X-Women hockey adds three Alberta athletes to 2018-19 line-up

X-Women hockey adds three Alberta athletes to 2018-19 line-up

ANTIGONISH, NS ­– X-Women hockey head coach Ben Berthiaume is pleased to announce the commitment of three new athletes for the 2018-19 season. All three are from the province of Alberta and include defence Emma Thomas and Hannah MacDonald, along with forward Tyra Meropoulis.

Emma Thomas is a 5'4" right-handed defenceman from Red Deer, Alta. Thomas is currently playing midget AAA hockey with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs. Last season with the Chiefs, she recorded four goals and six assists in 30 games. Thomas is a versatile defenceman that shows confidence with the puck, shoots well and defends tough.

Coach Berthiaume feels Thomas' style of play matches up well with the university game, noting "We had the opportunity to see Emma skate two summers ago, where she showed good ice vision with the puck and a solid shot. She likes mixing it up physically as well, and is assertive on the ice, which will be nice attributes to have in our lineup next year."

Hannah MacDonald is a 5'5" left-handed defenceman who also plays with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs and tallied one goal and 10 assists last year. A native of Westaskiwin, Alta, she is the younger sister of former X-Women player Molly MacDonald. MacDonald's cousin, Cole MacDonald is currently in his second year with the X-Men hockey team. Hannah was a member of the St. Albert Slash last season, winning the Esso Cup national championship last April.

Known for her skating, hard shot, and ability to join the rush, MacDonald shows a lot of potential when it comes to complementing the X-Women's already deep blue line. "Hannah is an excellent skater," comments Berthiaume. "She moves effortlessly around the ice and has great edgework. She also possesses a hard shot from the point that will add another element to our offence."

Tyra Meropoulis is from Edson, Alta. and is a 5'6" forward who plays with the St. Albert Slash. Last season with the Slash was a memorable one for Meropoulis, as she was named the Alberta Female Hockey League's most valuable player. She scored the golden goal in double overtime as her team won the national championship, the Esso Cup. Known for her high-end puck skills, vision, and offensive abilities, Meropoulis will be a key addition to a solid forward group. Last season, Meropoulis had 22 goals and 24 assists in 24 games with the Slash and she has represented Team Alberta in the past two U18 national tournaments.

When asked about Meropoulis, Berthiaume had many positive things to say. "Tyra is very skilled and a natural scorer, which is a great combination to have at our level. We feel she is one of the top midget players in Canada. We look forward to having Tyra suit up in the blue and white next year."