Star goalie Taraschuk leaving Bisons
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/04/2019 (1393 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
University of Manitoba goaltender Lauren Taraschuk, a major star on the Bisons’ run to a national championship in the spring of 2018, is leaving the team after her sophomore season with no firm plans for her future in hockey.
The U of M women recently followed up their first U Sports title with a fifth-place finish at this past month’s national tournament in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
“The last few months of the season I really just stuck it out for the girls and the team,” Taraschuk said Tuesday. “Because I knew we had another shot at going to nationals… I knew once we got home from nationals, I had a tough decision to make, but it was the right decision for me.
“Due to some personality issues in the team and also the changing coaching staff next year, it’s just brought me to not enjoying being around the rink there. That being said, no, I’m not quitting hockey but I’ve just decided to leave the Bisons.”
The 19-year-old Winnipegger, currently enrolled in the U of M’s criminology program, said the decision was not taken lightly. She first contemplated the move in December and came to a firm conclusion earlier this month.
“A lot of thought, a lot of tears (went into the decision), but it really just got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it. And for me not to enjoy going to the rink anymore — why put myself through some situations where I’m no longer happy?” Taraschuk said. “It’s definitely been tough. No one really saw it coming. I didn’t see it coming until a couple of months ago, but it’s a tough decision and it’s a decision I’ve had to make for myself.”
Taraschuk started 31 of Manitoba’s 35 games in 2018-19, posting a .927 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against average. During a debut season in which she was named the U Sports rookie of the year, her save percentage was .965 and her goals-against average was a remarkable 0.63.
Taraschuk has three years of eligibility remaining, but will need to take a year off from university hockey to be able to play for another U Sports or NCAA school. Because her decision to leave is not widely known, she was uncertain what the outside interest would be. She still plans to continue her academic work at the U of M this fall.
Taraschuk delivered the news this past week to Bisons interim head coach Sean Fisher and head coach Jon Rempel, who is returning to his post after a sabbatical in 2018-19. She declined to get into the specific reasons for the move.
“I’ve talked to both Jon and Sean and they were supportive of my decision and sad to see me go, but they also respect that I also need to make the decision that’s the right one for me,” Taraschuk said. “And I can’t be around the rink if I’m unhappy or if I’m miserable. That’s not fair to my team and not fair to the people around me.”
Rempel, contacted Tuesday, politely declined comment.
Goaltenders Devan Johnson, a second-year player, and rookie Erin Fargey saw limited action in 2018-19.
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.