Burlington’s Lauren Barch has been named the Ontario University Athletics’ women’s hockey player-of-the year.
The always physically and mentally ready Laurier Golden Hawks’ centre is an essential component of an exceptional Laurier squad who plays in both powerplay and penalty kill situations. She’ll bring those qualities to the ice when the OUA playoffs begin for the first-place finishing Hawks who won 23 of 27 regular-season games.
The Golden Hawks, making their eighth consecutive appearance in the provincial final, will host the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, on Wednesday (Feb.27) at 7:30 p.m. at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. Barch scored the winning goal in the Hawks’ semifinal victory. The Laurier Golden Hawks will be looking for their fifth straight OUA banner.
Barch, a third-year psychology student and graduate from Notre Dame High School in Burlington, follows in the skate strides of teammate Andrea Bevan (Collingwood), who has last season’s player of the year.
Barch, a first team all-star, finished the season second in OUA scoring, leading the Hawks with 15 goals and 17 assists while playing a lethal role on the penalty kill, with five short handed goals, while knowing how to score in key situations with three game winning goals on the season.
The Golden Hawks finished the regular season ranked third in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Top 10 and Barch’s selection as player of the year, caps a solid year for the Hawks as they take home three of the four major OUA awards for the second consecutive year.
Teammate Lauren Meschino (Toronto) is the recipient of the Marion Hillard Award, which honours the athlete who demonstrates outstanding achievement in athletics, academics and community leadership. The fifth year Kinesiology and Phys. Ed student assumes many leadership roles and is a caring and inspirational teammate. Her speed and acceleration on the ice is matched by her quickness to offer a helping hand to many individuals and groups in the community off the ice. She is an outstanding ambassador for the Golden Hawks, women’s hockey, and the OUA.
Rick Osborne continues to enjoy an incredible tenure with the Golden Hawks and for the fourth consecutive year he has been named OUA Coach of the Year. Osborne’s team finishing six points ahead of the second place Toronto Varsity Blues. His team boasts the best offence and defence in the OUA as they average 3.73 goals per game while limiting their opponents to an average of 0.92 goals per game.
Joining Barch on the first-team all-stars is teammate Andrea Bevan. Bevan plays a pivotal role in the Golden Hawks special teams, and has been the offensive backbone of the team this season finishing with 20 assists on the year.