageurs Tuesday night at Countryside Arena at 7:35 p.m., with a third game back at the Gardens when the Voyageurs visit Sept. 23 for a Saturday night tilt.
For Nipissing’s homecoming weekend, the men host the Toronto Varsity Blues Sept. 30, with the regular season starting on the road Oct. 13 with their home-opener Oct. 20.
The women’s team also features four local players, beginning with fan-favourite veteran Jade Gauthier of Callander, who is joined this year by several others who wore the North Bay Ice Boltz colours. On offence with Gauthier is Maria Dominico and Robyn Degagne, both of North Bay, and in net behind OUA allstar Jackie Rochefort is Astorville’s Danika Ranger, who back-stopped Canada’s U18 team to a silver medal last year.
The Lakers are coming off a historic season where they went all the way to the OUA finals before losing out to the defending champion Guelph Gryphons, which relegated Nipissing into second place on the last weekend of the regular season.
They start the pre-season taking on McGill, Friday, before playing the host University of Montreal Carabins Saturday and Sunday.
Their next exhibition action is Sept. 30 on homecoming weekend facing off against the Ottawa GeeGees at 4:30 p.m. with the regular season beginning Oct. 20 against the Western Mustangs.
Single game Lakers hockey tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and children under 12 years, $7 for seniors and alumni/faculty and staff. Toddlers two years and younger are admitted free.
Season passes for the women’s hockey offers admission to 12 regular season games (including seven bonus admissions to men’s games during double-headers) plus one exhibition game (Sept. 30 vs Ottawa). Price for adults $110, seniors-staff-faculty pay $77 while students and children under 12 pay $55.
Season passes for men’s hockey offer admission to 14 regular season games and three exhibition matches, plus admission to the seven women’s games during double-headers. Cost for adults is $145, seniors-staff-faculty pay $100 while students and children under 12 pay $70.
Season ticket holders are also given a Lakers hockey T-shirt and draw prizes are handed out at games. See the Lakers website for more information under the Inside Athletics tab.
Dylan Staples is one of eight local players on the Nipissing Lakers hockey teams this season, with the men and women beginning their preseason action this weekend. Staples and the men host the Ottawa GeeGees at Memorial Gardens, Friday night, while the women hit the road for a three exhibition games in Quebec.