As the Canadian Women’s Hockey League embarks on its seventh sensational season, two remarkable women are contributing in new leadership roles. Kelsey Webster and Lexie Hoffmeyer are going to add the role of player representatives with the CWHLPA to their on-ice duties.
Both members of their respective teams for several seasons, Webster and Hoffmeyer both patrol the blueline while providing strong leadership. Besides their new role as player representatives, the irony is that the two played against each other in the first-ever CWHL game held in an NHL arena; a November 2012 tilt in which Air Canada Centre hosted the Furies and Alberta. Another common ground between these two is that they are unsung heroes.
With Alberta, Webster has competed on a very deep defensive unit. Playing with Meaghan Mikkelson, one of the most popular members of Canada’s national women’s team, recently retired Bobbi-Jo Slusar, along with Jocelyne Larocque and Tara Watchorn, Webster is sometimes overlooked for her strong contributions on defense.
Having played for the York Lions in Toronto under the tutelage of head coach Dan Church (the head coach of the national women’s team playing at Sochi 2014), Webster saw her game improve as she helped make the program more competitive. While at York, her determination led her to a spot on the Canadian National Team that won gold at the 2009 Winter Universiade. Of note, Webster also competed in the first CWHL season of 2007-08 before enrolling with the Lions.
During the last season, Toronto had a new-look offense featuring the likes of Canadian national team members Rebecca Johnston, Natalie Spooner and Jennifer Wakefield. Garnering a significant amount of attention, Hoffmeyer played with a stoic, quiet dignity as she helped her team to a third place finish in the Clarkson Cup playoffs. Holding dual US and Canadian citizenship, Hoffmeyer played one season for the Mercyhurst Lakers and three with the Maine Black Bears.
Heading into the 2013-14 season, it is possible that both may hold another unique distincton; the C on their sweater. With Slusar having served as Alberta’s captain in her final CWHL season, head coach Tim Bothwell needs a new captain. Should past captain Chelsea Purcell not be given the nod again, it is an honour that would be most deserving for Webster.
The sentiment is likewise for Hoffmeyer. Team captain Tessa Bonhomme is joining Johnston, Spooner and Wakefield at Canada’s centralization camp. With the blue and white having drafted several new faces this season, a seasoned veteran like Hoffmeyer would be a great choice.
As the role of a leader is to help provide guidance, feedback and motivation, Webster and Hoffmeyer are friendly, mature and highly knowledgeable. These are great qualities that make them more than just player representatives for the upcoming season, but role models for the league’s rookie crop.