Three Queen’s teams announced the arrival of new recruits in May, with each program harbouring different hopes for the upcoming season.
Women’s hockey is eyeing another championship banner; football is on the cusp of the national conversation; and men’s hockey longs for an elusive taste of playoff success.
With those aspirations in mind, here’s a primer on five first-year Gaels that could make an impact in 2013-14:
Seton Battin — Football
The 6’5”, 310-lb offensive lineman hails from Otterville, ON, where he was a two-time Conference All-Star with the Delhi Raiders. This February, he suited up with the U19 Team Ontario Selects against an American national squad in Texas.
Battin earned offensive line MVP honours at the Queen’s Elite Football Camp last summer, several months before he committed to the Gaels. He’ll compete for a backup spot in 2013 against a promising crop of second-year linemen.
Jonah Pataki — Football
The Wallaceburg, ON, native put up massive numbers as a running back for the Wallaceburg Tartans, amassing 30 touchdowns and 1,875 yards on the ground in 2012. He led the Tartans to three regional championships in high school.
Instant playing time is far from a given in Queen’s loaded backfield, but the 5’11”, 203-lb Pataki is already a solid physical match for his position. He’ll contend for the occasional snap in his first year.
Clare McKellar — Women’s Hockey
Over three seasons with her hometown team, the London Devilettes of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), the forward tallied 32 goals and 73 points. An assistant captain for the league finalists, she also added 15 points during the playoffs.
McKellar will have a chance to contribute offensively for Queen’s this season. She’ll battle for ice time on a Gaels team looking to replace four graduating forwards.
Micaela Smith — Women’s Hockey
A native of Cobourg, ON, Smith recorded 11 assists for the Whitby Wolves during the 2013 PWHL season. The defenceman — who twice made the final camp for the Ontario U18 team — played all 13 games for the Wolves during their run to the PWHL championship.
With most defenders from last year’s OUA championship squad returning, Smith will likely play in a limited role to start the season. Solid play during the year could see her receive increased ice time.
Michael Schug — Men’s Hockey
The former captain of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Kingston Voyageurs, Schug put up 29 points in 43 games last year. He was also the recipient of the team’s Rosen Family Award for his contributions within the Kingston community.
The forward from Sault Ste. Marie will give the Gaels additional depth and the potential to add points — a crucial asset for a team that scored the third-least goals in the OUA.
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