The Johnson and Wales University Wildcats no longer need a new goaltender for the 2021-22 season. With senior Claire Parry aging out for the coming season, the Providence, Rhode Island-based university put out feelers for a young netminder up for the task of stopping pucks for the Wildcats of the competitive NEHC conference of the NCAA’s Division III.
In turning their attention to Manitoba, the Wildcats’ staff looked no further than Heaven Moneyas. And the 2019 Manitoba Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Council’s Aboriginal Female Athlete of the Year obliged the offer in a heartbeat.
Moneyas put pen to paper on the player agreement that will see the now 18-year-old travel to Rhode Island for the 2021-22 season, following the completion of her Canadian Sport School Hockey League career with the Pilot Mound Hockey Academy Buffaloes.
“Heaven is a dedicated student-athlete with her eyes set directly on a career following a successful college experience,” said PMHA’s goaltending coach Gordie Tumilson. “Her dedication comes from a warm, caring, wonderful family setting and the pride she has in her Indigenous heritage.”
Putting together a 2.82 goals against average and a .909 save percentage in 13 games played last season, Moneyas owned a 6-6-0 record with three shutouts to her name. She was only able to suit up in two contests in 2020-21 prior to Manitoba’s public health order disallowing indoor contact sports.
“She battles in every game, works hard in every practice and understands the level of effort needed to succeed, rather than just success itself,” Tumilson added. “In my mind and after watching her for a season and a bit, there’s nothing but good things ahead for this talented, determined and proud young woman.”
The Wildcats went 11-11-4 for a .500 record in 26 games last season. The team had a better record at home than on the road and went 8-5-3 within is own conference. There were no Canadians on the 2019-20 roster.
“We are very excited to add Heaven to our hockey family and community as a whole at Johnson and Wales,” said Wildcats head coach Katherine Hannah. “Heaven is a pure athlete. She brings a high compete level and a desire to get better and compete on a daily basis. Her athleticism, speed, and read of play in the net will prove beneficial and we look forward to seeing her continued growth both on the ice and in the classroom. Her goals are aligned with what we want to do with this program’s big picture and she will be someone who can come in and compete as a freshman moving forward. We are excited to see her in action next fall.”