Coming to Brock as a varsity athlete is one thing—but how about playing five years on the women’s hockey team, wearing the “C” on your uniform as team captain, and having the honour of your jersey being retired into the history books of Brock Badgers’ athletics for life. The #9 jersey that has been worn by Jessica Fickel for the past five years, will never be worn again by a Brock Badger.
On Jan. 18, prior to Fickel’s last-ever home game in St. Catharines, Brock Athletics honoured her by retiring her #9 forever. The jersey retirement is just the seventh-ever number to be retired by Brock in all of their 27 varsity athletic teams combined. Fickel is leaving the team before the end of the regular season to compete for Team Canada in the 2015 World Universiade.
On Nov. 30, the fifth-year forward from Fort Erie, Ontario scored two goals and added one assist to give her 113 points (114 GP, 51G, 62A, 113 pts) eclipsing both Kate Allgood and Kelly Walker’s 112 points in a 5-3 Badgers (1-9-3 OUA) victory over the Nipissing Lakers (7-6-1 OUA). Fickel added an assist this past Saturday Jan. 24 in her final game as a Badger to give her 116 points to finish her career as the all-time point leader.
It’s been a very disappointing season for the Brock women’s hockey team. With 11 rookies added to the lineup this year, Fickel and the rest of the Badgers knew it was going to be a struggle out of the gate. However, head coach Jim Denham would be the first one to tell you that he didn’t expect the Badgers to lose their first 12 games of the season.
Since the new year, Denham is no longer coaching the team and the Badgers have had some more success. Interim head coach Corey Williamson has the team back on track with three points in their last six games, including going to a shootout on Jan. 24 against the #4 ranked Queens Golden Gaels.
Despite a rough season for the Badgers, it’s been great for the rookies to get a ton of OUA exper ience, leading into next year under coach Williamson.
The Badgers final two homes games of the regular season will be played on Feb. 7 and 8 at the Seymour Hannah Centre with puck drops for both games beginning at 2:15 p.m.