For Waterloo Warriors rookie goaltender Stephanie Sluys (Clinton), this was the perfect way to start her OUA career.
Literally – she was perfect.
Sluys made 20 saves, and Siobhan Hewitt-Kenda (North Vancouver) scored a first period goal that held up as the game winner, as the Warriors topped the Laurentian Voyageurs 1-0 in a matinee affair at the Columbia Icefield Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The win pushes the Warriors to 1-0-1 on this young season, as they earned three of a possible four points at home on opening weekend of the 2014-15 season. Laura Deller was the tough luck loser in between the Laurentian pipes, as she turned aside 25 shots in defeat.
Sluys played every bit as big as her listed height of 5'11", and she was able to provide the Warriors with the same calming influence from the crease that they're used to getting from veteran Rebecca Bouwhuis (Orillia). Once the Warriors got the lead, she was able to shut the door behind a full team defensive effort to nail down the win.
The first – and last – goal of the game came off a faceoff win in the Voyageurs zone. Off the draw, Stephanie Digness (Aldergrove) walked the line and found a shooting lane to get the puck through, and that kicked off a fire drill in front of the Laurentian goal mouth. After at least one strange bounce off the end boards, Nicole Ballantyne (Toronto) found Hewitt-Kenda in front, and she made no mistake.