Mount Royal women's hockey team 20-21 Recruiting Class

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Mount Royal women's hockey team 20-21 Recruiting Class
The Mount Royal women's hockey team welcomes four new recruits for the upcoming season. These first-years will join a hungry squad that came off a historic 2019-20 season.

Last year the Cougars earned a program high in wins (14) which led them to host the Canada West quarter-finals for the first time ever. They swept the University of Regina and met their cross town rival, the University of Calgary, in the semifinals. After a split in the first two games of the series, Mount Royal's Breanne Trotter scored in overtime in the third and deciding game to propel them into the Canada West Finals for the first time in history. They were the first Mount Royal varsity team to play in a conference finals, but lost to the number one ranked Alberta Pandas and brought home the Cougars first ever silver medal.

Their second place conference finish qualified them for the U SPORTS National Championship in Charlottetown, PEI. Entering the tournament as the number seven seed, they faced-off against number two ranked University of Toronto in the quarter-final. The MRU overtime specialists pulled out another incredible upset with a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal scored by assistant captain Tatum Amy. The Cougars finished as a top four team in the country as the tournament was cancelled that same night due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will be a team to watch in the coming years as their recruiting class will only make them stronger.

"We are excited to welcome the six new players coming into our program," explained Head Coach Scott Rivett. "All six address different needs for our team and we are looking forward to watching them develop and contribute to the success of our group."

Courtney Kollman

A transfer from Robert Morris University Colonials, Kollman will be entering her third year of eligibility. Kollman hails from Calgary, AB spending two years at the Edge school while building an impressive resume having played for Team Alberta twice and represented Canada at the U18 World Championships in her final year of high school. She will be studying Biology and plans to further her education and become an optometrist.

"I am looking forward to meeting all the girls and rekindling old friendships, learning from the coaching staff and playing back home in front of my friends and family," said Kollman. "I'm super excited to... develop not only as an athlete but also grow as a person."

Taylor Sawka

Sawka is another NCAA transfer that will join the Cougars next season. The forward played for the Clarkson University Golden Knights for the past two seasons, but is originally from Cochrane, AB. She is entering into her third year of eligibility and working towards her Bachelor of Science with a Biology major.

"I am most excited about a fresh start with a competitive program and a great group of girls. I've heard nothing but good things about the academic side of things and the hockey program itself and am excited to get things going," said Sawka. "I am going to grow and develop as an athlete by challenging myself on a daily basis and embracing the culture of the team."

Alex Spence

Spence will join the Cougars blue line and hails from Lloydminster, AB. She was a member of the Lloydminster Steelers and became Captain of Team Alberta last year. The soon to be first year will be enrolled in the Nursing program at MRU.

"In the upcoming year, I am most excited about being a part of the team culture that the Cougars exemplify on and off the ice," said Spence.

When asked how she will look to develop this year, she said, "through the support of my coaches and teammates, I hope to continue to improve in my play through the competition of the on-ice practices, as well as the dryland training. I look forward to pushing myself in the high-level games to further my strength and skills."

Sydney Benko

Benko joins the team after playing for the Rocky Mountain Raiders and is a hometown talent from Calgary, AB. She will be playing forward for the Cougars and has been accepted into the University Entrance Option program with plans to obtain a degree in education.

"I'm very excited to be joining such a competitive atmosphere and meeting like minded student athletes," explained Benko. She also looks forward to "experiencing new opportunities and getting to play hockey at such a high level."

When asked how she would like to grow and develop this season, Benko said "by learning from my coaches and teammates. so I can become a better overall student, athlete and person."

Sydney Trotter

Trotter joins her two older sisters Breanne and Cassidy on the Cougars this season. She also played for the Rocky Mountain Raiders at defense and has a passion for sport.

"I'm going into education and my goal is that once I am done to be an elementary gym teacher and be able to see some of the kids grow to become athletes as well," said the driven first year.

When asked about playing with her sisters, she said, "I'm most looking forward to playing with new girls at the top level, as well as having the opportunity to play with both my sisters for the first time."

Kaia Borbandy

Borbandy is a forward from Langdon, AB that will look to add some fire power to the Cougars. She also played for the Rocky Mountain Raiders with three of the four other 2020-21 recruits.

The first year has been accepted into the University Entrance Option and looks forward to finding something she is passionate about.

"I am looking forward to joining the Cougars this upcoming season and... working hard to make an impact." said Borbandy. "I can't wait to start this new chapter in my life and make new friendships. I plan on learning from the older players and their experiences in helping make my transition easier."

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