(Argo Athletics Media Release)
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Momentum is starting to build in the inaugural recruiting class for University of Providence women’s hockey team, with the program signing its third player and filling a crucial position. That player is Kim Simoneau, a goaltender from Olds, Alberta.
Not only is Simoneau the team’s third signing, but she could be part of what might be the team’s first recruiting pipeline, the Kimberley Nitro Xpress Hockey Academy. She is the second KNX player to sign with UP, joining former and now current teammate Laurel Davidson.
“It’s extremely relieving to know that I’m going to have someone here with me that I know. I feel like we’re going to be able to rely on each other in our time here,” Simoneau said about having a former teammate already on the UP roster.
In one season with the Nitro Xpress, Simoneau split time with two other goalies on the roster but finished the season with 2 shutouts and a save percentage of 88.8 percent. She was between the pipes for KNX when the team won bronze in the Mountain Meltdown Tournament.
Before joining KNX, she played for the Olds Grizzly’s Midgets, splitting time with one other keeper. Despite evenly splitting the ice time, Simoneau was named the OMHA Goalie of the Year while allowing 0.9 goals per game with a save percentage of 96.1 and 9 total shutouts. Of those 9 shutouts, 4 came in tournament play while helping the Grizzly’s to a league championship.
Simoneau came onto UP Head Coach Ryne Hueth’s radar while he was also recruiting Davidson. He got to watch Simoneau play in a showcase in Kimberly and both player and coach quickly expressed a mutual interest.
“Watching her for five minutes and seeing how she plays I knew she was going to fit perfectly,” Hueth said. “The first thing I noticed is that she always has a smile on her face. That reminds me of Marc-Andre Fleury with the Vegas Golden Knights. If you can smile as a goalie and can maintain that, then you have the right mentality.”
As a lifelong goaltender, including still playing the position in adult rec leagues, Hueth has a particularly keen insight into the position. That experience was also part of the reason Simoneau wanted to join the new program.
“I think that’s really awesome. He can not only help the players, but he can help the goalies too,” Simoneau said. “Some coaches have no idea about the aspects of goaltending and how to improve. I feel like that can be very beneficial for me.”
The UP women’s hockey team will have its debut season in 2018-19.