Queen's Gaels Adds More Local Talent, News (Kingston JR Ice Wolves)

News Article
News Article Image
Nov 12, 2019 | Ian MacAlpine | 458 views
Queen's Gaels Adds More Local Talent
November 12, 2019: Not too long ago, it appeared the pipeline of Kingston-area female hockey players heading to the Queen’s Gaels had dried up. In the past, the Gaels had been able to count on Kingston defenceman Ali Bagg and Gananoque forward Liz Kench to lead the team, but over the past few years, the team did not have much local content.

Now with goaltender Kathryn Jalink and forward Scout Watkins-Southward of Kingston and forward Shelby Sly of Seeley’s Bay on the roster, the pipeline appears to be very much flowing again. The Gaels added another player to their local ranks on Tuesday with the signing of forward Rebecca Thompson, a current Kingston Jr. Ice Wolves player and a Grade 12 student at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School. Thompson, with an 88 per cent average, will be studying arts and science at Queen’s University. Gaels coach Matt Holmberg said at the signing, held in the atrium of Holy Cross in front of about 100 schoolmates, friends and family, that he’s known Thompson since she played peewee hockey in the Ice Wolves organization. “I knew at that time Rebecca was a special hockey player, and as I got to know her, a special person as well,” he said. “I knew back then that Rebecca would develop into an excellent hockey player and she’s one that we had on our radar for quite a while.” Thompson, who skipped midget hockey to play junior for the Ice Wolves, is in her third year with the team. Thompson is third on the team in scoring this season with 12 points (five goals and seven assists) in 13 games. “I believe that she’s been an integral part of the success the Ice Wolves have enjoyed,” Holmberg said. “There’s no doubt that Rebecca has the ability to provide some offence, but what I enjoy as a coach as well was the fact that she’s a 200-foot player,” Holmberg added about the defensive side of her game. “Her work ethic is outstanding and she just wants to get better and better. “Rebecca is the type of player that we would have tried to bring to Queen’s no matter where she was from. It’s an added bonus that she’s from Kingston and we love that avenue. We’re really proud of the local content we’re starting to build as well. “She brings everything we’re looking for. Her work ethic and growth mindset is outstanding, Holmberg said in an interview after the signing. “She’s really heavy on the puck and a good forechecker.” Thompson also has one of the hardest shots Holmberg has seen. “We’re looking to further develop our offence,” Holmberg said. “No pressure on Rebecca in her first year, but bigger picture I know she’s someone we can look to to provide offence. She’s scored at every level she’s been at. “I’m hoping with the development of Scout Watkins-Southward here this year and the development of Rebecca and some other recruits next year our offence will be humming by the end of next year.” Thompson said she considered other universities but believes Queen’s is her best fit. “I’ve heard from many players that the team and the culture is just the place to be,” she said. “I have to get in the gym and do as much as I can and do extra stuff on the ice and keep working on the little things,” Thompson said on what she has to do to get ready for next season at Queen’[email protected]