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: http://www.theontarion.com/2016/03/guelph-gryphon-wins-cis-womens-hockey-player-of-the-year/)
 

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.

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