The Lakeland College Rustlers women’s hockey team will be sniping on the ice with its new sponsor Apex Automation. The team is seven and one in its pre-season action.
Left winger Paris Appel is expressing the team’s joy for the sponsorship deal.
“It’s pretty exciting. We really rely on a major sponsor and to have a company step up and do something like that for us – we are super grateful. It’s awesome to have people like that who are willing to do that for a hockey team.”
Appel is in her second year with the team and her studies at college are building towards a career as a medical doctor.
Coach Morgan Mann is happy to have the title sponsor on board and is looking to build on last season’s hard work in the Alberta College’s Athletic Conference.
“We ended up having a 500 season last year and feeling really good about our year. We have an excellent core of people. We have good hockey players, but even more importantly we have really strong characters and people that I’m excited to see where life takes them,” says Mann.
The team’s leadership revolves around the trio of Mackenzie Stafford, Olivia Mann, and Asha Petrie as assistant captains.
Aaron Berlinic with Apex Automation says the company started in 2012 and focuses on automating industry to free up time for staff to deal with other tasks. He says they relish opportunities to give back to the community as they were involved with some of the players when they were at the junior level about eight years ago in the Steelers program.
“We got involved in their first year as well. And then for them to win the championship (AJFHL) that year was, wow, these girls know what they are doing. So then to get to the ACAC league last year, let’s see what they can do – and they made bronze. This year they’re going for maybe gold -we’ll see,” says Berlinic.
He says they are supporting the team’s efforts as it means young women can stay in Lloydminster to play hockey at this level rather than leaving to join other teams.
The Lakeland College Rustlers women’s hockey team is in Saskatoon this weekend Sep. 23-24.
The first game of the season is on Oct. 7 in Red Deer with the home opener booked for the Russ Robertson Arena, on Oct. 13.