Burlington, Ont. – Valerie Lamenta has been named IG Wealth Management Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Female Athlete of the Week, powered by Planters, for the period ending March 17, 2019.
Female Athlete of the Week – Valerie Lamenta (Montréal, Que.) – 5th Year – Guelph Gryphons
If a collegiate hockey player could write the script for the end of their career, it would read exactly like Lamenta’s last four days. The fifth-year Montréal native has achieved many honours as a Gryphon, including being named the U SPORTS Player of the Year back in 2016, as well as OUA Goaltender of the year honours earlier this month, but her legacy between the pipes has now grown even greater.
Lamenta led Guelph during their quest for the McCaw with a 5-0 record – including three shutouts – en route to the team’s third OUA championship in the last four seasons. But as unlikely as it would seem, the conference’s top netminder actually raised her game for the No. 3-seed Gryphons at the U SPORTS Championship in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Guelph knocked off the reigning national champion Manitoba Bisons, 3-2, in the first quarterfinal Thursday, with Lamenta making several key stops to preserve the win. After that, she didn’t give any opponent a sniff of the net. Lamenta was spectacular in registering a 31-save shutout in the Gryphons’ 5-0 win over the No. 2 seed Montreal Carabins. The broadcast of that game revealed the frustrations of the Montreal players, who were seen shaking their heads as Guelph’s rock in between the pipes continually robbed them over 60 minutes. And in the final against the McGill Martlets, Lamenta denied her opponents once again, stopping all 20 shots she faced for yet another shutout and a 1-0 win that marked the first national championship ever for the Gryphon women’s program.
She finished the postseason with a shocking 8-0 record, having conceded just six goals, with five shutouts, while also making the U SPORTS tournament all-star team.