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Foundation Award Winner, Saroya Tinker, Re-Ups With The Six

TORONTO — Bringing her shot blocking abilities and community leadership back to the T6 blue line, the Toronto Six have re-signed defender Saroya Tinker to a Premier Hockey Federation contract for the 2022-23 season.

“I decided to re-sign, first off, because we have a great team culture,” said Tinker. “I think that last season was my most enjoyable season I’ve played in all my years of hockey because we had really great culture. I think we’re really building a great program here in Toronto, and I want to be a piece of that, and I want to be a foundational player, so that’s why I’ve decided to re-sign.”

A homegrown defender from Oshawa, Ontario, Tinker finished Season 7 as the league’s top shot blocker, credited with 39 in 20 games. She also registered six points on one goal and five assists which ranked fourth in team scoring from the back end. Primarily playing on the team’s second pairing with Taylor Woods, her six points included a power play goal, the first of her career, scored on February 26 against her former team, the Metropolitan Riveters.

Making an impact both on the ice and in the community, Tinker was the organization’s recipient of the PHF’s Foundation Award. This honour helped recognize her efforts in making hockey more inclusive for the BIPOC community and young girls in particular through her own ‘Saroya Strong’ mentorship program and raising funds to support Black Girl Hockey Club. Her growing list of PHF achievements also includes a Foundation Award received as a member of the Riveters during Season 6, and the Denna Laing Award she was presented in 2021 for exemplifying qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to her sport. The fourth overall pick in the 2020 draft has amassed seven points in 24 career regular season games.

Tinker becomes Toronto’s eighth signing, joining returnees Taylor Davison and Taylor Woods on defence, Shiann Darkangelo and Emma Woods up front, and goaltender Elaine Chuli. Free agent forwards Brittany Howard and Lexi Templeman have also entered the fold for 2022-23. “We are ecstatic to welcome back Saroya Tinker to the Toronto Six,” said Angela James, General Manager of the Toronto Six. “Saroya brings more than just her defensive hockey abilities to the team. She brings a huge community presence with her involvement, and with

being the winner of the Denna Laing and PHF Foundation Awards. I think her infectious personality will have a huge impact on all of the T6 players, especially the rookies, where her leadership will guide them to understand what it takes to be a true professional on the Toronto Six.” A hardworking blue-liner who uses her body to her advantage, Tinker started her professional hockey career after four years of college at Yale University. In both her Freshman and Sophomore seasons respectively, she finished regular season play as the program’s fourth-

highest scoring defender.

*Check out our interview with Toronto 6ix Goalie, Elaine Chuli*

Doubling her point total in her Junior campaign, Tinker racked up a personal-best, recording 11 points on three goals and eight assists. That saw her star continue to rise, finishing 2018-19 as the Bulldogs second-highest leading defender. She compiled a career-high 12 points the next year as a Senior, making her the team’s third-highest scoring defender, while also ranking her in the eight slot overall. Her play also earned her a selection to the ECAC All-Academic Team. The History of Science, Medicine & Public Health and Sociology graduate, through 122 games, compiled 32 points, registering five goals, while adding 27 assists.

The 24-year-old adds past experience from the Under-18 Canadian National Women’s Team, where she secured a silver medal at the 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. Delighted by the team’s new direction, Tinker can’t wait to return to Toronto and be in the company of her teammates, both on and off the ice. “I’m just excited to be back with my teammates,” she exclaimed. “I definitely enjoy being in the dressing room. I enjoy going to hockey everyday, and I enjoy being at the rink, so I’m honestly just excited to be hanging out with my teammates again. I miss seeing them 4-5 times a week!”

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