No sophomore jinx for Maplethorpe
Cassidy Maplethorpe is a puck hound.
The 19-year-old centre is among the most offensively gifted players for the Brock Badgers women’s hockey team, something she attributes to her desire for the puck.
“I was always a puck follower,” the Alberta native said. “I was never really defensive. I was drawn to the puck so I could never play defence.”
Maplethorpe said her touch around the net comes from her ability to read the play.
“It was knowing where the puck was going to be,” said Maplethorpe, who laughed when kidded by head coach Margot Page about her silky hands. “I would somehow always end up with it on my stick and when it’s on your stick, you can score.”
Maplethorpe collected four goals and 12 points in 24 games as a rookie and has increased her production substantially to nine goals and 17 points in 22 games in her sophomore season.
“She was always a scorer,” Page said. “She had some really good offensive stuff last year.
“I think she’s kind of come in a little more confident and a little bit more of overall player as well, not just a scorer. She takes pride in her points and her silky hands.”
But Page said Maplethorpe is more than just a scorer.
“She also takes pride in her overall game. One thing we’ve noticed from last year is she’s moving her feet better. She was not as quick last year. She was gliding a lot but now she’s moving her feet and she’s tough to knock off the puck because of that. She’s strong on her feet.”
Page moved Maplethorpe to centre this season, a switch which has paid huge dividends.
“She’s a very smart hockey player and she’s one of our top penalty killers as well,” Page said. “She’s just really savvy getting in front and blocking shots and recognizing and has that hockey sense.”
Maplethorpe had no objections to the switch to centre from the wing.
“I think centre is a good fit for me,” she said. “I played centre for my whole life except for a couple of years in midget. It was more natural because I like to follow the puck and you’re allowed to.”
Maplethorpe feels her increased production can be attributed to experience.
“Just a little more confidence this year, I think,” she said. “Coming in as a freshman nobody really knows anything about you or how to play with you. Now I’ve been playing with a couple of them for a year and it’s easier to play with people you know.”
Page said even with additional attention for the opposition, Maplethorpe has continued to produce.
“Some other teams are picking up on her and playing the body better and she still slinks by them,” Page said. “She’s a pretty slippery player
“She leads her line. She gets the puck. She loves getting the puck.”
Maplethorpe, who is majoring in biochemistry, joined Brock after being exposed to Niagara while on a tournament in the area in Grade 9.
“I just wanted a change. It’s a lot different around here. The coaching staff was really nice and got me to come,” she said.
The Badgers, 13-9, have wrapped up a playoff spot with two games remaining in their regular season Friday at Laurentian and Saturday at Nipissing.
“It’s the first time in I don’t know how many years we can go into our final weekend knowing we’re good,” Page said. “We don’t want to be satisfied. We want to go in this weekend and maintain our home-ice advantage if we can. We want to try and get the six points and not just be satisfied we are in the playoffs and now our season is good.”
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