Sunday, 25 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (61-70)

In the spirit of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Fearless, Frozen Females is recognizing 150 Canadian women (and in some cases, groups) who have made their mark in women’s ice hockey. Although this list will also recognize some of the greatest who have ever played, there is also an effort to focus on others who have made other impressions on the game.

Of note, this list does not intend to rank individuals by order of talent or importance. The numeric listing exists just for the sake of categorization. Whether it be through coaching, administrative or online capacities, the objective of the list is to feature a breadth of overall individuals, recognizing those who otherwise may not be given consideration.

Thank you to all these individuals for their amazing collaboration and admirable efforts in helping to make women’s ice hockey an integral component of the Canadian sporting fabric #Canada150

61: Susan Dalziel PEI Sports Hall of Fame Having volunteered her time in women's ice hockey in Prince Edward Island since the early 1970s, Dalziel also played, competing with the Spudettes since 1973. Capturing eight straight provincial championships, the Spudettes were also Dominion "B" champions in 1976. The CAHA named her to the Committee for the Development of Women's Ice Hockey, and in 1978, she became the first woman to attend a CAHA General Annual Meeting. At the 1991 Canada Winter Games, she was also named Sport Director for Women's Hockey.

62: Glynis Peters Olympic Team Leader 1997-98 A manager for the Canadian Hockey Association women's team since 1990, Peters was also a former player. At the high school level in Niagara Falls, she captured three straight Powder Puff Tournament wins. Later playing for the Canterbury Rebels club team in Ottawa, Peters was an essential component in the rise of women's hockey in the 1990s, serving as Team Leader for Canada in eight different tournaments, including the 1998 Nagano Winter Games.

63: Elizabeth Graham Goaltending Pioneer While competing with the Queen's Golden Gaels, Elizabeth Graham would make history by becoming the first goaltender to wear a mask in a game. Achieving this feat in 1927, as a means to protect some dental work recently completed, it had the appearance of a fencing mask. Three years later, Clint Benedict would become the first to wear a mask in an NHL game.

64: Delayne Brian Goaltender Having stood between the pipes for Canada at the inaugural IIHF U18 women's world championships, it marked the beginning of a brilliant career for Delayne Brian. After a collegiate career at Wayne State (where she called future Toronto Furies skater Alyssa Baldin a teammate) and with the Robert Morris Colonials, the arrival of Delayne Brian signified a new era in the history of the Calgary Inferno. Transforming the franchise from doormat to dominant, she was recognized as the 2014 CWHL Goaltender of the Year Award winner, signifying the first time that a member of the Inferno captured a major award. Rewarded for her strong season with a chance to compete for Team White at the inaugural CWHL All-Star Game at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, she would return to the second edition of the All-Star Game, competing with a victorious Team Black.

The following year, Brian would add to her haul of hockey hardware by being named the Most Outstanding Goaltender for Canada at the 2015 ISBHF Women's Worlds in Zug, Switzerland. Her defining moment would take place at the 2016 Clarkson Cup. With the Inferno the underdog against the favored Canadiennes de Montreal, Brian played valiantly. Facing 41 shots in the first Cup Finals contested on NHL ice (at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre), she was recognized as the MVP of the postseason, as the Inferno defeated Montreal by an 8-3 mark for their first-ever Clarkson Cup victory. (Photo credit: Jess Bazal)

65: Jamie Lee Rattray Player Having graduated as the all-time scoring leader in the history of the Clarkson Golden Knights, Rattray was the first player of Native Canadian heritage to have played on all three levels of Canada's national women's hockey team (U18, U22/Developmental, Senior).

66: Camille Leonard Goaltender Having won four consecutive NCAA Division III national women's ice hockey championships with the Plattsburgh Cardinals, Leonard first established herself as a star goalie competing for Bradi Cochrane with the PWHL's Oakville Hornets. Having rewritten the Division III goaltending records, she graduated from SUNY-Plattsburgh with an astounding 72-4-0 won-loss mark. Recording 15 shutouts in her junior season, she is also a two-time All-America selection. (Photo credit: Tim Brule, USCHO Photoshelter)

67: Bobbie Rosenfeld LOHA President Famous as a Track and Field athlete, capturing a gold medal at the 1928 Summer Games, and later a journalist with The Globe and Mail, Bobbie Rosenfeld was also a prominent women's hockey competitor. Competing with the Toronto Patterson Pats, she was considered Ontario's best competitor during the 1931-32 season. Having helped form the Ladies Ontario Hockey Association in 1924, a forebear to the Ontario Women's Hockey Association in the 1970s, she was its President for five years, before Roxy Atkins took the mantle of 1939, one year before the LOHA folded.

68: Karen Hughes Coach Named Team Canada's head coach for the 2002-03 season, she was also part of Daniele Sauvageau's staff that captured gold at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games. Having spent over 10 seasons as a head coach with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, where she coaches the likes of Lori Dupuis, Andria Hunter and Jayna Hefford, she would capture a CIS national championship in 2000-01.

69: Kay "Cookie" Cartwright Kingston Sports Hall of Fame Having played with the Kingston Red Barons, a team she helped co-found, Kay Cartwright was also a prominent golf competitor, capturing 24 club championships. A key figure in helping to reinstate women's ice hockey at the university level in 1960, she was also part of the steering committee for the OWHA, helping to also draft its constitution. Having also played with the Queen's Golden Gaels, she would help the club capture the first national championship.

70: Dr. Judy McCaw Pioneer A member of the first Guelph Gryphons team to capture the WIAU provincial university championship in 1966-67, Judy McCaw's name would become synonymous with the trophy for generations. In 1972, the University of Guelph would dedicate the trophy in her honor after winning it in 1971-72. Serendipitously, the 50th anniversary of the Gryphons championship team would result in the Gryphons capturing their second straight McCaw Cup, winning on home ice against the Nipissing Lakers.

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (71-80)

71: Therese Brisson Winter Games Gold Medalist A member of Canada's roster at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games, Brisson joined the national team in 1993, quickly becoming one of its anchors. In March 2009, she was voted onto the Canadian Olympic Committee's Board of Directors. Part of her Hockey Canada legacy also includes serving as Director for the Women's High Performance Advisory Committee.

72: Canada's Dynamic Duo on Defense: Carla MacLeod and Gina Kingsbury Winter Games Gold Medalists, Coaches Among the defensive superstars for Canada's roster in women's ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Games, their careers have practically run parallel. Having retired from the game together, the two would also enter coaching. MacLeod would serve on the coaching staff of the Japanese team that qualified for the 2014 Winter Games. Kingsbury was on the coaching staff of the Calgary Inferno, capturing a Clarkson Cup in her first season (2015). In a unique instance of six degrees of hockey separation, Scott Reid was on the coaching staff of both of these teams.

73: Dawn McGuire Pioneer Having first made a name for herself as a member of the Edmonton Chimos, the most famous Canadian women's club team of the latter half of the 20th Century, she would gain a spot on Canada's roster at the 1990 and 1992 IIHF Women's World Championships. Capturing gold both times, the 1990 tournament would see McGuire saw tournament MVP honors.

74: Judy Diduck Winter Games Silver Medalist, Golden Path Trophy A star player in both ringette and ice hockey, Diduck gained Ringette Hall of Fame honors in 2005. The sister of former NHL competitor Gerald Diduck, she suited up for the Edmonton Chimos, and was part of four straight gold medalist teams with Canada at the 1990-92-94-97 IIHF Women's Worlds. Part of the roster that competed at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, she would also capture a CIS national championship with the Edmonton Chimos, also serving on Howie Draper's coaching staff.

75: Gillian Ferrari Winter Games Gold Medalist, Golden Path Trophy Inducted into Brampton's Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, Ferrari was a member of the Brampton Thunder, competing at multiple Esso Women's Nationals. Capturing a gold medal with Canada's entry in women's ice hockey at the 2006 Torino Winter Games, it was also an opportunity for Ferrari to get closer to her heritage, as her father is Italian. In 2010, Ferrari joined the McGill Martlets and would capture a national championship with the club. For the 2012-13 season, she also saw spot duty with the Montreal Stars.

76: Christina Kessler Goaltender One of the most durable and valiant goaltenders in the history of the CWHL, Christina Kessler stood between the pipes when the Toronto Furies captured the Clarkson Cup in a dramatic overtime final against the Boston Blades. Recognized with tournament MVP honors, Kessler would also participate in the first three CWHL All-Star Games, joining Charline Labonte as the only goaltender to achieve this. Prior to the Furies, Kessler also stood between the pipes for the Burlington Barracudas. With several other Barracudas, they would compete in the first-ever women's ice hockey tournament for Hockey Helps the Homeless. In 2008, Kessler was named a Second-Team All-America with the Harvard Crimson.

77: Cayley Mercer Patty Kazmaier Award Finalist Capturing the 2016-17 NCAA scoring championship, Cayley Mercer was the Team MVP for the Clarkson Golden Knights for three consecutive years. The runner-up for the 2017 edition of the Patty Kazmaier Award, Mercer would get the last laugh as her Golden Knights emerged with the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four, defeating the top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers. Prior to Clarkson, Mercer was a captain with the PWHL's Bluewater Hawks. At the 2011 Canadian U18 nationals, she would capture gold with Team Ontario, following it up one year later with a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF U18 Women's Worlds.

78: Sarah Davis Player The first player from Newfoundland to compete with Canada's national women's ice hockey team, Sarah Davis continues to build on her proud hockey legacy. The pride of Paradise, Newfoundland, where a street is named in her honor, Davis captured an NCAA championship with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Jumping to the professional ranks with the Calgary Inferno, she would capture the 2015 Clarkson Cup.

79: Courtney Birchard Defense Appearing in the 2012 Clarkson Cup finals with the Brampton Thunder, Birchard has also donned the Team Canada jersey, competing in numerous IIHF Women's Worlds. Capturing the 2011 Karyn Bye Award while competing at the University of New Hampshire, she was also a multiple Hockey East All-Star selection. At the professional level, Birchard has also competed in consecutive CWHL All-Star Games.

80: Jessica (Jess) O'Grady Player, Administration Having competed at the university level with Ottawa's Carleton Ravens, it was the extension of a proud local legacy. As a teen phenom, she competed for the Ottawa Capital Canucks during the inaugural CWHL season of 2007-08. Her greatest moment as a player would take place on January 29, 2013 as she scored three straight goals in a shootout with the Carleton Ravens, a Canadian Interuniversity Sport record. In addition to one season spent as a player with the CWHL's Calgary Inferno, she would also suit up for host country Canada at the 2013 ISBHF Women's Worlds, capturing a gold medal. Following her playing career, O'Grady served in the CWHL in numerous capacities, including Marketing and Communications, plus one season as the Manager of Hockey Operations. She would also serve as the scorekeeper at the 2015 Clarkson Cup Finals, the first ever contested in an NHL arena. Coincidentally, this was held at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre, bringing her career full circle. Having also organized a charity golf tournament known as The Darlene O'Grady Open, she has become a hockey humanitarian, raising close to $100,000 over the course of seven years for cancer research.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (81-90)

81: Nancy Drolet Player, Executive Proving that the women of hockey could also be successful in the front office, Drolet would balance a playing career while serving in an executive capacity with the Ste. Julie Pantheres. Later serving in the CWHL's front office, Drolet's legacy as a player is indisputable. Before Marie-Philip Poulin's heroics, Drolet would score the golden goals at the 1997 and 2000 IIHF Women's World Championships. She would also be part of Canada's roster that competed in women's ice hockey at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games.

82: Susanna Yuen Player

83: Shirley Cameron Player, Builder A member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in the Builder's Category, Shirley Cameron's impact for women's hockey in Alberta is akin to Fran Rider in Ontario. Having first played hockey in Jasper, Alberta in 1972, that gathering of players would serve as the backbone of the eventual Edmonton Chimos. With the Chimos, she would capture the Abby Hoffman Cup three times, awarded to the national women's champions. Her career would reach its pinnacle in 1990, as she was on Canada's captains in a gold medal effort at the inaugural IIHF Women's World Hockey Championships.(Image obtained from Edmonton Sun website)

84: Erica Howe Goaltender The holder of numerous goaltending records with the Clarkson Golden Knights, the pinnacle of her collegiate career involved defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers to capture the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four. Selected by the Brampton Thunder in the 2014 CWHL Draft, she would be joined on the club by Jamie Lee Rattray, who called her a teammate with the PWHL's Ottawa Lady Senators and the Golden Knights. The two would also play for Team Red in the inaugural CWHL All-Star Game, as Howe was credited with the win over Team White.

85: Sarah Vaillancourt Player Following Harvard alum Jennifer Botterill, Sarah Vaillancourt added her name to the list of Canadians that captured the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award. Capturing gold medals with Canada's contingent at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games, she was also part of the Montreal Stars roster that won the 2011 Clarkson Cup, becoming part of the Triple Gold Club for Women, which recognizes IIHF World Gold, Winter Games Gold and the coveted Clarkson.

86: Sarah Edney Player The first pick overall in the 2015 CWHL Draft, it marked the second straight season that the Brampton Thunder selected a blueliner, obtaining Laura Fortino in 2014. Appearing in the 2016 CWHL All-Star Game at Air Canada Centre, Edney's efforts not only provided an offensively rich Brampton Thunder squad with a solid presence on the blueline, the club would return to the postseason for the first time in three seasons. Prior to the Thunder, Edney experienced the thrill of being a captain twice in 2011. Starting with a stint as Canada's captain at the 2011 IIHF U18 Women's Worlds, she was also the captain for Team Ontario at the 2011 Canada Winter Games. Competing at the NCAA level with Harvard University, Edney would be recognized as the ECAC's best blueliner following her senior season.

87: Hilary Pattenden Goaltender Having played in the first-ever game for Canada's U18 women's ice hockey team, Hillary Pattenden was a highly talented goaltender from British Columbia. A second generation athlete whose mother was a professional tennis player, Pattenden would break Jessie Vetter's record as the all-time winningest goaltender in NCAA women's ice hockey history, a record that Noora Raty would eventually surpass. Selected as the first pick overall by Team Alberta in the 2012 CWHL Draft, she would become the first player in league history to be taken first and never play in the league. Following the draft, she enrolled at Brock University and would find employment with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

88: Renata Fast Player A multi-sport star who also excelled in soccer, Fast would compete at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. With the Golden Knights, she would capture the NCAA Frozen Four championship in 2014. Selected by the Toronto Furies in the 2016 CWHL Draft, along with fellow Golden Knights alum Erin Ambrose, the two would also represent the Furies at the 2017 CWHL All-Star Game. In her CWHL debut, Fast would gain an assist on a goal scored by Natalie Spooner, the Furies first goal of the season.

89: Alicia BlombergPlayer Donning the maroon colors of the Ottawa Gee-Gees, Alicia Blomberg was a swift skating forward who was part of an exciting era for the program. Playing alongside the likes of Fannie Desforges, Carling Chown, Maude Laramee and Vickie Lemire, Blomberg was a significant part of the offense. Among the highlights of her Gee-Gees career, she gained the opportunity to compete against the Czech Republic in an exhibition friendly in Rockland, Ontario, just days before the opening faceoff of the 2013 IIHF Women’s Worlds in Ottawa. Blomberg’s local legacy is enhanced by the fact that she is a legendary competitor in the Ottawa-Vanier Women’s Ball Hockey League. Having competed for Canada in three consecutive ISBHF World Championships, she would capture the gold medal in both 2013 and 2015. In 2013, Gee-Gees alums Danika Smith and Desforges (considered one of the 50 Greatest Ball Hockey players in Canadian history) were among Blomberg’s teammates. Playing alongside her sister with Team Italia at the 2017 edition of the ISBHF Worlds, she was named to the Tournament All-Star Team. In 2017, Blomberg would also enjoy another milestone in her career. One of numerous women’s hockey players that have competed in Red Bull Crashed Ice, she enjoyed a Top 10 finish at the Crashed Ice event staged in Ottawa, the first time that Canada’s capital region hosted the event.

90: Marion Hilliard Player, Executive During the halcyon days of the 1920’s for women’s ice hockey, Marion Hilliard was one of the most prominent competitors in Southern Ontario. A member of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s ice hockey team, she captured six consecutive championships from 1922 to 1927. In later years, she would not only serve as the team President, she was also the women’s Athletic Directorate for the university. When CIAU was rebranded into Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the Marion Hilliard Award was introduced to honor her memory.

Each of the four conferences in CIS play has their own version of the Award, and the winner from each conference qualifies as a finalist for the national version of the Award. The criteria for recognition involves exceptional accomplishment in three areas: hockey, academics and community involvement. Kori Cheverie would capture the Atlantic University Sport version of the Award for three consecutive years, a conference record. Nicole Kosteris, a goaltender for the Varsity Blues during the 2010’s would be the first to capture the national version in successive years.

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (91-100)

91: Hurricane Hazel McCallion Builder Although McCallion is most famous as the mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, she holds a love of hockey that has extended for decades. Having grown up in Montreal, she played for a team sponsored by KIK Cola. During her lengthy time as Mississauga’s mayor, she became a champion of the game. When Samantha Holmes engaged in her letter writing campaign to include women’s ice hockey in the Winter Games, McCallion was one of her first supporters. When Fran Rider, the president of the OWHA, organized the first women’s world hockey championship in 1987, the championship trophy was named in McCallion’s honor. Integral to helping Mississauga land the 2000 IIHF Women’s World Championships, McCallion is still prevalent at local rinks, participating in ceremonial faceoffs. For the many players who grew up in Mississauga, McCallion may have been their most prominent cheerleader.

92: Noemie Marin Clarkson Cup champion Having won four Clarkson Cup championships with Montreal, Marin has bridged generations for the franchise. Holding what may be the safest record in CWHL hockey, having recorded 10 points in one game versus the Ottawa Lady Senators, Marin may be the most talented player to have never won the Angela James Bowl. During her time with Montreal, Marin has also served as a coach with Hockey Canada’s U22/Development Team, likely foreshadowing a successful future after she retires from active competition.

93: Katie Weatherston Winter Games Gold Medalist Remaining active in the game as a prominent instructor, having also served in this role with male players, Katie Weatherston enjoyed the jubilation of a gold medal, competing with Canada’s contingent at the 2006 Torino Winter Games. Having also skated with Canada’s entry at the 2007 IIHF Women’s Worlds in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Weatherston would experience the rare privilege of winning a world championship on home soil. Part of the CWHL’s inaugural season, skating with the Ottawa Capital Canucks and the Montreal Stars, she would gain a spot on season’s end as one of the Eastern Division All-Stars.

94: Jaclyn Hawkins Player, Coach, Builder Among the legacies that have defined the era of women’s ice hockey since the dawn of the millennium, one of the most impactful is attributed to Jaclyn Hawkins. As the founder of Women’s Hockey Life, Hawkins has created a forum which allows for multiple functions. From networking, allowing players the chance to find teams, to equipment review, and the blogging function, providing fans, coaches and players an opportunity to share their views on the game, WHL is an invaluable resource for the game.

In addition to fostering a sense of belonging, enhancing the hockey experience for all enthusiasts of the female game, Hawkins is also an accomplished player, coach and hockey humanitarian, signifying her heart of gold. Having graduated as the all-time scoring leader in Connecticut Huskies history, she also made her mark in New England as a charter member of the Boston Blades. Having also competed in Switzerland, where Boston University alum Amanda Shaw was among the fellow Canadians on the roster, Hawkins returned to her roots. Currently serving as an assistant coach with the Huskies, she has also organized numerous try hockey for free events in the Nutmeg State, understanding that financial obstacles need to be overcome in order to allow everyone to truly enjoy the game.

95: Kim McCullough Player, Coach, CWHL Co-founder

96: Allyson Fox CWHL co-founder One of the most talented blueliners to compete with the York Lions, Fox was a multiple Ontario University Athletics All-Conference selection. Her fundamentally sound approach would enable her to become one of the most dependable members of the Brampton Thunder’s defensive unit. Pairing up with All-World blueliner Molly Engstrom, they were in a class of their own, propelling the club to the CWHL’s first-ever league title in 2008. Having also appeared in the 2010 and 2012 Clarkson Cup finals, Fox’s legacy is enhanced by the fact that she is one of the CWHL’s co-founders.

97: Jessica Wong Frozen Four champion Scoring the overtime winning goal in the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four national championship, Jessica Wong assured herself a place in hockey immortality. Having also competed with Canada’s U22/Development Team, capturing a gold medal at the MLP Nations Cup, Wong was one of the first scoring sensations from Atlantic Canada to make her mark in the game. Following a successful collegiate career with the UMD Bulldogs, Wong was the first pick overall in the 2013 CWHL Draft, becoming the first visible minority to be selected first overall in a modern professional women’s ice hockey draft. As a side note, Kelsey Koelzer was taken first overall by the New York Riveters in the 2016 NWHL Draft.

98: Sarah Nurse Player Part of one of Canada’s premier sporting families, her brother Darnell plays for the Edmonton Oilers, and her cousin Kia won gold in women’s basketball at the 2015 Pan Am Games, Sarah Nurse continues to marvel with her growing list of achievements. Having established herself as one of the finest Canadian players in the history of the Wisconsin Badgers program, Nurse was crucial in the program finishing the 2016-17 regular season ranked first in the national polls.

Appearing in the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four championship game, it was the fitting end to an amazing career with the Badgers. Playing for head coach Mark Johnson, Nurse recorded over 100 points, establishing herself as one of the program’s most effective competitors on special teams, while pacing her team multiple times in game-winning goals.

Named to Canada’s centralization roster in advance of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, Nurse is joined by fellow Badgers alumnae Emily Clark, Ann-Renee Desbiens and Blayre Turnbull. If she is named to the final roster, she would become the first visible minority to wear the Canadian jersey in women’s ice hockey at the Winter Games.

99: Katia Clement-Heydra Clarkson Cup champion Among a remarkable number of McGill Martlets alumnae that have also competed at the CWHL level for Montreal, Clement-Heydra experienced championship glory at both levels of the game. While at McGill, she was not only bestowed the honor of the Brodrick Trophy, awarded to the Most Outstanding Player in CIS women’s ice hockey, she would hoist the Golden Path trophy in 2015. Fast forward two years later, and Clement-Heydra added another significant milestone. Registering the first goal of the 2017 Clarkson Cup finals, she would help Montreal capture its first Cup title since 2012, while furthering the city’s legacy as one of the elite hot spots for women’s ice hockey. During the Cup celebrations, a selfie taken by Clement-Heydra was the defining photo of the entire event.

100: Shannon MacAulay NCAA Frozen Four champion Scoring the game-winning goal in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four championships, it was one of the most important goals of the decade in women’s ice hockey. Defeating the defending national champion Minnesota Golden Gophers, said goal provided the Clarkson Golden Knights with its first national championship in any sport in university history. It also allowed the Golden Knights to make history as the first team outside of the WCHA conference to capture a Frozen Four title.

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (101-110)

101: Joan Snyder Philanthropist The positive impact of Snyder for women’s ice hockey in Calgary experience has seen teams at the amateur, university and professional levels benefit. Through her generous contributions, the Joan Snyder Centre of Excellence has heralded an era where players not only enjoy a top-notch facility, but their value and importance to the game is exemplified every time they grace the ice at this exceptional venue. Home to the University of Calgary Dinos and the Calgary Inferno, which has seen Hayley Wickenheiser suit up for both teams, Snyder also has her own hockey history. Of note, her mother competed with a team based in Saskatchewan prior to the Great Depression.

102: Danielle Grundy Player, Hockey Humanitarian Having competed with the Vancouver Griffins of the original NWHL, Grundy was among the first generation of star players from British Columbia in the game’s modern era. Later competing with the Dartmouth Big Green at the Ivy League level, along with a stint in Switzerland, Grundy eventually returned to her Pacific roots. Having launched “Grundy’s Grind”, providing hockey instruction exclusively for female players, she would collaborate with Sasha Podolchak and the evolution of her initial venture became the Grindstone Award Foundation. Awarding bursaries of $500 for female players (aged 5-18) in financial need, the Foundation is helping encourage a new generation of girls to experience the thrill of competing, while bringing betterment to the community.

103: Amanda Mazzotta Player, Coach A member of Canadian U18 national women’s team that competed at the inaugural IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds, Amanda Mazzotta has remained close to her Hockey Canada roots. Having served in a coaching capacity at numerous U18 and U22/Development Goaltending Camps, Mazzotta is passing on her knowledge of the game to a new generation of players eager to emulate her success. As a member of the Cornell Big Red, Mazzotta competed in the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four championship game. Currently a goaltender coach with the Quinnipiac Bobcats, some of the notable goaltenders that benefitted from her tutelage included ECAC First-Team All-Star Syndey Rossman.

104: Katelyn Gosling Player, CWHL All-Star Part of the Western Mustangs 2015 CIS national championship team, Katelyn Gosling was the heartbeat of the defensive unit. Gaining All-Canadian honors, her proficiency gained her a spot on the Canadian roster that competed in women’s ice hockey at the Winter Universiade. Selected by the Calgary Inferno in the 2016 CWHL Draft, she would experience numerous milestones in her rookie season. From competing in Japan to gracing the ice at Montreal’s Bell Centre, she also gained the opportunity to participate in the third CWHL All-Star Game at Air Canada Centre. By season’s end, she appeared in the Clarkson Cup finals. Contested at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre, it marked the third NHL venue in one season where she competed.

105: Vanessa “Vinny” Davidson Player, Clarkson Cup champion One of the most offensively gifted competitors to suit up for the Montreal Stars franchise, Vanessa “Vinny” Davidson was frequently among the club’s leading scorers. A Clarkson Cup champion in 2012, the honor complemented another significant milestone in her career. Having played at the renowned McGill University, calling the likes of Alyssa Cecere, Charline Labonte and Catherine Ward teammates, she captured the CIS national championship. All would become teammates with the Stars, appearing in the 2013 Clarkson Cup finals. Although Davidson hung up her skates, she remains active in competitive sport. Participating in softball, Davidson is aiming for another championship, competing at the Canadian Nationals in August 2017.

106: Rebecca Vint Player, Hockey Humanitarian Having graduated as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Robert Morris Colonials women’s ice hockey program, Vint’s presence helped raised its profile prominently. Accumulating a seemingly endless list of accolades with the Colonials, she was a significant factor in helping the program ascend to the top of the College Hockey America conference.

Upon graduation from the Colonials, Vint enjoyed the jubilation of a national hockey championship. Along with former Colonials teammate Kristen Richards, the two donned the green and white jersey of the Toronto Shamrocks, capturing the 2015 CBHA ball hockey title in Ottawa. Serendipitously, the two would call each other teammates for a third time, both drafted by the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder.

Gracing the ice at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre for the 2017 CWHL All-Star Game, it signified Vint’s arrival as an elite competitor in league play. Another hallmark of her time with the Thunder has included organizing a Tealpower Hockey Fundraiser in her hometown of Bolton, Ontario. With numerous Thunder teammates graciously giving their time to participate, Vint has emerged as a hockey humanitarian, bringing betterment to the community, while fostering a sense of friendship and teamwork.

107: Jaimie Leonoff Raised in Montreal, Leonoff would become a significant part of Connecticut hockey lore. Competing for the Yale Bulldogs in the Ivy League, Leonoff would serve as the starting goaltender for three seasons, winning over 25 games. Upon graduation, she signed with the newly launched Connecticut Whale in the NWHL. Competing in the league’s first-ever game, an October 15, 2015 tilt with the New York Riveters, Leonoff gained the win, etching her name in league history.

108: Michelle Bonello A charter member of the Toronto Furies, Bonello is among a rare group of competitors to have participated in both of the Furies appearances in the Clarkson Cup finals (2011, 2014). Having graced the ice at the Air Canada Centre for the inaugural NWHL All-Star Game in December 2014, Bonello also served as the Furies captain during the 2014-15 season. Running parallel to her proud career with the Furies, Bonello has spent a decade as a member of Canada’s national women’s inline team, capturing a gold medal at the 2016 FIRS Inline Worlds.

109: Alexa Normore Having captured the CIS rookie scoring championship in her inaugural season with the St. Francis Xavier X-Women, Normore's 41 points also ranked third among all players in the nation. In the season to follow, she would capture the national scoring title, the first of two (2012, 2014) in her career. Recognized as the St. Francis Xavier Female Athlete of the Year in 2014, she would also lead the X-Women to a bronze medal at the CIS nationals, the first time that a team from Atlantic University Sport experienced a podium finish.

110: Four Fantastic Sisters: Eden, Kelly, Logan and Madison Murray Among the premier families in women’s ice hockey, the Murray sisters have left an indelible mark in the game. From the outset, each sister has competed at the renowned Shattuck St. Mary’s school in Faribault, Minnesota.

Youngest sister Eden competed with Canada’s U18 national team, participating in the IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds. In addition, she would play alongside her older sister Madison with the Ivy League’s Yale Bulldogs. Also competing at the Ivy League level was Kelly, spending two seasons with the Cornell Big Red. Transferring to the UBC Thunderbirds, she would graduate with First-Team All-Canadian honors. Logan, the oldest sister, graced the ice with the McGill Martlets winning the Golden Path Trophy under the tutelage of head coach Peter Smith. Upon graduation, she entered the family business, engaging in a career in vehicle sales, which sees the Murray family as proprietors of over 40 dealerships.

In addition, second cousin Sarah Murray played for Shannon Miller as a member of the UMD Bulldogs. Heading into the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, Sarah shall serve as head coach for host country South Korea. Considering that 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the first women’s ice hockey tournament in Winter Games history, there is a unique coincidence, as Miller was the coach for Team Canada at Nagano 1998.

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (111-120)

111: Micah Hart Player Part of a new generation of star players to emerge from British Columbia, Micah Hart was named to Canada’s centralization in ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. Having served as Canada’s captain at the IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds, she has also competed for Team British Columbia at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Currently enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, she was named captain of the Big Red varsity team in only her sophomore season.

112: Kelly Babstock Player The greatest player in the history of the Quinnipiac Bobcats, Babstock would not only graduate as the program's leading scorer, she would join the exclusive NCAA 200-point club. Remaining in the state of Connecticut after graduation, she would sign with the newly launched NWHL. Suiting up for the Connecticut Whale, she became the first Canadian-born player to score a goal in the history of the NWHL, achieving the feat in the league's first-ever game, as the Whale hosted the New York Riveters on October 11, 2015.

113: Kelly Campbell Goaltender, 2015 CIS National Champion The greatest goaltender to stand between the pipes for the Western Mustangs, Kelly Campbell was integral in transforming the program into a national championship. During her time with the Mustangs, Campbell was not only among the statistical leaders nationally, she would be recognized as the University of Western Ontario’s Female Athlete of the Year. Capturing the Golden Path Trophy in 2015, it marked the pinnacle of Campbell’s distinguished career.

114: Canadians in Kazakhstan: Haleigh Callison, Chelsea Purcell and Karolina Urban One of the most intriguing concepts in this decade had included Canadian competitors joining European club teams. Among the most notable is Aisulu Almaty in Kazakhstan, which has seen a handful of Canadians don their team colors. In seasons past, CWHL alumnae such as Callison (Toronto Furies), Chelsea Purcell (Calgary Inferno) and Karolina Urban (Furies, Inferno) have all played there, sharing their insights and showcasing their skills. Serving as ambassadors for the game, and representing what is great about Canadian women’s ice hockey, all remain active in the game today.

Callison, who once served as a liaison for the Finnish women’s ice hockey team at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games is a trainer and instructor. Purcell, a former captain with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies hockey team is the assistant GM for the Brampton Thunder. Urban, who played alongside Purcell in a March 2017 charity fundraiser for the Thunder works in concussion research, while pursuing a PhD.

115: Sabrina Harbec Angela James Bowl winner

116: Kaleigh Fratkin Player, Clarkson Cup champion Raised in British Columbia, where she once played Midget AAA boys’ hockey, the talented Fratkin also has strong connections to the Boston area. Having starred with the BU Terriers, winning multiple Hockey East championships, she would jump to the professional ranks with the Boston Blades, capturing a Clarkson Cup championship in her first season.

Following her inaugural season with the Blades, Fratkin signed on with the newly launched NWHL, part of the Connecticut Whale. While Fratkin gained the honor of competing in the inaugural NWHL All-Star, she would also get the chance to be part of history by competing in the first-ever professional women’s ice hockey outdoor game. Loaned to the Boston Pride, she graced the ice at Gillette Stadium. Heading into the 2016-17 season, she joined the New York Riveters, becoming the first Canadian to play with three different NWHL teams.

117: Ashley “Stretch” JohnstonPlayer, Captain: New York Riveters Raised in Ontario, Ashley Johnston is the first Canadian-born captain in the history of the NWHL. At the collegiate level, Johnston was also bestowed the honor of captaincy, leading the Union Dutchwomen into play in the ECAC Conference.

118: Carly Hill Clarkson Cup champion, CWHL All-Star One of the most underrated players in the history of the CWHL, Carly Hill is a defensive stalwart whose ethereal serenity and fan friendly approach has made her one of the most favorite players among the faithful of Les Canadiennes de Montreal. While the 2016-17 season provided Hill with a pair of cherished highlights, competing at the Bell Centre, while culminating her season with the 2017 Clarkson Cup, the most cherished may be the inaugural CWHL All-Star Game. With her grandfather in attendance, he was featured on the jumbotron, tipping his hat to the enthusiastic crowd at Air Canada Centre, as he celebrated his birthday.

119: Amanda ParkinsWinter Universiade Gold Medalist, OWHA Senior A champion An OUA All-Star selection while competing with the University of Guelph Gryphons, Parkins achieved so much more in a brilliant career. Prior to joining the program, Parkins was a competitor with the now defunct Burlington Barracudas. During her time at Guelph, she would help the Canadian contingent capture a gold medal in women’s ice hockey at the Winter Universiade. She would also don the Canadian jersey in another unique role, contributing to Canada’s inline women’s hockey team capturing a gold medal at the FIRS Worlds. After graduation, Parkins continued to compete, joining the Kitchener Lady Rangers. Among her highlights with the club, she would capture back-to-back OWHA Senior A titles.

120: Alyssa Baldin Clarkson Cup champion Holding the rare distinction of having served as a team captain at both the NCAA and Canadian Interuniversity Sport levels, Alyssa Baldin is the type of player that any coach would want on their team. Dedicated and hard-working, Baldin was the last team captain in the history of Detroit’s Wayne State Warriors ice hockey team. Moving on to the University of Windsor Lancers, Baldin’s contributions kept the program in the playoff conversation. Selected by the Toronto Furies in the CWHL Draft, she would capture the Clarkson Cup in her inaugural season with the blue and white. In later years, Baldin would also excel in other facets of the game, capturing a provincial ball hockey championship, while also helping Canada’s team capture a gold medal at the 2016 FIRS Inline World Championships.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (121-130)

121: Kori Cheverie: Player, Coach. The winner of the Atlantic University Sport version of the Marion Hilliard Award for three consecutive seasons (2007-09), Kori Cheverie’s compassion was only matched by her outstanding leadership. A charter member of the CWHL’s Toronto Furies, she would retire from the team as the all-time leading scorer. Capturing the Clarkson Cup in 2014, Cheverie would become an assistant coach with the Ryerson Rams men’s ice hockey team in the autumn of 2016. With the appointment, she became the first female to serve on the coaching staff of a university men’s team in Canada.

122: Liz Knox: Goaltender. Bestowed the honor of the Brodrick Trophy, the first player in the history of the Laurier Golden Hawks to achieve this, she would follow it up by competing with Canada’s national team at the 12 Nations Cup. Selected by the Brampton Thunder in the CWHL Draft, Knox would become the first rookie goaltender to start in the Clarkson Cup championship game, gaining the start against the Montreal Stars in 2012. Three years later, Knox would emerge from the crease, playing on defense while calling Kori Cheverie a teammate as members of Team Italia at the 2015 ISBHF Women’s Worlds.

123: Danielle Bourgeois: Player. Graduating from the University of Alberta in 2005, she would make her mark in Canadian Interuniversity Sport hockey, finishing as the all-time scoring leader with an astounding 212 points, along with placing first all-time with 106 goals. Among her career highlights, she would capture the 2000 Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship, adding to a memorable season that saw her win Rookie of the Year honors.

Four years later, she gained 2004 CIS All-Tournament Team honors, plus the Tournament scoring title. Her final two seasons (2003-04, 2004-05) with the Alberta Pandas was highlighted by both back-to-back Brodrick Trophy and Bakewell Trophy wins. During her career, Bourgeois was also part of the legendary Edmonton Chimos hockey club.

124: Cassandra Poudrier: Player. During her time as an All-Conference blueliner with the Cornell Big Red, Poudrier showed tremendous leadership by launching a campaign for student-athletes, raising awareness about same-sex preferences, while helping to foster a sense of equality and friendship. Such a courageous display of compassion was a tremendous display of giving back, encouraging those who may have felt lost and helpless.


During an exceptional career with the Big Red, appearing in multiple NCAA tournaments, Poudrier logged over 50 points, while also donning Canada’s jersey at the U22/Developmental level. Graduating to the professional ranks in the autumn of 2016, Poudrier competed in the first CWHL game to be contested at Montreal’s Bell Centre. By the end of her rookie season with Les Canadiennes de Montreal, Poudrier would hoist the coveted Clarkson Cup.

125: Carolyne Prevost: Player. Akin to McIntosh, Prevost was also part of the historic Canadian entry at the inaugural IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds. While McIntosh played for Ohio State, Prevost was a member of rival club Wisconsin. During the 2010-11 season, Prevost would capture an NCAA Frozen Four title with the Buckeyes. A draft pick of the Montreal Stars in 2012, Prevost would make her debut in an exhibition team against France’s national team. Capturing the Clarkson Cup with the Toronto Furies in 2014, she would also capture a national ball hockey championship in 2015 with the Toronto Shamrocks. Balancing her professional hockey career with regional competitions in CrossFit, she would compete against former Stars teammate Emmanuelle Blais several times.

126: Devon Skeats: Player. A graduate of the prestigious Laurier Golden Hawks, Devon Skeats would see her career grow by a quantum leap in the professional ranks. Joining the Buffalo Beauts in the inaugural NWHL season, such a memorable season was highlighted by a pair of notable highlights. With the first-ever NWHL All-Star Game being contested at Buffalo’s Harbor Centre, Skeats was among the competitors named to this historic event. By season’s end, she would appear in the first-ever Isobel Cup finals.

Despite the Beauts not emerging victorious, redemption would await one year later. Skeats was joined by Harrison Browne and Amanda Leveille as the first Canadian women to have their names etched on the Isobel Cup, defeating the Boston Pride in an emotional rematch. Just a few months after the Cup win, Skeats would suit up for Canada, capturing a bronze medal at the 2017 ISBHF Women’s Worlds.

127: Jesse Scanzano: Player. A member of the NCAA’s 200-point club, Scanzano was the roommate of Meghan Agosta while the two anchored the offensive attack with the Mercyhurst Lakers. In 2010, Scanzano would don the jersey for the Canadian U22/Development Team, capturing gold at the MLP Nations Cup. She would also compete for the Canadian national team in 2011-12, competing against the US in an exhibition game in Ottawa. A first-round pick of the Toronto Furies in the CWHL Draft, Scanzano would also compete for the Montreal Stars and the Brampton Thunder. After retiring from professional hockey, Scanzano would become a police officer, serving in Southern Ontario.

128: Laura McIntosh: Player, Coach. Part of Canada’s first-ever team that participated in the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships, McIntosh would bloom into an offensive catalyst with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Graduating from the program as its all-time leading scorer, McIntosh would also compete internationally, suiting up for Canada’s U22/Development Team in a bronze medal effort at the Meco Cup. During her career, she would call Natalie Spooner a teammate at three different levels of play, including Ohio State. Following graduation, the two would become rivals in the CWHL, as McIntosh suited up for the Brampton Thunder, while Spooner was a member of the Toronto Furies. Currently, McIntosh is an assistant coach with the Laurier Golden Hawks in Waterloo, Ontario.

129: Valerie Lamenta: Goaltender. Raised in Quebec, Lamenta would become an unexpected recruit for the Guelph Gryphons women’s ice hockey program. Such an acquisition would pay positive dividends immediately, as she was a key factor in propelling the Gryphons to a McCaw Cup championship and a spot in the 2016 U Sports nationals. Rewarded for her breakthrough season with the Brodrick Trophy, the season to come would see Lamenta add to her amazing body of work.


Named to Canada’s roster that competed at the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Lamenta would start in the gold medal game against Russia. Later that season, Lamenta would lead the Gryphons to their second straight McCaw Cup championship. Such an achievement would hold with it high emotion as it marked the 50th Anniversary of the championship, which was first won by Guelph. (Image obtained from:

130: Nicole Kosteris: Goaltender. As the first player to win the Marion Hilliard Award in back-to-back seasons, it was a fitting honor for Kosteris. A star goaltender with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues program, competing for head coach Vicky Sunohara, she would win over 25 games in her final two seasons.

Hilliard was a competitor with the Varsity Blues from 1922 to 1927, the award honoring her hockey legacy. Of note, the award recognizes outstanding achievements in hockey, academics and community involvement. In 2015, the same year that Kosteris won her second Hilliard Award, she was recognized as the University of Toronto’s Female Athlete of the Year. The year prior (2014), she was recognized as both an OUA First-Team All-Star and a CIS First-Team All-Canadian. During her run with the Varsity Blues, she would also participate in the Hockey Night in Stouffville NHL Charity Game.

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (131-140)

131: Amber Bowman:Player, Firefighter. While Bowman remains active in the game, capturing an OWHA Senior A title with the Aurora Panthers in 2015, she is a sporting icon, having captured multiple Women’s World Firefighter Challenges. Holding the world-record in multiple disciplines, Bowman has competed in exotic locales including Las Vegas and Dubai. While she played for the CWHL’s Toronto Furies, Bowman’s heroics as a firefighter were featured on LeafsTV. Considering that several other former players, including Amanda Shaw and Ashley Pendleton have also become firefighters, Bowman is part of an inspiring sorority that proves players can remain heroes after they hang up their skates.

132: Mandi Schwartz: Player. Having competed with the Ivy League’s Yale Bulldogs, Schwartz would be stricken with bone marrow cancer. Part of an emerging group of star players raised in the province of Saskatchewan, Schwartz’s struggles made news throughout the hockey world. With the Bulldogs hockey team working in collaboration with the university to find a suitable donor, it exemplified true teamwork. Although Schwartz would lose her battle with the disease, her legacy lives on. Not only have the Bulldogs named a team award in her honor, the ECAC Conference has introduced the Mandi Schwartz Leadership Award, preserving her memory. As a side note, her brother Jaden competes in the National Hockey League.

133: Nicole Corriero: Player. Known affectionately as “Scorriero”, she would graduate as one of the greatest snipers in the history of NCAA women’s ice hockey. The single-season record holder for most goals scored in an NCAA season, male or female, Corriero would appear in multiple Frozen Fours with the Harvard Crimson. In later years, Corriero would return to competition with the Italian national women’s ball hockey team, competing at the ISBHF Worlds in 2015 and 2017. At both events, she finished as Team Italia’s leading scorer.

134: Corinne Swirsky: Player. Three-time winner of Concordia’s Female Athlete of the Year Award, she would also be the first-ever winner of the Brodrick Trophy in 1998, awarded to the Most Outstanding Player in Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s ice hockey. She would follow it up with Brodrick Trophy wins in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Having also skated with Canada’s U22 Development Team, she would capture the gold medal at the 1998 Christmas Cup. In later years, she would skate for the WWHL’s Strathmore Rockies.

135: Lindsay Grigg: Player. A captain with the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers, Grigg would compete with the team during its transition from Division III to Division I ice hockey. Grigg’s transition to the professional ranks would see her stay in the State of New York, competing with the Buffalo Beauts during the inaugural NWHL season. Appearing in the first-ever Isobel Cup finals, Grigg would also capture a gold medal with the Canadian national women’s team at the 2016 FIRS Inline Worlds.

136: Jenna Cunningham: Player. A scoring sensation with the Dartmouth Big Green, Jenna Cunningham would return to her home province to continue her professional career. Donning the jersey of Team Alberta, she would be the scoring catalyst during the team’s nascent seasons, emerging as one of its most popular players. When the team rebranded itself as the Calgary Inferno, Cunningham would be part of three straight postseason appearances, including victory in the 2016 Clarkson Cup.

137: Leah Sulyma: Goaltender. Having stood between the pipes for the Northwest Territories in women’s ice hockey at the Canada Winter Games, Sulyma would astound the fans in attendance by facing over 100 shots in a game. Competing at the NCAA level with Boston’s Northeastern Huskies, she would also be profiled in the Official Program for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

138: Amey Doyle: Goaltender, Coach. Occupying the role of backup goaltender to Kim St. Pierre with the McGill Martlets, Doyle’s legacy would be enhanced by serving 20 seasons as a member of the team’s coaching staff. During the 2009-10 season, Doyle was the head coach for the Martlets, as Peter Smith was part of the Canadian coaching staff at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. Also the founder of Doyle Hockey Development, her summer training sessions feature world class competitors from the Montreal region, including St. Pierre and Melodie Daoust, to name a few.

139: Hockey players competing in Women’s Baseball at the 2015 Pan Am Games: Ashley Stephenson, Kate Psota, Danielle Matteucci.

When women’s baseball made its debut at the 2015 Pan American Games, there was a significant amount of competitors on Canada’s contingent possessing a hockey background. Of note, Ashley Stephenson, who played third base with Canada, along with pitcher Kate Psota both played at the university level with the Laurier Golden Hawks. Stephenson would also play at the professional ranks, scoring the last game-winning goal in the history of the CWHL’s Burlington Barracudas. Hailing from British Columbia, Matteucci would compete in women’s ice hockey at the NCAA level with the Clarkson Golden Knights, winning the NCAA Frozen Four title in 2014.

140: Jordanna Peroff: Player. The first Canadian-born player to capture the Clarkson Cup with two different teams, Toronto in 2014 and Montreal in 2017, Jordanna Peroff also boasts a Golden Path Trophy to her credit. Having won the prize with the McGill Martlets women’s ice hockey program, Peroff also spent a season competing professionally in Europe before signing on with Les Canadiennes de Montreal in the autumn of 2015. As a side note, her first game with Les Canadiennes would consist of an exhibition match against McGill.

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (141-150)

141: Mandi Duhamel: Player, Coach, Manager. Having worn an exceptional number of hats in her hockey career, Mandi Duhamel represents the opportunities for women in the game. As a player, she was a local legend in Ottawa, competing at the university level with the Ottawa Gee-Gees and then professionally with the Ottawa Lady Senators.

Transitioning to coaching, she would serve on the staff of Shelley Coolidge at Ottawa’s Carleton University while also gaining a gold medal as part of Canada’s coaching staff at the 2011 Winter Universiade. Currently the Director of Female Development for Hockey Canada, Duhamel has also competed internationally in ball hockey, serving as Canada’s captain at the 2017 ISBHF Worlds, while coaching Canada’s inline national team to a gold medal at the 2016 FIRS Worlds.

142: Bradi Cochrane: Coach. One of the most accomplished coaches of her generation, Bradi Cochrane represents a new generation of women taking on prominent coaching positions. As the head coach for the PWHL’s Oakville Hornets, Cochrane has led her team to a number of championships. Her true arrival as an elite coach was signified at the 2012 Canadian U18 nationals, when she led an unexpected Team Ontario Blue roster to its first-ever gold medal. Cochrane would also experience a podium finish at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, serving as head coach for Team Ontario.

143: Kelsey Webster: Player. Bestowed the honor of the captaincy for Team Alberta (also known colloquially as the Honeybadgers), Webster was one of the team’s most prominent players. Having also competed for Canada’s entry at the 2009 Winter Universiade, capturing a gold medal, the hallmark of Webster’s career may have been competing in the first CWHL regular season game ever contested at Air Canada Centre, with the captain’s C proudly adorning her sharp navy blue Team Alberta jersey.

144: Vicki Bendus: Player. Having captured the 2010 edition of the Patty Kazmaier Award, given to the NCAA’s Most Outstanding Player, Vicki Bendus became the first player in the history of the Mercyhurst Lakers to win such a prestigious honor. Having also played with Canada’s national women’s team, Bendus served in a coaching capacity last season in a training camp for Canada’s U18 national team.

145: Vanessa Stratton: Referee. One of the most underappreciated roles in all of hockey may be that of referee. Perhaps the most famous referee in women’s hockey may be Vanessa Stratton. In addition to balancing her time as a coach with the Scarborough Sharks, Stratton has officiated at Clarkson Cup finals, CWHL All-Star Games and numerous IIHF events.

146: Morgan Richardson: Player, DIFD. Having carved a splendid four-year career with the Cornell Big Red, Morgan Richardson was also the embodiment of the power of Do It for Daron (DIFD). Following the tragic loss of her sister, Daron, the cause was founded in order to honor her memory. During Morgan’s time at Cornell, each of her four seasons consisted of a DIFD fund raiser.

147: Harrison Browne: Player. As the first transgender competitor in the modern era of women’s ice hockey, Harrison (born as Hailey), showed great courage in revealing such a preference. Having retired in the aftermath of the 2016-17 NWHL season, Browne experienced the jubilation of winning the 2017 Isobel Cup. Prior to the Buffalo Beauts, Browne had competed for Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games, and starred at the NCAA level with the Mercyhurst Lakers and the Maine Black Bears.

148: Red Bull Crashed Ice competitors: Fannie Desforges, Myriam Trepnaier, Dominique Thibault. Since the advent of the Red Bull Crashed Ice, a handful of women’s ice hockey players have taken to the course.

Among them are a distinguished group that have earned world championships. Of note, the first two included Desforges, a captain with the Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s ice hockey team, and Dominique Thibault, a two-time Clarkson Cup champion. Trepanier, an NCAA Frozen Four champion, competed at the first Crashed Ice event hosted in Ottawa.

149: Stephanie Schaupmeyer: UBC Thunderbirds captain: Having graduated as the all-time games played leader in the Canada West conference, Schaupmeyer helped the Thunderbirds to the greatest one season turnaround in CIS hockey history. She would enjoy back-to-back podium finishes at the U Sports Nationals in 2016 and 2017.

150: Deirdre Norman: Founder of The Women of Winter. Having launched a Toronto-based recreational league that plays outdoors, Norman was integral in organize a team participate in an Icelandic tournament.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Finland stifles high flying Canada for gold medal at Nations Cup

Despite Canada outshooting their Finnish opponents by a 27-18 margin, they were unable to solve All-World goaltender Noora Raty, who provided the heroics with a sparkling 1-0 shutout in the gold medal game of the 2017 Nations Cup. For the Canadian team, the level of competition at the Nations Cup has been increasing steadily. While Canada is represented by its U22/Development Team, other competing nations tend to bring their senior teams.

Making her debut as a head coach with Hockey Canada was Nadine Muzerall, who established an incredible playing and coaching legacy with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Having served as an assistant coach at multiple levels in the Canada program, she was looking for a golden outcome in her maiden voyage as head coach. As a side note, this season also marks her debut as a head coach at the NCAA level, serving as bench boss for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

While the event has proven to be a big test for Canada over the last few seasons, it supplies such an amazing amount of world class talent nonetheless; the hopes for gold were very high, attributed to such a strong showing in the round robin. The opening game at the Nations Cup saw Canada defeat the Czech Republic, aiming for their first Winter Games berth in 2018, by a 6-2 tally.

A hotly contested match against Sweden saw Canada provide a gutsy outperformance, outlasting their rivals by a 2-1 final. On Day 3, a 5-0 triumph against Germany (the host country for Group A play), provided redemption for Canada. Suffering a 3-2 upset in pre tournament play, Erica Howe need just 11 saves for the shutout while Sarah Lefort scored twice and Sarah Nurse supplied a multi-point performance, as Canada clinched first place in Group A while punching their ticket to the gold medal game.

Competing in Group B, Finland’s round robin matches took place at the SportZentrum in Telfs, Austria, while their counterparts in Group A were on-hand at Finland’s road to the gold medal match began with a 7-2 pummeling of Austria, who are among the top teams in IIHF Division 1A competition.

Finland would proceed to defeat Russia in a 3-2 final, winning their second game by a one goal margin, mirroring Canada’s outcome against Sweden. Competing against Switzerland in the final day of regulation, the Finns would emerge victorious by the same 3-2 score, qualifying for the gold medal game.

In the decade, Canada has captured gold on five separate occasions (2010-11, 2013, 2015-16), along with a bronze medal in 2012. Looking to capture their sixth gold medal since 2010, and 12th overall in tournament history, the highly touted Emerance Maschmeyer gained the start for Canada between the pipes.

Facing the biggest test in her promising career, Maschmeyer looked across the ice to see Noora Raty as the opposing goaltender. Having earned a bronze medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, along with Top Goaltender recognition at three IIHF women’s worlds and an undefeated season with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Raty is among the modern era’s goaltending greats.

With such superlative talent guarding the crease for their respective nations, it would prove to be a defensive stalemate for most of the contest, with both struggling to capitalize on scoring opportunities. The first period saw both goaltenders nullify a pair of power plays, with the Canadian squad outshooting the Finns by an 8-7 mark.

The second period would see Finland take advantage of a power play opportunity to grab the first lead of the game. With five seconds left in Sarah Nurse’s hooking penalty, Michelle Karvinen solved Maschmeyer. Having played at the NCAA level with North Dakota, Karvinen brings a strong knowledge of North American players to international competition, making her a significant asset for the ambitious Finns.

Despite Canada’s efforts, which included three power play opportunities in the second, followed by a pair of opportunities in the third as Isa Rahunen serve a high sticking call, followed by Rosa Lindstedt for cross checking, Raty proved to be a stonewall. Quite possibly one of the most brilliant performances in her stellar career, Raty’s strong play during the third was the golden factor. With Canada outshooting Finland by an aggressive 10-2 mark, accentuating by an extra skater in the final minute of play, Raty remained steady, constantly frustrating a Canadian roster filled with accomplished scorers.

Making 27 saves in the shutout victory, while Maschmeyer would face 18 shots, Raty neutralized seven power play chances, providing Finland with a hard-earned gold medal. For a sullen Canadian squad, the silver marks the second in tournament history, having also emerged with the silver in 2009.

After suffering numerous disappointments in international play, the gold medal game is a tremendous source of momentum for Finland, looking for a podium finish at the 2017 IIHF Worlds, and subsequently at the 2018 Winter Games. For Raty, who contemplated retirement after heartbreaking losses at the 2013 IIHF Worlds and 2014 Sochi Winter Games, remained faithful to the game she loves, playing at the men’s level in Finland along with a stint for the Minnesota Whitecaps. The outcome of the 2017 Nations Cup may have been her finest hour, displaying with great skill that she has not run out of brilliant performances, adding to her legacy as the greatest goaltender to emerge from Finland.

Notable weekend highlights strong start to New Year for Calgary Inferno

Opening their 2017 with a weekend series against the visiting Brampton Thunder, the Calgary Inferno established themselves among the league’s elite. Clinching a playoff berth with an opening win against Brampton, it may have been an even more impressive win because the club was missing five of its star players. With forwards Sarah Davis and Jillian Saulnier, blueliners Kassidy Gosling and Brigette Lacquette, along with goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer, these five fantastic stars suited up for Canada’s U22/Development Team in a silver medal outcome at the 2017 Nations Cup. Blayre Turnbull, whose legend includes the game-winning goal at the 2016 Clarkson Cup, logged the game’s opening tally. Gaining the assist included team captain Brianne Jenner and Delayne Brian, the MVP of the 2016 Cup playoffs. Said goal would prove to be the only scored in the first as a period of highly disciplined play and clean checking exemplified the high quality of hockey on this day. With the second stanza underway, All-Star Jess Jones continued her high scoring ways for the Thunder, slipping the puck past Brian. Both assists came from the Thunder’s blueline corps; Laura Fortino and captain Jocelyne Larocque. Despite the tie score, the Inferno would regain the lead at the six minute mark as Bailey Bram provided the heroics. Among the players who gained the assists included Erica Kromm, who played in her 100th career game with the Inferno earlier this season. Another member of Brampton’s blueline would make her presence felt in the second. Veteran Dania Simmonds, an alum from Union College kept the club competitive, tying the score at 2-apiece while CWHL All-Stars Courtney Birchard and Rebecca Vint earned the assists. Before the second would expire, there were more offensive fireworks to follow. First year player (and Russian national team player) Iya Gavrilova provided the Inferno with their second goal of the period, as Jenner earned her second assist of the game. The Thunder would reply with another goal, with familiar names contributing as Fortino placed her name on the scoresheet while super rookie Shannon MacAulay and Jones (currently second in the race for the Angela James Bowl) logged the assists, with the second ending in a 3-3 tie. Gavrilova would supply the heroics in the third period in a hotly contested match. With Simmonds serving the only penalty of the game, it provided Calgary with the much needed opportunity to break the tie. With 5:53 left in the game, Gavrilova scored on the power play as Bram and Johnston gained the assists. Despite Brampton’s best efforts, they were unable to force overtime, as Brian gained her fifth win of the season for the Inferno, while Gavrilova gained First Star of the Game honors. Jones was the only Brampton player to gain Three Star recognition, emerging as the Second Star, while Bram was honored with the Third Star. The following day, Calgary participated in a game which exemplified their proud role as hockey humanitarians. Hosting a ‘Keep the Beat’ fundraiser in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the event has seen over $10,000 raised in the past two seasons.

Organized by assistant captain Jacqui Pierri, she was proud of the way the team and community displayed tremendous teamwork. Such efforts during the game included a Silent Auction, the Chuck-A-Puck contest (which saw Pierri on the ice), along with educational resources including a CPR demonstration along with details on heart health and research, a win-win situation.

Looking to get the win on the ice was the Thunder, who scored the first goal of the game as Jamie Lee Rattray beat Genevieve Lacasse at the 2:30 mark, with Jess Jones adding to her team best point total. Penalties would define the latter half of the first period, as Aina Takeuchi, the first Japanese player to win the Clarkson Cup was called for body checking, while Haley Irwin would sit in the penalty box for slashing.

As the second period progressed, it was Cornell alum Hayleigh Cudmore that would place the Inferno on the scoreboard as Jenner and Brittany Esposito gained the assists. Following the goal, the Inferno hoped to take the first lead of the game. Several opportunities presented itself as the Thunder were plagued by penalties. Starting with Jenna McParland called for tripping, it continued with captain Larocque serving a penalty for body contact. Afterwards, first year player (and Bemidji State star) Katlyn Tougas was directed to the penalty box.

Despite three unanswered power play opportunities, the Inferno were stifled thrice. Adding to the frustration was the fact that Jessica Campbell was called for slashing. Ironically, it was the Inferno that played more aggressively as Pierri nearly scored. Penalties would continue to define the third as Meaghan Mikkelson served two minutes for cross-checking. Taking into account that the Thunder now enjoyed a 5-on-3 advantage, it could have served as the game’s turning point. Instead, the frustrations continued, as the Thunder could not capitalize. Compounding their woes was the fact that Rattray would be called for body contact as both sides seemed to engage in rather sloppy play.

In the third period, the Thunder struggled to roar, as tensions rose between both clubs. Such tension saw Rattray and Nicole Brown add to the appalling number of penalties called in this game. While Rattray was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, emotions running high in this tight contest, Brown was plagued by 10-minute misconduct.

Rebecca Johnston would punish the Thunder by scoring on the power play, with Gavrilova gaining the assist, as the enthusiastic crowd roared in approval. While Johnston’s goal would serve as the game-winning tally, the final two minutes of the game would provide for more on-ice electricity.

With Kristen Richards called for boarding, a dejected Thunder saw any chance of tying the game withering away, as Gavrilova gained her second point of the game, lighting the red lamp, as Mikkelson and Bram earned the helpers. Refusing to show any signs of quit, the Thunder opted for the extra attacker in the final minute of the game. Despite the significant number of scoring talent that dons the Thunder colors, such efforts to tie the game were not meant to be on this day.

Instead, it was Calgary that scored again as Campbell soared down the ice, burying the puck into an open net, as Turnbull and Jenner added to their point totals with the assists. While the Thunder outshot the Inferno by a 12-6 margin in the third, the Inferno made it count when needed, strengthening their grip on home ice advantage for the first round of the postseason. Campbell (first) and Cudmore (third) were among the players named for the game’s Three Stars, while Courtney Birchard, who played valiantly on the blueline for the Thunder was recognized as the Second Star.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Landmark season for Harrison Browne continues with NWHL All-Star Game nod

With the 2017 NWHL All-Star Game to be hosted in Pittsburgh, there is a strong momentous feeling of history as professional women’s hockey shall be contested for the first time ever in the Keystone State. As one of America’s greatest sporting cities, steeped in sporting tradition, the Steel City shall see history being made twice in one day.


In addition to the All-Star Game itself, one of its competitors continues to empower and inspire. As the first transgender athlete in the modern history of sport, Harrison Browne of the Buffalo Beauts was revealed as one four players that were voted in to participate. While this shall signify the first time that an All-Star event in any sport will feature a transgender participant, Browne has proven to be an All-Star off the ice.


After the brave revelation last autumn, in which Browne (née Hailey) courageously approached NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan and spoke candidly about this heart wrenching decision, it served as a landmark moment in league history, while providing inspiration for LGBT athletes the world over. As a historical note, it is believed that Albertine Lapensée, one of Ontario’s great women’s players, who skated prior to the Great Depression, became a transgender individual after her playing career.


Since then, Browne has attained a certain celebrity status, being featured in numerous publications, including The Hockey News (where he was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Hockey) and in Sportsnet Magazine. Despite the occasionally overwhelming media attention, Browne remains humble, focused on helping the Beauts return to the Isobel Cup Finals, while maintaining a professional demeanor that sets a positive example.


Considering that the NWHL All-Star Game is meant to be a celebration of the game and its heroes, it is only fitting that Browne shall be among the players gracing the ice. With more than 20,000 fans having voted over the span of two weeks, Browne was among the top four vote getters. Joining Browne shall be the likes of Gigi Marvin, a two-time Winter Games gold medalist, along with a pair of New York Riveters, Madison Packer and rookie Rebecca Russo. 

Stratford sets the stage for Sami Jo Small’s triumphant return

On a day that saw Les Canadiennes de Montreal make history by participating in the CWHL’s first-ever game at the Bell Centre, there was a shared sense of history among the fans on-hand in Stratford, Ontario. The hometown of Furies second year star Emily Fulton, the franchise hosted a women’s hockey game in the community, exposing their brand of elite hockey to another market of jubilant fans.

Hosting their expansion cousins, the Boston Blades (who both came to existence in 2010), the game would see one of the CWHL’s living legends (and co-founders) stand between the pipes. With a significant part of her hockey legacy synonymous with the blue and white, iconic Sami Jo Small returned to league play, after an absence of more than one season. This was attributed to the fact that Small experienced the milestone of becoming a mom, giving birth to her daughter.

Part of the CWHL’s “Sensational Seven”, a collective gathering of players whose initiative represented the next step in the evolution of professional women’s ice hockey, Small was joined by fellow Hockey Canada alum Jennifer Botterill, Allyson Fox, Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux, Mandy Cronin, Kathleen Kauth and Kim McCullough. With vision and alacrity, their contribution to the hockey tapestry spawned into the CWHL. Among those founding sisters, Small is an ageless wonder, whose cheerful smile represents a confident optimism, while adding to her legacy as the only founder still playing. As a side note, Breton-Lebreux hung up her skates in the aftermath of the 2015 Clarkson Cup finals.


For the fans in Stratford, Christmas certainly came early as they gained the chance to witness a triumphant comeback. Of note, it was Small’s first regular season match since January 2015, providing an unforgettable season highlight while mining the game’s growing mythology.

Considering that the 2016-17 campaign also signifies the CWHL’s tenth anniversary, it was most fitting that Small’s first game back took place during this season, helping to bring her career full circle. This unforgettable contest saw Small opposing Blades first-year goaltender (and US U-22 national team alum) Lauren Dahm, who has established herself as one of the league’s rookie sensations, while pacing all goaltenders in games played, minutes logged and shots faced.

The first period at William Allman Arena would see the Furies provide Small with a significant lead. Goals by Emily Fulton at the 3:49 mark and CWHL All-Star selection Michela Cava at 15:11 signified a period of assiduous effort, all players in Furies blue working in a collaborative effort to ensure that Small’s comeback would not be spoiled.

Offensive floodgates would burst early on in the second period. The fans in Stratford were treated to three goals scored in a mere timespan of just 1:21. Meghan Grieves would capitalize on a power play opportunity as hometown hero Fulton was called for roughing, logging her third goal of the season at the 5:13 mark with assists credit to Dru Burns and Kate Leary, her first of the season.

Multi-sport star Carolyne Prevost (who has also competed in multiple Cross Fit events) replied just 24 seconds later, restoring the Furies two goal lead. Jenna Dingeldein would add to the Furies lead 57 seconds later, scoring the first goal of her CWHL career. Gaining the assists on this milestone goal were Renata Fast, the second pick overall in the 2016 CWHL Draft and former Buffalo Beauts skater Erin Zach.

With Toronto’s Tanis Lamoureux called for high sticking at 12:03, it would result in another power play opportunity that the Blades would take full advantage of. Obtaining her second point of the game, Leary would slip the puck past Small as the scoreboard now read 4-2 in Toronto’s favor. Kristina Brown and Dakota Woodworth would be credited with the assists, as the Blades assembled one of their finest performances of the season on the power play.
Despite another high sticking call against Toronto with less than two minutes remaining in the second, Small showed tremendous poise, as the Blades attempted to score for the third time on the power play. Despite the Blades best efforts, the score remained 4-2 after two periods of play.

A scoreless third period for Toronto would only add to the dramatic elements of the game. Near the midway mark of the third, Leary potted her second goal of the game, trimming the lead to just one goal, simultaneously setting the tone on offensive for an ambitious Blades squad looking for their first win of the season. Small maintained her composure while protecting the lead.

Jubilant in victory, raising her stick in the air while she was mobbed by proud teammates, it came as a surprise that she was not named one of the game’s Three Stars, even if it was in the interest of nostalgia. Instead, Emily Fulton would gain First Star honors to a roar of approval from her hometown fans. The surprises would continue as Boston’s Dru Burns was named the Second Star of the Game, resulting in Leary not getting the nod, while Carlee Campbell Eusepi was recognized as the Third Star due to her tireless work on the blueline.

Emerging victorious for the first time since January 11, 2015, Sami Jo Small would register the 63rd win of her distinguished CWHL career, while reaching the magical number of 25 career wins with the Toronto Furies, a team that she co-founded.

Balancing the roles of athlete, ambassador, entrepreneur and mom, Small’s greatest contribution may be as a role model. Small has taken on various leadership roles in her distinguished career. From a players association representative, she has also taken on the reins of fund-raising chairwoman while also occupying a position on the league’s board member, testament to her multi-tasking devotion to the league she helped bring to fruition. Her path helped to pave the way for other players to emulate her accomplishments, learning about the off the field aspects that are sometimes overlooked in professional sports.