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Lauryn Keen, 5th year forward, (at left) will lead the forward line in today's game (photo - Brandon VandeCaveye, Western)

Agricultural and Food Sciences students head to USports women’s hockey nationals

Defending national champion University of Manitoba Bisons play Guelph in quarter-final

March 14, 2019 — 

Four students from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences will hit the ice today when the defending national champion Bisons begin their 2019 U SPORTS Women’s
Hockey Championship, hosted by UPEI in Charlottetown.

Number 6 seed Manitoba takes on Ontario University Athletics champion and Number 3 seed Guelph in the quarter-finals at 3 p.m. AST. The single elimination game will be streamed on (pay-per-view) with a home broadcast available on UMFM 101.5. The winner advances to the semi-finals on Saturday, March 16, where they’ll meet the winner between St. Thomas and McGill at a time to be determined (see complete schedule here).

The University of Manitoba women’s team ended up second in the Canada West conference, finishing the season with a record of 16-5-4-3 and 59 points.

We caught up with the four students and asked them for their thoughts on going to Nationals, the challenge of juggling school and hockey, and what it means to play for the Bisons.

Lauryn Keen (photo – Bisons Sports)


5th Year / Forward
B.Sc. Agribusiness

“Playing hockey for the U of M Bisons the past five years while pursuing a degree in agribusiness has been a dream come true and has taught me so many life lessons. Being part of a ‘tight knit’ faculty like the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is has created so many knew friendships I never thought I’d make. The opportunities that have presented themselves through my time here are some that I will cherish forever.

Heading into Nationals in my final season of competitive hockey is incredibly bittersweet. Before the season started, there were some mixed thoughts on how the team would do having come off a National Championship last year, losing five key veteran players and having a new coach but the team has worked so hard all year long and I’m so excited to see what we can do at Nationals.

The intense hockey schedule has made balancing the academic deadlines challenging at times but as I said before, the faculty and profs have been so accommodating for any conflicts that I have had over the past five years which definitely relieved some of the stress. It’s been such a fun and memorable journey!”

Devan Johnson (photo – Bison Sports)

2nd Year / Goalie
B.Sc. Human Nutritional Sciences

“Playing on the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s hockey team means more to all of us girls than just hockey itself. It means having integrity, dedication, punctuality, a strong work ethic, and being surrounded by a family that all have the same mindset as the next girl. It truly is a remarkable experience playing hockey at the UofM, because as I explained, it’s more than just hockey. 

Balancing the intense hockey schedule with a school load is quite demanding and doesn’t leave a person with much free time. I guess this is where the dedication comes in, as well as learning how to prioritize and stay organized, which is a great life skill I have learnt from balancing these two things. However, I could not balance hockey and school without the cooperation of my professors who are very understandable with absences due to hockey, etc.”

Mekaela Fisher (photo – Bison Sports)


2nd Year / Forward
Diploma in Agriculture

“Playing for the Bisons has given me many opportunities and experiences I am very grateful for. It has taught me many life skills and allowed me to make lifelong friends I would not have met if I didn’t join the program.  

Managing academics and sports is definitely a challenge that can get pretty stressful but knowing you have a big support group going through the same stresses and challenges definitely helps. It’s a learning experience and every year I manage to get better at it.”

Jenai Buchanan (photo – Bison Sports)


3rd Year / Defence
Diploma in Agriculture

“It’s an honour to be going to nationals wearing the bison emblem and representing the University of Manitoba.

Not everyone gets the chance to go to Nationals in their USports career, so we’re just going to enjoy the experience and give it all we got and hope for the best outcome possible.”

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