Following a handful of seasons in which the Herd fell short in the Canada West Finals or Semifinals, Rempel’s 2017-18 Bisons proved victorious and took home the conference championship on home ice over the Saskatchewan Huskies in early March. The Bisons picked up three of their four Canada West victories in overtime, including a quadruple overtime thriller. The conference championship was just the University of Manitoba’s third banner in its 21-years of existence.
In going 19-5-3-1 in the regular season, Rempel’s Bisons claimed top spot in their conference for the first time in the team history. They also enter Nationals as the number one ranked team in Canada.
Rempel, 46, has been the recipient of Canada West Women’s Hockey Coach of the Year five times (2004-05), (2006-07), (2014-15), (2016-17) and (2017-18). Although stringing together 214 career regular season victories, Rempel had never before been named U-Sports or CIS Coach of the Year.
Rempel holds a career coaching record of 214-132-6, with three conference championships (2008-09, 2010-11, 2017-18) and six appearances in the national championship.
“Jon Rempel being named U SPORTS women’s hockey Coach of the Year is a very special accolade for Bison Sports and our women’s hockey program,” said Gene Muller, University of Manitoba Director of Athletics and Recreation. “As the leader of our women’s hockey team, Jon is fully absorbed in the role and the responsibilities that it entails. He is dedicated to the achievement of our student-athletes in all facets of their lives. Bison Sports recognizes and values his effort, energy and time. Jon’s major national award is thoroughly deserved.”
It was also announced on Wednesday that two Bisons were named to the All-Canadian and All-Rookie teams. 21-year-old alternate captain Erica Reider was selected as a second-team All-Canadian defenceman, while 18-year-old freshman goaltender Lauren Taraschuk was named to the 2017-18 All-Rookie team.
The 2018 U-Sports Women’s Hockey Championship begins Thursday at Thompson Arena in London, Ontario. The Bisons meet up with Queen’s at 3:00 P.M. on Friday. The tournament will conclude with the gold-medal game at 3:00 P.M. on Sunday. All games will be live-streamed at sportscanada.tv/usports/2018-whk.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Jeff Miller