(WINDSOR, ON) – Local women’s hockey player Savannah Bouzide has been long touted as an elite hockey player among her peers. She has been a captain and leader of both the Southwest Wildcats junior hockey club and her high school team, the General Amherst Bulldogs.
Savannah’s efforts have recently paid dividends. She has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey with the University of Connecticut Huskies for next season and, most recently, been named a member of the Team Ontario U18 women’s hockey team.
Team Ontario will square off against the best players from across the country in the national championships from November 9 through 13 in Regina, SK.
“It feels awesome to be representing the Southwest Wildcats, while [playing] for Team Ontario, against the best female hockey players in Canada,” wrote Bouzide while on the road with the Wildcats. “I have been invited to the [U18] Selection Camps the past two summers. This camp is a four-day camp that consisted of practice, games and fitness testing. It was really exciting and nerve-wracking at times to be playing that level of hockey.”
The brass of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association must have liked what they saw.
“Being a Southwest Wildcat for the past four years made me a better person on and off the ice,” commented Savannah. “It has also helped me reach my hockey goals of making Team Ontario and achieving a Division I Scholarship to the University of Connecticut. [Also,] being a Wildcat has helped me make many friends I hope to have for the rest of my life.”
At the start of the 2016-17 season, Bouzide, whose Wildcats play in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League, was named the team’s co-captain along with long-time teammate Ellen Donaldson. The PWHL is the elite league for players of her age bracket in Ontario.
“I feel very honoured that my coaches and teammates see me as a leader on this team,” said Bouzide. “It gives me a lot of confidence going into this season. I am excited to see the success we can achieve this year as a group.”
Southwest’s co-captain has led her team in scoring the past two seasons and is currently leading her team at this early juncture of the season.
“Savannah is not only a great hockey player, but she is a great leader for our program,” praised coach Jennifer Hitchcock. “She is relentless on the ice and is always working to become a better player. Her selection to Team Ontario is not only a great honour for her, but it also recognizes that we have great hockey players in Windsor. She is a great role model for younger players in our association and I know she will do great at the nationals and beyond.”
Hitchcock, a native of LaSalle, is well known in women’s hockey circles. She played college hockey with the University of New Hampshire Wildcats from 2004 to 2008, racking up 89 goals and 172 points in 147 games. The UNH Wildcats qualified for the NCAA Division I championship three times during her run with the team.
While Bouzide can thank Hitchcock for honing her talents, her love of the game started a little closer to home.
“I started playing hockey at the age of 8,” she told The Square. “My older brother Joey got me started. He has always had a great impact on me. When he began to play I wanted to do the same thing and be just like him.”
Savannah’s brother spent most of the last season with the Amherstburg Admirals Junior C club as a midget affiliate and this year played in the season opener for the LaSalle Vipers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.
“My goal has always been to get a scholarship,” said the Wildcat’s co-captain. “Now that I have done that, I am looking forward to having four successful years as a UConn Husky on the ice and I am looking forward to lots of success in the classroom as well.”
Bouzide and her Wildcats will be taking to the road the next two weekends. Next weekend they will travel to Toronto to battle Aurora and Mississauga, then from 28 to 30 of October they will partake in the 28-team, Two Nations College Prep Tournament in Detroit.
Your next opportunity to enjoy Southwest Wildcats action at the Forest Glade Arena will be November 5 at 4:30pm, as they host the Kingston Ice Wolves. The next afternoon at 1:00pm they will also host the St Catharines Jr Sabres.