ANTIGONISH, N.S. (from StFX X-Women) – St. Francis Xavier University X-Women hockey head coach Ben Berthiaume has announced the second wave of recruits for the 2018-19 season. The three new athletes to commit to the X-Women program are forward Kaya Brossard from North Vancouver, B.C., forward Lea MacLeod from Dartmouth, N.S., and defence Josie Chisholm from Antigonish, N.S.
“This recruiting class has developed into one of the strongest in our program’s history, and we are very excited about the future of X-Women hockey with our current and new group of players,” Berthiaume said.
Last week the X-Women announced the additions of defence Emma Thomas and Hannah MacDonald, and forward Tyra Meropoulis, all natives of Alberta.
Brossard is a 5-5 left-handed forward who plays for the Pacific Steelers, based out of Richmond, B.C., and competing in the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL). She is in her second season with the Steelers and currently has five points in her first five games of the season. In addition, Brossard was selected to play in her league’s all-star game last season.
When asked about Brossard, Berthiaume had many positive things to say. “We are excited to have Kaya play at StFX next season. From scouting her this fall, she brings speed, skill and offensive ability every time she steps on the ice. As a person, she is exactly the type of individual we look to bring into our hockey program. We look forward to working with Kaya and seeing her develop as a player and a person during her time with the X-Women.”
The two most recent commitments to the X-Women hockey program are familiar names to Antigonish and Atlantic University Sport.
Chisholm is a 5-7 left-shooting defenceman from Linwood, Antigonish County. Having grown up in the local area, Chisholm played most of her minor hockey in Antigonish, most recently traveling to play with the Rothesay Netherwood School Riverhawks in 2016-17 and now with the Nepean Jr. Wildcats of the PWHL. Chisholm competed for the second year in a row at the Canadian U18 national championships as a member of Team Atlantic. She currently has three goals and two assists in 11 games with Nepean.
Having worked with Chisholm in X-Women summer camps the past number of years, Coach Berthiaume noted that “Josie is an outstanding person and leader. She was recently team captain for Team Atlantic, which shows her leadership abilities. As a player, Josie competes hard, shoots the puck very well, makes very crisp passes and I think her game will translate very well to the university level.”
“We are very excited to have Josie join the women’s hockey program, as she has been a player we’ve had high on our list of prospects for years. She will be a great fit with our program and will have many friends and family supporting her during her time at StFX.”
The second of two Nova Scotians to join the X-Women next year is MacLeod, a 5-6 left-handed forward from Dartmouth. MacLeod plays for the King’s Edgehill school team in Windsor, N.S., which plays in the North American Prep High School Association. She is a former teammate of current X-Women Julia Schmitt and Patti-Anne Tracey. MacLeod has competed for Team Atlantic at the past two U18 national championships. The MacLeod name may be familiar in AUS circles, as her father, Jeff MacLeod was a standout defenceman for Acadia in the early and mid-90s.
“Lea is another player who we have been keeping tabs on for a few years now and are very excited to have join the X-Women,” Berthiaume said. “Lea has great puck skills, a deceiving shot and she passes the puck well. What we feel sets her apart are her puck possession skills and her ability to see the ice while making players around her better.”