Athletes of the week

Jordan Mirwaldt

Men’s Hockey

The men’s hockey team turned around their luck with a rare midweek game against the RMC Paladins. After going 1-1 against the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams, the Gaels picked up a victory over RMC to improve their record to 9-10-2. Over the three games, forward Jordan Mirwaldt played a part in six of the Gaels’ 11 goals, scoring two of his own.

Before coming to Queen’s, the second-year economics student was playing for the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons. He was contacted by Gaels’ head coach Brett Gibson about attending Queen’s and joining the team.

“Gibson sold it well,” he said. “I’ve heard great things about [the academics] … and that’s something I value very highly.” The assistant captain is following up a standout rookie season with 40 points, he finished 10th in the OUA in points. Mirwaldt continues to lead by example as his 20 points is the most by any Gael this season.

Even though the Gaels grabbed four points, Mirwaldt said the team didn’t give their best effort over the weekend, which was obvious in their loss against Ryerson.

“We definitely didn’t come out and execute like we wanted to [against Ryerson],” he said. “[We had a] slow start. We need to put in a better effort to get a better fate.” The Gaels rebounded on Friday against the Varsity Blues who have been tough competition in the past. Queen’s had squeaked past the eighth place Toronto team in their last two games, one of which went to overtime.

“We matchup very evenly with them,” he said. “Every game has been very close. When two teams are battling for a position you’re going to see some good games. [It was a] really emotional game. … [It] kind of had a playoff intensity feel to it. [A] good win to get our confidence back.”

Kelsey Thomson

Women’s Hockey

Kelsey Thomson had some competition in earning her CIS Athlete of the Week. Seven points including a hat trick during a win over the York Lions Saturday was enough to take down Olympic medalist and Calgary Dino’s rookie Hayley Wickenheiser.

Thomson, when told of the accomplishment, laughed and said it was an exciting honour to top the 2010 Team Canada Captain.

“Wickenheiser is obviously a very talented hockey player,” she said. “I can’t really take the credit for beating Hayley Wickenheiser. It’s definitely coming from my team.”

Thomson, a fifth-year forward, said the team has changed in dynamics over her five seasons with the Gaels. She said this year’s group has been the most cohesive, in part due to coaching.

“A big change has been in the coaching,” she said. “Matt Holmberg has been with us for all five years but for the past two years he’s been head coach. I think that’s definitely been a very positive change. He’s focused on really hard work and team chemistry.”

Thomson has been lacing up her skates since she was about three, encouraged by her two older brothers. Academics and her love of hockey played into her decision to attend Queen’s.

“When I was deciding what schools to come to, I looked at the education and [Queen’s] was one of the best obviously,” she said. “Ultimately I wanted to get a good education and be able to play hockey at a competitive level. “

As a Con-Ed student, Thomson is interested in pursuing teaching after graduation but also wants to try her hand at coaching.

“Eventually I want to get into coaching,” she said. “I definitely want to get into coaching hockey and share a little bit of my knowledge about the game with others.”

With three wins in their past four games, Thomson said the Gaels feel confident going into the weekend against Windsor and Western.

“The team feels really good,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to get a couple in the win column and I think we’re starting to peak at the right time. I definitely think we’re going to be a huge opponent in the upcoming playoffs.”

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