Nursing student now considering coaching position with the Mustangs
By Pat Payton
St. Marys native April Clark recently finished a stellar five-year career with Western’s varsity women’s hockey team. Now, she may be embarking on a new chapter in her sports life: coaching.
In an interview with the Independent last week, Clark, 23, is considering joining the Mustangs’ coaching staff under head coach Candice Moxley. Moxley has been bench boss of the Mustangs since 2018.
“My coach wants me to help her out,” Clark said. “We still have to figure out the logistics. I’m probably going to meet with her in the next month and figure that out. It’s definitely a possibility that I have.”
She said she expects to make a final decision this summer.
Western’s all-time leading scorer
Clark, meanwhile, finished her playing career at Western as the school’s all-time leading scorer among women. She will go in the record books with 51 goals, 55 assists and 106 points in 119 career games. The previous UWO record for a women’s hockey player (Stacey Scott) was 102 points, set in 2015-16.
Clark, who served as a team co-captain this past season, led the Mustangs in scoring the past three years.
“I loved it,” Clark said, reflecting back on her university career which started in the fall of 2015. She said a team highlight was in 2018 when Western won the OUA title and the McCaw Cup, and Mustangs hosted the Canadian women’s championships at Thompson Arena. Western advanced to the gold-medal final, losing 2-0 to the University of Manitoba.
“But winning OUAs was pretty sweet,” Clark said. “It just seems like yesterday that I played my first game at Western. Honestly, time flies when you’re having fun.”
Being named a team captain in her final season was also special. “It was pretty cool to be voted captain by your teammates,” she noted.
Another highlight for Clark was being named Western’s female athlete-of-the-year for 2018-19. In that memorable season, the hard-working forward was selected OUA player-of-the-year, forward-of-the-year and a first-team all-star. The OUA scoring champ also had the most goals in Canada (20 goals and 33 points in 24 games), and was named a U Sports’ First Team All-Canadian.
Clark was also twice named to the U Sports squad that faced that national women’s U-22 team and International teams in Calgary.
This past season, Clark led Western with nine goals (including four on powerplays) and 22 points in 24 games. She finished fourth in the OUA scoring race in 2019-20.
–April Clark posted great stats against the Ryerson Rams in her career. In five games at Ryerson (the old Maple Leaf Gardens), she had eight goals and four assists for 12 points.
–With the university closed at the present time, Clark has been busy doing on-line studies. The DCVI grad hopes to obtain her nursing degree at Western in a year and a half.
–Clark is currently employed by ‘Snipe Academy,’ a London-based business. She teaches female hockey players how to better stickhandle and shoot a puck.