Lakeland College is bringing a new team into the Rustlers’ fold, with the announcement that a women’s hockey team is beginning play this Fall.

The roster has already seen 14 students sign up to wear the Lakeland Green and Gold, and PWM Steelers coach Morgan Mann will be running the team from the bench. They will play in the Alberta Female Junior Hockey League as a club team in their first year.

Lakeland College Athletic Director Alan Rogan says a women’s hockey team has been being pushed for by the community, and setting it up was the next logical step for the College’s sports programs.

“It’s a good fit for Lakeland and the rest of the community because there is really no avenue for women that move on to play hockey from the midget level. So a lot of them have gone on to other communities to continue playing hockey at the post-secondary level.”

From here, the team will be putting in work to get to the next step of play. This includes setting up sponsor and fundraising support so the team can fund operational costs. The team will raise the majority of its funding from the community and grants. The City has also stepped up to provide arena space.

The team has also put in an application to play in the ACAC Conference, which will be ruled on before the start of the 2022 Season.

Rogan explains that this season in the AFHJL will be what the ACAC will be looking at to determine if Lakeland’s women’s team will be a fit for their league.

“[They’re] going to compete as a club team at Lakeland next year, to get some playing experience, to work together as a team. Then, when we put our bid into the ACAC, we can show the ACAC that we have a team that’s already up and running, they’re competitive, we can host games. All of these things we need to show as part of our application.”

The team is actively looking for sponsors and encourages anyone interested to contact Coach Morgan Mann at 306- 307-4111.