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Mercyhurst Signs Five to National Letters of Intent

Dec. 21, 2007

Erie, Pa. - Mercyhurst head coach Michael Sisti announced today the early signing of five student athletes to National Letters of Intent. Forwards Bailey Bram, Kelley Steadman, and Jessica Jones will wear a Mercyhurst uniform next season as will defender Pam Zgoda and goaltender Hillary Pattenden. In addition, forward Lauren Ragen, a transfer from Brown University, will be eligible to play next season.

The 5'4" Bram plays for the Balmoral Hall Blazers AAA Midget team. The Ste. Anne, Manitoba, native tallied 44 goals and 37 assists last season. She was a member of Canada's U-18 team that competed against Team USA last summer and was the first game's MVP. Her Team Manitoba squad won a silver medal at the 2007 Canada Games and a bronze medal at the 2007 Nationals. Both were best-ever finishes.

Sisti comments: "Bailey is a talented player who will add terrific speed to our team. Her ability to score will also be a great asset and she will add to our team chemistry."

Steadman is a 5'11" winger from Plattsburgh, NY, who plays for the Northwood School. She totaled 20 goals and 18 assists in 41 games last season. She has attended USA Hockey Select development cams since 2004 and finished in the Top 10 in points in 2007. She was also a member of the USA U-18 Select Team and is an assistant captain for Northwood this season.

Sisti comments: "Kelley is a big, strong, power forward with great skill. She has tremendous potential to be an elite college hockey player. We are very excited to add her to our roster."

Jones is a 5'4" forward who hails from Picton, Ontario, and played last year for the Whitby Jr, Wolves. She finished last year in the PWHL tied for 6th in goals scored and 15th in points. She won a gold medal with Team Ontario Ted at the U-18 Women's Hockey Championships. Jones is a former student-athlete of the year at her high school.

Sisti comments: "Jess is a very smart player whose ability to read, react and score goals is a bonus for any team. Her attitude and work ethic will help her be very successful here."

Zgoda is 5'6" back-liner who attends Nichols School in Buffalo. As a member of the Buffalo Bison, she has 12 goals and 21 assists so far this season in 34 games. Last year, she amassed 53 points (8g, 45a) in 63 contests and had a +38 rating. She played in a three-game U-18 tournament against Canada and attended USA Hockey Development Camps from 2004 to 2007. She has also participated in the Empire State Games for the last three years.

Sisti comments: "Pam is a very solid defenseman from Cheektowaga, NY. Her toughness and skill will be nice additions to our blue line."

Pattenden stands 5'6" and played last season for the Pacific Steelers. The Crescent Beach, British Columbia, native ended the year with a .978 save percentage and a goals-against-average of 1.57 in 56 games. Among her other credentials: she was named to the National Summer U-18 Team Canada; named MVP in the championship game of the NAHA Tournament; and was named to Team British Columbia for the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse.

Sisti comments: "Hillary is a very solid young goaltender. We see her as one of the top goalies in North America for her age group and we think that she will fit in well with our team."

Ragen, 5'7", transferred from Brown earlier this year. Most recently, she played for the Connecticut Polar Bears while attending Loomis Chaffee School. In three years she accumulated 132 goals and 119 assists. The Grosse Ile, Michigan, native made the New England All-Star Team her junior and senior years and won the coaches' award as a junior. Ragen made nationals for nine straight years and attended USA National Development Camp for five years in-a-row. She was the overall winner of the 2006-07 national skills competition. She was team captain of the Polar Bears as a senior and was named Loomis' best female athlete.

Sisti comments: ""Lauren is a very smart, skilled player who will add maturity and talent to our team. She should be able to make a huge impact like all of our other incoming players."

Mercyhurst will lose six seniors to graduation next May: goaltender Laura Hosier; forwards Kristen Erickson, Jackie Jarrell, Stephanie Jones, and Sherilyn Fraser; and defender Danielle Ayearst.


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