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    Thumbs down SMU cuts its women’s hockey program.

    X Coach Synishin 'Blindsided' by SMU Decision

    Courtesy Willy Palov, The Chronicle Herald


    St. Francis Xavier X-Women’s head coach David Synishin said he was "completely blindsided" by the announcement on Friday that Saint Mary’s University cut its women’s hockey program.

    Synishin wonders how the AUS will change now that it has been reduced to a six-team league.

    "I’m very disappointed," Synishin said. "Our league has gotten strong over the last number of years and I think there are implications beyond losing a very good program that’s done well over the years. It’s going to affect our league, our playoff format, our schedule and other things. When I got the news I was just dumbfounded. It was one of the last programs I thought that would happen to."

    The quality of play in the AUS had improved in recent years to the point where Atlantic teams were making more noise on the national stage. The X-Women made it to this year’s CIS championship game and the Moncton Aigles Blues claimed a bronze medal in 2009.

    "We lost a couple shootout games to get into the gold-medal game three or four years ago as well and the Saint Mary’s program itself was very competitive," Synishin said. "They went to the nationals and won a game last year against Montreal at the nationals. They’ve been here from the start and (coach Lisa Jordan) has been very dedicated to the program and done a great job with it. Just looking back at last year, they won an AUS championship and that spoke volumes about her coaching and how the program has progressed as well."

    "With UNB dropping its program a couple years ago, I didn’t think we’d see it again in this conference, especially with Saint Mary’s," he added. "I look at the universities where the men’s programs are very strong with UNB and Saint Mary’s winning national titles over the last number of years. Those are (successes) that help build the entire hockey program so it’s still difficult to believe we’ve lost another women’s team from our league."

    Dalhousie coach Lesley Jordan was equally surprised by the announcement.

    "Blindsided is a pretty accurate description," said Jordan, in assessing her thoughts on the announcement. "I don’t think anyone thought it would or could happen. It came out of nowhere and is definitely shocking.

    "There are a number of concerns and a long list of repercussions when something like this happens. And absolutely one of the biggest concerns is the players. They are here to play hockey, go to school and enjoy the whole experience. And to have it taken out from underneath them doesn’t seem fair."

    http://www.goxgo.ca/news/2011/3/19/WH_0319111128.aspx
    Last edited by la Tuque; 2011-03-19 at 09:10.
    http://goxgo.ca/sports/fball/index

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