Toner commits to UNB
A summer of hard work paid off handsomely for Lauren Toner.
The 17-year-old, Grade 12 student at Ridley College recently committed to play hockey and study business at the University of New Brunswick, but may not have received the offer were in not for a diligent workout routine last summer.
The St. Catharines native was in the gym nearly every day while also skating three to four days a week.
“I worked out hard last summer and it paid off this year,” Toner said. “I had a lot more success on and off ice this year and got noticed more this year.
“I improved a lot over the summer. That’s something my coaching staff and teammates would say.”
Toner said she also shaped up mentally.
“A lot of it was mindset,” she said. “I changed my mindset how I went into the year. I was more open for change. If something happened, great, but I wasn’t putting all the pressure on myself that I needed to commit.”
Toner settled on UNB after the school showed some interest last fall at a prep tournament in Stoney Creek. She was later able to tour the campus when Ridley was down east on another showcase tournament, which sealed the deal.
Toner took the tour with long-time friend Marissa Vale, a Holy Cross graduate and current Red.
“She toured me around campus and when I got on campus I was really impressed with their facilities and their program,” Toner said. “I was really impressed with the hockey program and also they offered a business program where I could balance my academics and athletics.”
Following the tour, Toner sat down with her parents to weight the pros and cons, and also consulted the Vale family.
“I told them about the tour and our families are really good friends so we talked and they had good things to say about it as well so I was kind of set on going there,” Toner said. “I loved the campus and the hockey program was nice and the coaching staff was really welcoming.
“I was really impressed. They sent me an offer and I took it right away.”
Toner, who is a solid power forward who plays a 200-foot game, was told she would have a strong possibility of earning significant playing time in her freshman year.
“Because their program started up five years ago, they had eight gradating players so they told me I could come in and make an immediate impact on the team,” she said. “Everything fell into place.”
Reds coach Sarah Hilworth is excited to add Toner to her program.
“Lauren is a bright student who also looks to be a leader in the community,” Hilworth said. “Lauren possesses size and skill that will make an immediate impact on our team.
“We’re sure Fredericton will become a Lauren Toner fan in no time!”
Toner joined the Tigers in Grade 9 almost by fluke when her mother noticed on social media the school was offering free ice and a chance to tour the facilities.
“I was committed to Ancaster AA but I and went out and I saw Ridley. They had interest and I ended up coming here,” she said.
It was a decision that couldn’t have turned out any better.
“I feel like I’m prepared for the academics and for the athletics, too,” he said. “This summer I’m going to work more in the gym. I’m pretty physically fit already, but you can’t be too physically fit. I just want to get into the gym and prove even more.
“I think I’m ready.”
Amanda Wark, Ridley’s Director of Women’s Hockey – Head Coach, has high praise for Toner.
“Lauren is a power forward that has trusted the process, continued to develop and is ready to take her game again to the next level,” Wark said. “As a four-year senior Lauren’s leadership on the ice and in the locker room will be missed. Her ability and willingness to take younger players under her wing and to show them the ropes is impossible to replace”
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