By Nick Kuhl on December 21, 2019.
As far as an advance scouting report for their new team next year,
Madeleine Noonan and Mallory Dyer can’t get one from a much better
Noonan and Dyer are two new recruits for the University of Lethbridge
Pronghorns women’s hockey team for the 2020-21 Canada West season.
Also on that list is Noonan’s current Calgary Fire teammate,
defenceman Emma Neff.
However, it’s hardly a blind jump Noonan and Dyer are making to the
Canada West and they both have a trusty inside source.
That comes from their older siblings, Rose Noonan and Meg Dyer, both
In what is probably music to Pronghorns head coach Doug Paisley’s
ears, the reviews have been glowing.
“I’m really excited mostly because my sister also goes to
Lethbridge and she absolutely loves it,” said Noonan, who is a
forward for the Calgary Fire of the midget AAA Alberta Female Hockey
League and a teammate of Neff’s with that team. “She would come
home for Christmas and tell everybody about it and it made me fall in
love in with it already. Having the opportunity for Doug to have a
look at me was pretty exciting.”
Dyer, who used to play with Noonan and Neff on the Fire before making
the move to the Female Prep system Edge Mountaineers this season, was
also looking forward to the jump to the Canada West.
“I’m really excited to get into playing USPORTS and playing at
higher intensity level,” said Dyer. “Just being able to compete
with players that are a lot faster and in such a strong league as
Like Noonan, her sibling provided a little insight.
“She said she’s really excited about what the program has offered
for her and how enthusiastic Doug was about his plans for the
program,” said Dyer. “(Also) with the fit, how she’s getting to
know Doug. She says she’s really enjoying it.
“I knew a bit about the school because my brother also goes there. It
seemed like it would be a good fit for me given Doug’s coaching
style. He seemed excited about his plans for me as a player and that
got me excited as well.”
Neff not only knows the two players she’ll be joining the Pronghorns
with next year, she also has a player on the inside.
This one isn’t a sibling, but a former teammate in Calgary who is now
a second-year Pronghorn.
The player in question is forward Kenzie Lausberg, a former member of
the Fire Neff played alongside in her first year of midget.
Clearly, spotting a familiar face or two won’t be an issue for the
“One of my old teammates plays on the team already and I’ve played
with Maddy and Mallory since I started girls hockey in bantam,” said
Neff. “I’m really excited. The more I think about it, the more
excited I get. I’m excited to be in a new league because I’ve been
in this one for three years now. I’m excited to move away from home,
but not so far away I have to fly, I can just drive home if I want
The five-foot-eight blue-liner has two goals and four points in 14
games with the Fire this season.
Last summer Neff was invited to the Alberta Hockey U18 Summer Camp.
Noonan brings a multi-sport background to the Horns, having
participated in both track and field and lacrosse.
In 2017 she made Team Alberta for Lacrosse, participating in nationals
in Halifax and helping Alberta to a bronze medal finish. She has also
been a member of three provincial championship teams in female box
This season with the Fire, the the five-foot-four forward has two
goals and two assists in 14 games.
“For me individually it’s been going pretty good,” said Noonan.
“I’ve had to take the past two-and-a-half weeks off because I
sprained my MCL. But for the whole team we’re having a little rough
patch right now, but hopefully it’ll get better after the break.”
Dyer spent the previous two seasons with the Fire and the Rocky
Mountain Raiders and earned back-to-back provincial silver medals. She
was also invited to the U18 Team Alberta Top 27 Camp last year.
It’s been a good first half of the season with her new team.
“We just won the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Tournament right before our
break,” said Dyer of the biggest female midget AAA hockey
tournament in Western Canada which is hosted by the Notre Dame Hounds.
“So I’m really excited for the second half.”
Then in the fall of 2020 the three newest Horns will bring their game
to the U of L.
They’ll all bring the grit.
“One hundred and ten per cent effort each shift,” said Noonan. “I
feel that’s probably my best asset, I work hard all the time.”
Ditto, said Dyer.
“I like to forecheck and backcheck a lot and battle in the
corners,” said Dyer.
Neff plans to bring a fast pace
“I’m definitely a fast skater, so I’ll definitely use my speed as
much as possible,” she said. “And I play a very physical game. So
I’ll definitely bring that, some size, speed and physicality.”
Still, there will be challenges to face making the midget-to-Canada
“It’s obviously going to be faster because the girls are bigger and
stronger,” said Neff. “But mentally I’ll have to think a lot
faster. When I go and watch their games they make decisions just like
bang, bang, bang. There’s no time. It’s split second decisions that
make that difference. From my league to the Canada West league they
play so much faster. So that will be an adjustment, for sure.
The trio has discussed their future with the Pronghorns.
“Emma and I talk about it every day because we also go to the same
school,” said Noonan. “So we joke with how we’re stuck with each
other for another five years. But we want to live together, so
that’ll be fun. I had some ice time with Mallory (Friday and
Thursday) and we talked about it and we’re really because she’s in
the same boat with her sister on the team. So it’s pretty similar.”
“Maddie and I got to the same high school (Bishop Carroll High
School) right now,” added Neff. “It’s just another five years of
fun, I guess. It’ll be good.”
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