Once an up and coming program in NCAA Division I hockey, the Syracuse Orange experienced a slight decline last season. A key to building momentum and gaining prominence is the strength of its recruiting classes. Of all the talented recruits that the Orange have acquired this year, the true game changer may be Laurie Kingsbury.
She is a recruit who reminds former Syracuse assistant coach Graham Thomas of one of the greatest players he ever coached at Syracuse, Isabel Menard. “Isabel was a great player. Kingsbury will be as dominant as Isabel was,” Thomas stated.
Having played for the Lac St. Louis Selects, the same junior team that the prodigious Mélodie Daoust once played for, Kingsbury comes from a great hockey background. After junior hockey, she played hockey in the CEGEP school system in Quebec. Kingsbury competed with the CEGEP St. Laurent Patriotes and claimed the 2011 Dodge Cup (the CEGEP championship).
Her first experience for the Canadian national women’s team was at the Under-18 level. Along with Melodie Daoust and Marie-Philip Poulin, she helped Canada to a silver medal at the 2009 IIHF Under-18 Worlds. The following year she was part of the Canadian gold medal winning squad. In the gold medal game, Kingsbury registered a goal and an assist. She was featured on a hockey card in Upper Deck’s 2011 World of Sports collection.
Hailing from Valleyfield, she redshirted her 2011-12 season with the Orange. Kingsbury was sorely missed as the squad posted a record of 10-22-3. While the 2012-13 is technically her rookie season, new recruits will benefit greatly from her presence. Recruits like Danielle Leslie (who helped Manitoba to a Bronze at the 2011 Under 18 Canadian nationals) and Emily Auerbacher (a JWHL All-Star with the Boston Shamrocks) will see their game benefit from Kingsbury’s prolific presence. An early favorite as CHA Women’s Hockey Rookie of the Year, Kingsbury has all the talents to make Syracuse a Top 10 squad again.
All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated