2019 ISBHF World Championship Preview: Team Canada Women’s

Having earned a podium finish in every ISBHF Women’s World Hockey Championship tournament, Canada looks to maintain such standing with another strong performance in 2019. Capturing the bronze medal at the 2017 edition of the Worlds with an intense defeat of archrival Slovakia, the gathering of Canadian stars is eager to return in the conversation for the gold medal.

Led by General Manager Sara Hayward, whose assiduous efforts have included service with the Canadian contingent at the ISBHF Masters, along with a key leadership role at the Canadian Ball Hockey Association (CBHA) Nationals, she has assembled a roster in collaboration with Paul Beale, Mandi Duhamel, who also served as a head coach for Canada at the 2018 IBSHF Worlds, plus Kevin Hughes.

To Be Determined

Goalkeepers: Nathalie Girouard, Julianna Thomson
Defense: Kara Brumm, Kristen Cooze, Melanie Jue, Nicole Latreille, Michelle Marsz, Cailen McLean, Tara Swanson
Forwards: Edie Brenning, Angie Cerilli, Elysia Desmier, Aprill Drake, Kendra Dunlop, Reagan Fischer, Sarah Francis, Chelsea Karpenko, Jessie McCann, Giuliana Pallotta, Jamie Lee Rattray, Danielle Ring, Margaux Sharp, Devon Skeats, Dawn Tulk
Head Coach: Steve Power
General Manager: Sarah Hayward

Players to Watch

Julianna Thomson
Making her debut for Canada in 2019, Thomson holds the potential to be the program’s goaltender of the future. At 18 years young, she has made her mark on the ice and on the slab. In addition to competition at the Manitoba Winter Games, her prodigy was evident at the Canadian Boys Under-17 Junior Nationals. Playing for a team dubbed the Manitoba Bisons, she played brilliantly against the boys, propelling her team into the elimination round. Emerging from the event with Most Valuable Goaltender honors, she led all goaltenders in goals against average during the elimination round.

Jamie Lee Rattray
Having won back-to-back CBHA National Championships (2014, 2015), Rattray is also competing with Canada’s entry at the 2019 IIHF Women’s Worlds. A member of Canada’s bronze medal team at the 2017 ISBHF edition of the World Championships, where she captured the scoring title, Rattray has established herself as a world-class competitor on the ice and on the slab. Poised to be a strong contender for the tournament scoring title once again, she will be counted on to be one of Canada’s leaders.

Dawn Tulk
A member of Team Canada at the last three ISBHF World Championships (2013, 2015, 2017), Tulk has blossomed into a program cornerstone. Among the star players for Newfoundland United, a constant presence at the CBHA Nationals, Tulk is consistently among Canada’s top scorers. Participating in her fourth ISBHF Worlds, she will be counted upon to provide strong leadership.

Previous tournament

In the semifinals of the 2017 ISBHF Women’s Worlds, Canada suffered its first-ever medal round loss to the United States in a hard-fought 3-2 final. Bouncing back in the bronze medal game, defeating archrival Slovakia in a hotly contested event, Canada maintained its streak of podium finishes in ISBHF World play.

The roster features eight players from Ontario (including Pallotta and Skeats), highlighted by six (Brenning, Brumm, Desmier, Girouard, Latreille, Rattray) from Ottawa. Next highest is the province of Alberta (featuring Dunlop and Swanson) with seven members, including five from Calgary (Fischer, Karpenko, Marsz, McLean, Sharp).

Considering that the medal round at the last two CBHA nationals has involved clubs from both cities (Calgary United and Ottawa Capitals), their collective presence shall be counted upon to propel Canada back into the gold medal game.

British Columbia (Francis, Jue), Manitoba (Cerilli, Thomson) and New Brunswick (McCann, Ring) have two each on the Canadian roster. As a side note, New Brunswick is also the home province of GM Sara Hayward while head coach Power is a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Kristen Cooze, Aprill Drake and Dawn Tulk are the three representatives from Newfoundland. Having called each other teammates for Canada in 2015 and 2017, their standing as teammates once again has become an integral part of program lore.

Reagan Fischer, Melanie Jue and Chelsea Karpenko all hold an Ivy League connection. Having played NCAA women’s ice hockey, Fischer skated for the Dartmouth Big Green, while Jue and Karpenko are alumnae of the Cornell Big Red.

Two Clarkson Cup champions are donning the Maple Leaf at the 2019 ISBHF Worlds. Of note, Jamie Lee Rattray and Devon Skeats were teammates on the Markham Thunder roster that won the 2018 Cup Finals. As a side note, both are also national champions at the CBHA level.

With Canada currently placing third in the ISBHF World Rankings, trailing Czech Republic and the United States, they aspire to climb back to the prestigious peak of first overall. Aiming to capture their fifth gold medal in tournament history, which would make them the first nation to do so, their goal of establishing a new gold standard is one that would propel the 2019 edition of Team Canada into a treasured place in the game’s lore.


Soccer superstar Alex Morgan covers the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Having appeared in the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on two separate occasions (including a shoot where she was featured in body paint), Alex Morgan is featured on one of three variant covers for the 2019 edition of the issue, just months before she takes to the pitch with her fellow members of Team USA in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. As a side note, the other models include Tyra Banks and SI Swimsuit rookie Camille Kostek. Becoming only the second athlete to be featured on the cover, Morgan joins UFC legend Ronda Rousey in this exclusive club. Worth noting, mixed martial artist Paige van Zant, gymnast Simone Biles and skiing world champion Lindsey Vonn (who also posed in 2010) are the other athletes featured within this year’s pages.

Gamecocks Track and Field alum crowned as 2019 Miss USA

Cheslie Kryst, a former member of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks Track and Field Team was announced as 2019 Miss USA. Of note, it marks the first time that three major American beauty pageant winners are African-American. Of note, the other winners are 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin and recently crowned 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris.

Photo by Jason Bean, AP

Advent of PEI Island Demons brings with it strong leadership

Originally published on: https://canadafootballchat.com/advent-of-pei-island-demons-brings-with-it-strong-leadership/

With another season of MWFL football looming on the horizon, it heralds the beginning of an exciting new chapter. Marking an exciting first in its unfolding history, the league welcomes the province of Prince Edward Island into the fold for 2019.

Identified by the daunting nomenclature “Island Demons”, PEI’s contingent signifies the fifth in league history. Taking to the gridiron for its inaugural season against the Capital Area (Fredericton) Lady Gladiators, the Halifax Xplosion, the Moncton Vipers, and the dynastic Saint John Storm, a significant element of the league’s heritage already defines the early lore of the Demons.

Among the architects of this expansion, franchise is Meagan Ferguson, who is also a league alumna. Possessing a remarkable athletic background, which included elite competition in ice hockey, Ferguson was also part of the fascinating female football movement in Atlantic Canada, having once graced the gridiron with the Lady Gladiators.

Currently occupied as a sports psychologist and an educator, Ferguson also gained a Master’s Degree from the University of Ottawa, specializing in …., Throughout her academic and professional pursuits, the love of sport never faded. Returning to PEI, the prospect of bringing female football to her home province was both promising yet potentially challenging. Finding a fellow enthusiast in a familiar face, their shared interest in sport served as the catalyst towards fulfillment a mutual vision,

“Following my Master’s degree, I had moved home (PEI) to establish my applied sport psych/mental performance consulting business and teach at Holland College. A former college classmate of mine and I, Richard Lush, had met for lunch one afternoon to see if we could get this going.

Him having great coaching plus playing plus management background, and my previous experience in the league, we felt this could be a great opportunity to provide females 18+ a new exciting option- to continue playing sport following high school, or a new opportunity to learn a new sport with new faces!

PEI has groomed some younger girls though our flag program, and has had some girls playing with boys in our contact high school league. Richard and I wanted to start this team to give those girls a place to play following high school, but also show girls who have never played that this option will be here for them to pursue.”

Taking on a role as the club’s co-founder, serving in a managerial capacity, this compelling chapter is destined to mirror the journey of another celebrated alum among the Lady Gladiators. Having also served in an administrative function in the MWFL, Cheryl O’Leary was also prevalent on the offensive line. Along with the treasured opportunity to serve in a coaching mentorship role with Canada’s national women’s team, working under the tutelage of Olivier Eddie, O’Leary’s dedication to the game encompasses an inspiration that Ferguson is destined to match.

Undoubtedly, Ferguson’s promising efforts with the Gladiators not only pays homage to O’Leary’s body of work, it positively demonstrates how the players of the MWFL can positively shape the league’s destiny, taking on key role after hanging up their helmets.

Just as instrumental in this compelling beginning is the aforementioned Lush, who shall take on the momentous position of first head coach in franchise history. Bringing a well-rounded background and a solid sporting resume, including a Vanier Cup with the University of Manitoba, and a spot on the PEI Aboriginal Sports Circle, the feeling of making history is one that has defined his enthusiasm for the position. While the lunch meeting stands as one of the defining moments of his early tenure in the formation of the Island Demons, his leadership also shines through, quick to recognize two other prominent figures in the realization of a football dream,

“This all started with an idea, and then it became a lunch meeting with Meagan Ferguson, and then the mass preparations, recruitment, and campaigning to make this all possible.

Here we are almost a year later and we have finally done something Historic for PEI, as this will mark the first time in PEI History a Female Tackle Football team will occur!

Being a part of this amazing experience has been remarkable; the ladies have been so fantastic with regards to wanting to learn the sport, fundraising, and overall helping this program become a staple of female athletics in PEI.

Without the help of Lacey Mary and Lexie Mireault, this program would not be where we are today, and we are all so proud of the program we have worked so hard over the past year!”

As opening kickoff approaches, the opportunity to have seen an idea for a new football reach fruition has resulted in a labour of love for Ferguson. Just as important is the chance to allow a new community of aspiring female footballers to experience the blend of jubilation, achievement and adrenaline that comes from gracing the gridiron, staking an assertive claim in sporting equality.

Having obtained some very inspiring life lessons from her time as a competitor with the Lady Gladiators, Ferguson is optimistic that the positive values of leadership, teamwork, respect and self-esteem shall serve as a boon in the Island’s sporting community. While the Island Demons brings her athletic endeavors full circle, the true victory for Ferguson is the chance to foster friendships, provide encouragement while instilling an inspiring confidence,

“Finally, I can only speak for myself, but one thing I am excited for is to see empowered women empower (other) women. I have been an elite multi-sport athlete my entire life, and no other sport has ever clicked for me the way football has; and I see and hear the same feedback from many women around the league.

Football teaches you a lot about yourself (self-awareness), and teaches you a lot about others (group cohesion). As a certified mental performance consultant (applied sport psych), I am fascinated with motivation, teamwork and sport confidence. I personally feel that football pushes limits and creates possibilities unlike any other team sport.

Knowing that female sport participation drops dramatically, especially following high school, our hope is that the Island Demons can give girls, and women, an option to learn the game and love to play it.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

allowhertoplay selects its All-Time CWHL Teams

All-Time First Team

Jayna Hefford: Brampton Thunder
Caroline Ouellette: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal
Marie-Philip Poulin: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal

Molly Engstrom: Brampton Thunder, Boston Blades
Catherine Ward: Montreal Stars

Charline Labonte: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal

Patrick Rankine: Montreal Stars

All-Time Second Team
Jennifer Botterill: Mississauga Warriors, Toronto Furies
Noemie Marin: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal
Kelli Stack: Boston Blades, Kunlun Red Star

Cathy Chartrand: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal
Becky Kellar: Burlington Barracudas

Kim St. Pierre: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal

Digit Murphy: Boston Blades, Kunlun Red Star

All-Time Third Team
Ann-Sophie Bettez: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal
Brianna Decker: Boston Blades, Calgary Inferno
Hilary Knight: Boston Blades, Canadiennes de Montreal
Laura Fortino: Brampton/Markham Thunder
Annie Guay, Montreal Stars
Sami Jo Small: Mississauga Warriors, Toronto Furies
Dany Brunet: Canadiennes de Montreal
Honorable Mention
Meghan Agosta: Montreal Stars
Rebecca Johnston: Toronto Furies, Calgary Inferno
Natalie Spooner: Toronto Furies
Sommer West: Mississauga Warriors, Burlington Barracudas

Kacey Bellamy: Boston Blades, Calgary Inferno
Jocelyne Larocque: Brampton/Markham Thunder
Shannon Moulson: Burlington Barracudas, Toronto Furies
Meaghan Mikkelson: Calgary Inferno
Delayne Brian, Calgary Inferno
Liz Knox: Brampton/Markham Thunder
Emerance Maschmeyer: Calgary Inferno, Canadiennes de Montreal
Pat Cocklin: Brampton Thunder, Burlington Barracudas