With the Provincial Women’s Hockey League in Ontario, Canada developing elite junior women’s hockey talent, one of the elite stars in the league is Lauren Miller. A defender with the Nepean Wildcats, Miller is one of the team’s leaders.
The PWHL’s first ever contest in recognition of Do It for Daron is one that Miller will participate in on December 20. Like many Nepean teammates, she dons the purple DIFD Heart logo on the back of her helmet. “The money raised goes back to the community, and helps other kids.”
Miller also knew Richardson when they were younger. “Both her and I played on the same team, the Rangers Bantam AA.”
Another key leader with Nepean, Thurston would compete with Team Ontario Blue. “It was interesting. I had never played against her, always with her. A fun game.”
Eleven different PWHL teams were represented on Team Ontario Red. For Miller, playing on a team composed of PWHL stars was a different experience.
Suddenly, she became teammates with players that were rivals. “When you get to the rink, you think of the games ahead of you. You work towards getting in your zone.”
Along with Thurston, the two are alternate captains on the Wildcats. The role is one that Miller is very proud of, “Definitely, for sure. There are some 97s (players born in 1997) on our team). When they get to be our age, we want them to treat the younger players, the way we treat the younger players.”
Both are former players with the Ottawa Senators in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. Along with a few others on the Wildcats roster, they made the decision to jump from Ottawa to join Nepean.
“Nepean presented us with different opportunities and it was hard to turn down. The general manager was offering a new program, and trying to turn it around. It was a really positive atmosphere for us. It makes us want to come to practice and get better every single time.”
Despite the change in team, there are no hard feelings with their former Senators teammates, “We are still good friends. After the games, we will say Hi, How are you?”
Miller has committed to join the Bemidji State Beavers in the NCAA, the same school that Thurston’s older sister, MacKenzie competed with. “I am so excited. It is definitely the perfect fit for me. I am looking forward to going there next year.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”