There are mixed feelings for Newmarket goaltending star Jalyn St. Louis as she prepares to embark to university hockey.
With excitement about joining the Ontario Tech University Ridgebacks in Oshawa, she said she will miss the Central York Hockey Association Panthers she has played for since she was a novice.
“I’ve made some incredible bonds with everyone here and really look back at my time with great feeling to the association, my teams, my coaches and my teammates,” she said. “I won’t forget where I came from, that’s for sure, and will use everything I’ve learned and continue building from there.”
The association celebrated St. Louis after the signing announcement last week. She is now committed to playing USports OUA Women’s Hockey in Oshawa, after her strong season in the OHWL U22 Elite League.
The association said junior head coach Steve Dempsey was “quite affected by this signing.”
“I have known Jalyn for a long time, and it is always sad to see a friend leave you. But I know this has been a dream of Jalyn’s for a long time, and I am so happy for her,” he said in a news release. “Jalyn is one of those players that you never replace. You cherish all of the time that you had with her, and you look forward to seeing her start the next chapter of her life and cheer her on. Being here to help these young people realize their dreams is such an honour.”
The goaltender finished her career with the Panthers strong, with an 11-2-2 record, two shutouts, a 1.67 goals agenda average and a .920 save percentage.
“I feel I had success this season because of the hard work I put in,” she said. “We have a great group of girls that really connected like a family. My coaches and my teammates have really pushed each other to be stronger, and we’re always there for each other with the most support given.”
Looking ahead, the goaltender said she is excited about the opportunity and looks forward to being able to contribute quickly to Ontario Tech. She will be signing on for the forensic psychology program at the school.
“I’m looking forward for the coming years with Ontario Tech and making new friends and helping support and backstop the team as much as I can.”
Ontario Tech Ridgebacks Head Coach Justin Caruana expressed excitement about the signing.
“Jalyn is a very calm goalie in the net. She tracks the puck well and battles hard on any second chances," Caruana said in a news release. "I am excited to add Jalyn to our program and I can’t wait to work with her next fall."
As far as any hockey beyond university, she said her focus is on the upcoming years.
“We will see what comes from there with the hard work I'm dedicated to putting in,” she said.