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The women's hockey team at St. Thomas University has added two new pieces for the 2018-2019 season.
Brooke Stanford, a blueliner for the Durham West Jr. Lightning, and Tristyn Elford, a goaltender for the Etobicoke Dolphins, will join the Tommies program next fall.
"Brooke and Tristyn come from solid programs in Durham and Etobicoke," Tommies head coach Peter Murphy said of the new additions. "The coaches there have had a long history of developing players for the next level."
Stanford, of Whitby, ON, will be a strong addition to the Tommies backend. Her on-ice vision and agility make her a great fit for the STU squad, who aim to have a mobile defensive corps.
"Brooke is a fast skating, agile offensive defense who will bring a lot of energy to the backend next season. We expect her to be able to help control the game in our end and join the rush heading out," Murphy said. "She sees the ice well and is solid defensively, and we're looking forward to seeing how she continues to develop moving forward."
In 18 games this season, Stanford has two goals, two assists, and four penalty minutes.
The future Tommie said she chose STU for the "ultimate university experience."
"I chose St. Thomas because it will provide me with a great hockey program as well as excellent academic opportunities," she said. "When I toured the campus, the coach and players were so welcoming and supportive that I knew this is where I wanted to continue my education."
Elford, of New Liskeard, ON, comes to the Tommies as the first netminder recruited since 2014. She will bring high caliber experience to the STU squad, having played with the Ontario Blue at the 2016 U18 National Championships in Regina, SK. In seven games played this season, she's posted a .936 save percentage and 1.68 goals against average.
Murphy said Elford's willingness to push herself to the next level got his attention.
"Tristyn has performed at the highest level for her age group, and her quickness and composed demeanor on the ice inspires confidence," he said. "St. Thomas has long been known for its solid goaltending and Tristyn will definitely be able to uphold that tradition."
Elford said she felt at home when she toured campus, which made her decision an easy one.
"The second I stepped on campus it felt like home," she said. "The coaching staff and team were wonderful and I could easily see myself playing for the Tommies. I'm extremely excited to join the squad next season."
The Tommies are currently in third place in the Atlantic University Sport conference with a record of 9-3-2. The team resumes play in January when they travel to Halifax to take on the Saint Mary's Huskies.
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