Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – The MacEwan Griffins women's hockey team added more championship experience for the future with their latest recruit.
Vanessa Verbitsky, who was part of the Esso national championship-winning St. Albert Slash in 2017-18, will join the Griffins for the 2019-20 season, head coach Lindsay McAlpine announced Monday.
"Vanessa brings more size to the Griffins' front end, tenacity to get the puck to the net, and an excellent work ethic in terms of both school and hockey," said McAlpine.
"We look forward to having Vanessa join the Griffins for next season."
The 5-foot-8 forward currently plays for the Midget AAA Red Deer Chiefs, producing three goals and eight points in 29 games this Alberta Female Hockey League season.
Verbitsky is a familiar face for a few current Griffins players, playing with Shyla Kirwer and Jayme Doyle on the Slash. In addition, she looked up to Keely Vachon while growing up in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.
"When we are attracting players from the same midget program, I attribute part of that continuity to the positive culture and history of success," said McAlpine, who has led MacEwan to back-to-back Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference titles.
"Our players are speaking highly of the Griffins outside of our dressing room doors, and especially in conversations with past midget teams and it becomes a destination of choice."
The Griffins will by vying for a third-straight title in the coming weeks, kicking off their 2018-19 playoff journey with a best-of-three series against Red Deer College this weekend.
Game 1 is set for Thursday (7 p.m., Downtown Community Arena). Game 2 goes Saturday in Red Deer (7 p.m., Servus Arena). If necessary, Game 3 is Sunday (1 p.m., DCA). Catch all of the action in person or on ACAC TV.