Ontario’s own

Lexie Adzija is proving herself as a key contributor in her freshman year

By on October 23, 2018

Since the age of four, Lexie Adzija, has been battling away in the sport of hockey.

Now, she’s the ECAC Rookie of the Week for the first week of the season for the Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s ice hockey team.

Her beginnings in hockey were quite unique. Adzija, who grew up St. Thomas, Ontario, refused to move at all on the ice when her father tried teaching her how to skate. The only way he could get her to skate was by bribing her with the candy Smarties. Little did he know that this form of motivation were the first steps in creating a Division I college athlete.

“My older brother played [hockey], and I grew up the first few years of my life watching him in the rink all the time,” Adzija said. “I was in gymnastics and soccer first, but I was like, ‘No, I want to play hockey.’”

Megan Lowe | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Adzija played Bantam hockey with the London Devilettes, playing in a total of 74 games. She racked up 44 goals and 36 assists for a total of 80 points with the Devilettes. She then switched to a private school and continued her high school career with the Oakville Hornets. In 52 games with Oakville, she filled the stat sheet with 20 goals and 23 assists, finishing with 43 points.

The competition level was not different as both teams played in the same league, but the talent on Oakville was significantly better. Adzija had to push herself in every practice and training session to be successful.

The Canadian women’s U-18 national team recognized Adzija’s talent and invited her to play in a tournament with them. In six games, she produced one goal and three assists, proving that she can be successful at every level she plays.

As a freshman in high school, she was already touring colleges in hopes of playing for a Division I team. Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner was the first to reach out to Adzija in hopes of potentially recruiting her.

“Lex, since she was in ninth grade, has been big, strong and powerful,” Turner said. “My assistant coach [Amanda Mazzotta] actually coached [Adzija]. We were recruiting Adzija before [Mazzotta] even ended up here.”

Originally, Adzija was not too sure if Quinnipiac was the school for her. When she visited the campus, it was empty, which made her consider bigger schools. Fortunately, Turner convinced her to come back one more time, when students were on campus. On her second tour, she fell in love with the school and the atmosphere.

“I went back and forth on my decision, but I definitely think I made the right choice,” Adzija said.

Adzija had been looking at Ohio State, Clarkson and Minnesota, but found her way to Quinnipiac in the end. Her former teammate, Emma Maltais from Oakville, committed to Ohio State, whom Quinnipiac played in the home opener.

In Adzija’s first-ever collegiate game, she assisted on two goals, the only freshman in ECAC Hockey that weekend to have a multi-point game. She proved a lot to Turner and the rest of the staff that she was ready to play and proved it by earning ECAC Rookie of the Week.

“I actually didn’t know until I got to the rink, and my teammate came in and was like, ‘Oh Lex, congrats, you’re ECAC Rookie of the Week,’” Adzija said. “It was pretty exciting. There’s a lot of nerves when you start to play, and that kind of gave a bit of confidence.”

The following week came the two-game series against Maine, where Adzija would net her first goal as a Bobcat. In the second period, she deflected a pass over the shoulder of the goalie. At first, she was not sure if the puck went in or if it was her goal.

“I looked at Sarah [Coutu-Godbout] and I was like, ‘Was that me? Did I score?’ So again, really exciting,” Adzija said. “It was another memorable moment. Tough loss, if we won it would’ve been a little more exciting.”

Hockey has been a part of Adzija’s life since she can remember and balancing a hockey schedule, she needed to develop good time management and studying habits to stay on top of her homework. The coursework has gotten more demanding over the years for her, but she has maintained her schoolwork efficiently.

“I think the opportunities in everything, in school and in hockey. I think for me to grow as a person in every aspect, Quinnipiac was right for me.”

Adzija’s work ethic on and off the ice has earned Turner’s trust in all situations during the game. Turner loves her ability to get to the dirty areas and work for the puck. She enjoys watching Adzija fly into the offensive zone applying pressure, forcing turnovers and grinding it out with the defensemen.

The team chemistry has been a strength for the Bobcats so far this season. Adzija has gelled with her linemates, Taylor House and Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout, and her team very well, as they have produced the most points for the team so far this season. Their line has combined for four goals and ten assists so far.

“I’ve never been a part of a team where everyone cheers each other on. We’ve had great chemistry on and off the ice, especially in the weight room,” Adzija said. “I know we’ve had a little bit of a rough start, but no one is blaming each other, we’re all in this together.”

“With Logan [Angers], she was on hockey Canada with me, we had a handshake there so we kind of brought that here which is pretty cool that we get to do that for the next four years,” Adzija said.

Starting the season 0-4-2 is not what Turner and the team hoped for, but they have played well and been competitive each game. Adzija, as a freshman, has asserted herself as being a big, physical presence down low, in the corners and in front of the net.

“Lex has gotten better every single game and that’s amazing to see with her. She battles so hard around the puck and has a knack for the net,” Turner said. “Her battle and compete and her ability to score go hand in hand. Usually, when you see her score, it’s because she’s done something to win the puck back.”

Turner and the Bobcats have a stretch of important, competitive games coming against conference foes such as Brown, Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Cornell and Colgate. The team has a clear intention of improving its record in the upcoming games. Turner knows that a big key to the team’s success will be if Adzija continues to battle and put pucks in the net.

“Lex is super confident on the ice, which is why we are comfortable putting her in all these situations,” Turner said. “We need her physical presence all over the ice, her ability to pressure the puck, win pucks back, get to the net and make goalies uncomfortable is going to be pivotal in our offense going forward.”

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