(FREDERICTON, NB) The returning UNB Varsity Reds women’s hockey team has added its first goaltender.
Hailey Martens, of Ladysmith, British Columbia, has signed a U SPORTS Letter of Intent, and will join the Varsity Reds when they return to Atlantic University Sport play in the 2018-19 season.
“I think it’s cool to be able to help build a team from the ground up,” said the 17-year-old, on a recent visit to the Aitken Centre. “To be among the first ones to set the traditions and all of that, that’s a big thing.”
Martens will spend the coming season with the Pacific Steelers, of the Junior Women’s Hockey League.
Last season, she posted a 5-3-1 record with the Steelers, and a 2.56 goals against average.
The JWHL is a 10 team league with teams in locations such as Washington, Chicago and Boston.
The Steelers are based in Richmond, BC.
“We now have a piece of the puzzle that we have a tremendous amount of confidence in,” says Varsity Reds head coach Sarah Hilworth. “Hailey has the work ethic that will allow her to compete and be successful at the U SPORTS level. We’re excited to see how she leaves her mark on the program.”
Martens has been playing hockey since the age of 6, and took up goaltending in Atom.
“Just being able see the whole ice. You’re out there the whole game and you really get to experience every aspect of the game,” she said.
Martens signed her Letter of Intent inside the Varsity Reds newly renovated dressing room in the Aitken Centre.
“I absolutely love the rink,” she said. “It has so much character, and the campus is great.”
“Hailey will bring a strong backbone to our program,” says Hilworth. “I can see us being confident starting her in year one.”
With the return of the Varsity Reds still a year away, Martens says the coming season is one of dedication.
“I think I’ll just have to make good habits in practice and make sure I’m getting better every time I’m on the ice. And I’ll have to just focus on school and hockey now.”
Martens joins forwards Paige Grenier, Alayna Wagstaff and Tamina Kehler, as well as Jenna Himer, Emma Borbandy and Reece Laumbach, on defence, as players who’ve committed to the Varsity Reds by signing Letters of Intent.