allowhertoplay selects its All-Time CWHL Teams

All-Time First Team
Forwards:

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

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

Goaltender:
Charline Labonte: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal

Coach:
Patrick Rankine: Montreal Stars

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

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

Goaltender:
Kim St. Pierre: Montreal Stars, Canadiennes de Montreal

Coach:
Digit Murphy: Boston Blades, Kunlun Red Star

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

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

Famous Lasts in CWHL History

Last regular season goals in franchise history:

Boston Blades: Kate Leary, March 11, 2018 vs Markahm Thunder (assisted by kaitlin Spurling)
Brampton Thunder: Laura Stacey, (Birchard, Jones) Jamie Lee Rattray Shootout Goal, February 19, 2017 vs Boston Blades
Burlington Barracudas: Sommer West., March 11, 2012 vs Montreal Stars (unassisted)
Calgary Inferno: Katelyn Gosling, February 23, 2019 vs Kunlun Red Star (assisted by Zoe Hickel and Kacey Bellamy)
Canadiennes de Montreal: Hilary Knight, February 24, 2019 vs Markham Thunder (assisted by Karrell Emard and Jillian Saulnier)
Kunlun Red Star: Rachel Llanes, February 23, 2019 vs Calgary Inferno (assisted by Leah Lum and Melanie Jue)
Markham Thunder: Taylor Woods, February 26, 2019 vs Toronto Furies (unassisted). Also the last regular season goal in CWHL history.
Team Alberta: Emily Berzins, March 10, 2013 vs Montreal Stars, assisted by Meaghan Mikkelson and Chelsea Purcell (franchise changed name and color scheme to Calgary Inferno the following season)
Toronto Furies: Carolyne Prevost, February 26, 2019 vs Markham Thunder (assisted by Melissa Channell and Carlee Campbell)
Vanke Rays: Hanna Bunton, March 10, 2018 vs Kunlun Red Star (assisted by Cayley Mercer)
Worcester Blades: Kaitlin Spurling, February 24 vs Toronto Furies (assisted by Courtney Turner, Meghan Grieves)

Last game-winning regular season goals in franchise history:

Boston Blades: Taylor Wasylk, January 6, 2018 vs Toronto Furies (assisted by Casey Stathopoulos and Chelsey Goldberg)
Brampton Thunder: Jamie Lee Rattray Shootout Goal, February 19, 2017 vs Boston Blades
Burlington Barracudas: Ashley Stephenson, December 18, 2011 vs Toronto Furies, Lindsay Vine scored in the shootout
Calgary Inferno: Katelyn Gosling, February 23, 2019 vs Kunlun Red Star (assisted by Zoe Hickel and Kacey Bellamy)
Canadiennes de Montreal: Jillian Saulnier, February 23, 2019 vs Markham Thunder (assisted by Marie-Philip Poulin and Ann-Sophie Bettez)
Kunlun Red Star: Cayley Mercer, February 2, 2019 vs Toronto Furies (assisted by Alex Carpenter and Stephanie Anderson)
Markham Thunder: Laura Stacey, February 24, 2019 vs Canadiennes de Montreal (assisted by Laura Fortino)
Team Alberta: Tia Hanson, February 25, 2013 vs Brampton Thunder (assisted by Jocelyne Larocque and Meaghan Mikkelson), Mikkelson logged the shootout winner
Toronto Furies: Brittany Howard, February 26, 2019 vs Markham Thunder (assisted by Carlee Campbell and Shiann Darkangelo)
Vanke Rays: Rose Alleva, March 10, 2018 vs Kunlun Red Star (assisted by Emma Woods). It was also Alleva’s first goal of her CWHL career

Last playoff goals in franchise history:

Boston Blades: Janine Weber, March 7, 2015 vs Montreal Stars (assited by Corinne Buie)
Brampton Thunder: Jess Jones, February 25, 2017
Calgary Inferno: Rebecca Johnston, March 24, 2019 vs Canadiennes de Montreal (assisted by Brigitte Lacquette)
Canadiennes de Montreal: Ann-Sophie Bettez, March 24, 2019 vs Calgary Inferno (assisted by Hilary Knight and Erin Ambrose)
Kunlun Red Star: Kelli Stack, March 25, 2018 vs Markham Thunder (unassisted)
Markham Thunder: Ella Matteucci, March 9, 2019 vs Canadiennes de Montreal (assisted by Brooke Webster and Jocelyne Larocque)
Toronto Furies: Carolyne Prevost, March 10, 2019 vs Calgary InfernO (assisted by Shiann Darkangelo)

Last game-winning playoff goals in franchise history:

Boston Blades: Janine Weber, March 7, 2015 vs Montreal Stars (assisted by Corinne Buie)
Brampton Thunder: Lori Dupuis, March 23, 2012 vs Toronto Furies (assisted by Allyson Fox)
Calgary Inferno: Brianna Decker March 24, 2019 vs Canadiennes de Montreal (assisted by Kacey Bellamy)
Canadiennes de Montreal: Melodie Daoust, March 10, 2019 vs Markham Thunder (assisted by Lauriane Rougeau)
Kunlun Red Star: Alexandra Carpenter, March 18, 2018 vs Clagary Inferno
Markham Thunder: Ella March 9, 2019 vs Canadiennes de Montreal
Toronto Furies: Kelly Terry, February 24, 2017, 5-2 vs Clagary Inferno (assiosted by Natalie Spooner)

Last regular season goaltending wins in franchise history:

Boston Blades: Lauren Dahm, January 6, 2018 vs Toronto Furies
Brampton Thunder: Erica Howe, February 19, 2017 vs Boston Blades
Burlington Barracudas: Christina Kessler, December 18, 2011, 3-2 (SO) vs Toronto Furies
Calgary Inferno: Annie Belanger, February 23, 2019 vs Kunlun Red Star
Canadiennes de Montreal: Emerance Maschmeyer, February 23, 2019 vs Markham Thunder
Kunlun Red Star: Noora Raty, February 2, 2019 vs Toronto Furies
Markham Thunder: Erica Howe, February 24 vs Canadiennes de Montreal
Team Alberta: Jillian MacIsaac, February 25, 2013 vs Brampton Thunder
Toronto Furies: Shea Tiley, February 26, 2019 vs Markham Thunder
Vanke Rays: Elaine Chuli, March 10, 2018 vs Kunlun Red Star

Last postseason goaltending wins in franchise history:

Boston Blades: Genevieve Lacasse, March 7, 2015 vs Montreal Stars
Brampton Thunder: Liz Knox March 24, 2012 versus Toronto Furies
Calgary Inferno: Alex Rigsby, March 24, 2019 vs Canadiennes de Montreal
Canadiennes de Montreal: Emerance Maschmeyer, March 10, 2019 vs Markahm
Kunlun Red Star: Noora Raty, March 18, 2018 vs Calgary
Markham Thunder: Erica Howe, March 9, 2019 vs Calgary Inferno
Toronto Furies: Christina Kessler Feb 24 2017 vs Calgary Inferno

Last postseason games in franchise history:

Boston Blades: March 7, 2015 vs Montreal Stars (Genevieve Lacasse was the starting goatlender)
Brampton Thunder: Feb 25, 2017 vs Canadiennes de Montreal
Calgary Inferno: March 24, 2019 vs Canadiennes de Montreal (Alex Rigsby was the starting goaltender)
Canadiennes de Montreal: March 24, 2019 vs Calgary Inferno (Emerance Maschmeyer was the starting goaltender)
Kunlun Red Star: March 25, 2018 vs Markham Thunder (Noora Raty was the starting goaltender)
Markham Thunder: March 10, 2019 5-0 loss vs Canadiennes de Montreal (Erica Howe was the starting goaltender)
Toronto Furies: March 10, 2019 vs Calgary Inferno (Elaine Chuli was the starting goaltender)

Last home games in franchise history

Boston Blades: March 11, 2018 vs Markham Thunder (franchise relocated to Worcester the following season)
Brampton Thunder: January 29, 2017 vs Canadiennes de Montreal (franchise relcoated to Markham the following season)
Burlington Barracudas: March 11, 2012 vs Montreal Stars (7-2 loss)
Calgary Inferno: February 10, 2019 vs Worcester Blades (10-0 win)
Canadiennes de Montreal: February 24, 2019 vs Markham Thunder (2-1 loss)
Kunlun Red Star: February 23, 2019 vs Calgary Inferno (4-3 loss)
Markham Thunder: February 17, 2018 vs Toronto Furies (3-1 loss)
Team Alberta: February 11, 2013 vs Montreal Stars
Toronto Furies: February 26, 2019 vs Markham Thunder (3-1 win)
Worcester Blades: February 17, 2019 vs Canadiennes de Montreal (4-3 loss)

Last shutouts in franchise history:

Boston Blades: February 22, 2015, vs. Brampton, 4-0, Nicole Stock, 15 saves
Brampton Thunder: February 18, 2017: vs Boston, 6-0, Erica Howe, 17 saves
January 9, 2019: Kunlun Red Star vs Worcester, 4-0, Kimberly Newell, 33 saves
January 31, 2019: Toronto vs KRS, 1-0, Elaine Chuli, 24 saves
February 3, 2019: Montreal vs Calgary, 3-0, Maschm
Calgary Inferno: February 10, 2019: vs Worcester, 10-0, Annie Belanger
Markham Thunder: October 27, 2018: vs KRS 1-0 Erica Howe
Vanke Rays: December 20, 2017: vs Blades, 3-0, Elaine Chuli, 27 saves

Last playoff shutouts:
Toronto, March 22, 2014, 1-0 vs Boston Blades, Christina Kessler, 25 saves
Boston, March 4, 2015, 3-0 vs Toronto Furies, Genevieve Lacasse
Kunlun Red Star, 1-0 vs Calgary, March 25, 2018, Noora Raty
Calgary 3-0 vs Toronto, March 9, 2019 Alex Rigsby
Montreal 5-0 vs Markham, March 10, 2019 Maschmeyer, 17 saves

Other famous lasts:

Last penalty:
Megan Bozek, Markham, Tripping, 2 min, 15:39, Third Period, Markham vs Toronto, February 26, 2019
Last Power Play Goal:
16:20 Carolyne Prevost, Toronto, 16:20 Third Period, vs Markham ASST: Mellissa Channell (12), Carlee Campbell (4) (PP)
Last Shorthanded Goal:
10:52 TOR Natalie Spooner (15) ASST: None (SH)
Sunday, February 24, 2019

Last First Star of the Game by franchise:
Shea Tiley TOR (Feb 26)
Rattray Markham (feb 24)
Marie-Philip Poulin (Feb 23) MTL
Saturday, February 23, 2019 Katelyn Gosling CGY
February 2: Stepahnie Anderson KRS

Last Overtime Game:
Friday, February 22, 2019 – Calgary 4, SHenzhen 3
Brianne Jenner Last Overtime Goal:
1:08 CGY Brianne Jenner (18) ASST: Halli Krzyzaniak (8), Rebecca Johnston (24)

Last Shootout Game:
Feb 16 Markham vs Toronto
3-2

Last Shootout Goal: Shiann Darkangelo

LAST REGULAR SEASON GAME
February 26, 2019: Markham Thunder at Toronto Furies
Toronto Goals:
Sarah Nurse (14) 0:19 of first period
Brittany Howard (5) 17:06 of third period
Carolyne Prevost (6) 16:20 of third period
Markham Goals:
Taylor Woods (2) 18:01 of third period

Last goal in CWHL regular season history scored by Taylor Woods with assist credited to Laura Fortino. Toronto’s Shea Tiley gives up said goal, recording 21 saves in the game for the last win in CWHL regular season history. Erica Howe stops 30 of 33 Furies shots for the final loss in CWHL regular season history.

Sarah Nurse sensational acquisition for Toronto Furies

In a year that sees Willie O’Ree, the first black player in the history of the NHL, gain induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining current CWHL commissioner Jayna Hefford as part of the 2018 Class, the arrival of Sarah Nurse to the Toronto Furies adds a feeling of serendipity. Selected second overall by the Furies in this year’s CWHL Draft, Nurse joins former CWHL All-Star Blake Bolden and Kunlun Red Star forward Jessica Wong as the only visible minorities claimed in the first round of CWHL Draft history.

Belonging to one of Canada’s premier sporting families, which also features cousins Darnell, a blueliner with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, along with Kia, a gold medalist from the 2015 Pan American Games, who recently enjoyed her rookie season with the WNBA’s New York Liberty, Sarah proudly stands shoulder-to-shoulder alongside them in terms of achievement.

In 2018, Sarah and her younger brother, Isaac, both enjoyed the opportunity to make key contributions to their family’s growing athletic legacy. Skating for the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Hamilton Bulldogs, Isaac contributed towards the club capturing the Robertson Cup, the city’s first OHL championship in over 30 years. With the triumph, Isaac and the Bulldogs qualified for the 2018 Memorial Cup tournament.

For Sarah, the prestige of the Draft was part of an eventful year that was highlighted through the attainment of a lifelong dream in her hockey odyssey. Part of Canada’s contingent that participated in women’s ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Games, Nurse became the first black Canadian to participate for Canada’s team at the Games. Such a milestone also brought with it a shared sense of history. Worth noting, teammate Brigitte Lacquette became the first Canadian of Aboriginal heritage to participate in women’s ice hockey at the Games.

Coincidentally, the Canadian roster also featured Renata Fast and Natalie Spooner, two of the Furies’ current superstars. Of note, Nurse’s Olympic journey also featured a gathering of familiar faces, adding luster to such a monumental milestone. In addition, goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens plus forwards Emily Clark and Blayre Turnbull had already called Nurse a teammate once before, having all worn the jersey of the revered University of Wisconsin Badgers.

Graduating from Wisconsin in 2017 with Second Team All-America recognition, it was part of a season that saw Nurse record 53 points, becoming the 22nd player to reach the program’s Century Club in career points. As a side note, Clark and Nurse were teammates on Canada’s U22/Developmental Team, capturing a silver medal at the 2015 Four Nations Cup.

Making her Games debut on February 11, 2018, a 5-0 win against the Olympic Athletes from Russia, Nurse recorded her first Olympic goal four days later. Recording the game-winning tally in a 2-1 preliminary round victory against the eternal rival United States, said goal was scored against Maddie Rooney while the assist was credited to Jocelyne Larocque, the captain of the Markham Thunder. Adding to the sense of coincidence was the fact that both Rooney and Larocque have suited up for the University of Minnesota-Duluth, one of Wisconsin’s biggest rivals.

Taking into account that February is Black History Month, Nurse’s presence at the Games embodied the essence of inspiration and empowerment, building on O’Ree’s remarkable legacy. By tournament’s end, Nurse reached a podium finish (silver) in her Games debut, reaching a revered milestone. Having also played at all three levels of Hockey Canada’s national women’s team program, also the first black player in program history to attain this summit, Nurse has taken on the mantle of role model, becoming one of the game’s most stirring and popular competitors.

For a Furies roster looking to return to the postseason for the first time since 2016, Nurse’s arrival may serve as the catalyst towards achieving such goals, turning the page on several frustrating seasons. Certainly in the early conversation among the favourites for Rookie of the Year honours, she also holds the potential to become a building block for the franchise, a mainstay for many seasons to come.

Undeniably, Nurse is not the only highly regarded player in the Furies’ future plans. Holding three of the top eight picks in the draft, the Furies also acquired two-time Frozen Four championship goaltender Shea Tiley (sixth overall) plus scoring sensation Brittany Howard (eighth overall), the all-time leading scorer for the Robert Morris University Colonials. Nurse already holds an element of familiarity with Tiley, as their collegiate teams, Wisconsin and Clarkson, opposed each other in the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four championship game.

Despite the fact that these three members of the Furies draft class have not yet participated in a regular season game together, there has already been a familiarity among them, poised to set a positive tone in the season to come. With Hockey Canada holding its annual National Women’s Team Fall Festival, held this year in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Nurse was part of a significant Furies presence.

In addition to the group of top Furies picks, Nurse, Tiley and Howard, the attendance of Fast and Spooner was just as important. Considering that all have donned the Maple Leaf during international play, sharing a prestigious pedigree, the Festival took on a key dual purpose, helping develop rapport and chemistry amongst these future Furies teammates. Definitely, Nurse and Howard are ready to become key pieces in a rejuvenated Furies offensive attack, highly capable of complementing team captain Natalie Spooner’s scoring flair, subsequently allowing for a multitude of additional scoring opportunities, providing an exciting new element.

Although one of the biggest adjustments for Nurse in her rookie season of pro hockey will likely involve calling teammates from Wisconsin and/or Team Canada newly minted opponents, there is no question as to her blossoming status as one of the next household names in women’s ice hockey. Ready to build on the momentum of the Winter Games, while looking to achieve new milestones in the professional ranks, Nurse is part of a new generation of women’s hockey stars, heralding an exciting new era filled with promising potential and growing confidence.

Genevieve Bannon poised to be Draft Day Gem for Les Canadiennes

With their first pick of the 2018 CWHL Draft, Les Canadiennes de Montreal acquired a highly dependable skater possessing both big-game experience and strong playmaking abilities. Enjoying a sterling collegiate career where she emerged as a key contributor towards the Clarkson Golden Knights capturing a pair of NCAA Frozen Four championships, the prized pinnacle of playing professionally in her home province is one step closer to becoming a fait accompli for Genevieve Bannon.

Raised in the Montreal suburb of Candiac, Quebec, the 5-8 forward, spent the 2017-18 season competing with Goteborg HC in Sweden. On the other side of the Atlantic, Bannon displayed a remarkable offensive flair. Amassing 53 points in 41 games played, her strong playmaking abilities resulted in a solid 38 assists, simultaneously contributing to an expanding legacy of Canadian-born talents shining on European ice.

Bannon’s international experience also includes a milestone akin to so many other members of Les Canadiennes; the prestige of wearing the Hockey Canada jersey. Gracing the ice at the 2013 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds in Heinola and Vierumäki, Finland, Bannon was part of a gold medal winning roster, one of three players from Quebec, including Catherine Daoust and Catherine Dubois. As a side note, U18 teammates Halli Krzyzaniak, Eden Murray, Kimberly Newell and Sarah Nurse were also part of the 2018 CWHL Draft Class.

While such an exciting milestone supplied Bannon with a lifetime of memories, the golden glories were prologue for a pivotal four-year career filled with numerous triumphs at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. Donning the number 9 in the Clarkson Green and Gold, in tribute to her favourite hockey player, legendary Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Bannon captured a Frozen Four title in her freshman season (2013-14).

Playing alongside future CWHL draft picks such as Erin Ambrose, Renata Fast, Erica Howe, Shannon MacAulay, Cayley Mercer and Jamie Lee Rattray on that championship roster, Bannon joins a sensational sorority of hockey luminaries making the exciting leap into the professional ranks. Of note, her sophomore season saw another unique linkage to the CWHL. Joining the coaching staff were a pair of Clarkson Cup champions, Meghan Duggan, who hoisted the coveted Cup in 2013 with the Boston Blades, while Britni Smith, scored the Cup-clinching tally in 2014 with the Toronto Furies.

Over the last four years, the number of Golden Knights alumnae that have made inroads in CWHL hockey is quickly emerging as one of the league’s most recent legacies. From the likes of Howe and Rattray participating with Team Red in the inaugural CWHL All-Star Game, to the defensive duo of Ambrose and Fast being drafted in the same year by the Toronto Furies, other notable alumnae in league play include Lauren Dahm of the Worcester Blades while Mercer starred overseas in China during the Vanke Rays inaugural season.

Graduating from Clarkson in 2017 with her second national championship, it served as Bannon’s finest hour. Defeating the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2017 Frozen Four championship game, recording a pair of assists on goals scored by Savannah Harmon and Mercer, part of a 3-0 blanking. Complementing the euphoria of winning a championship included a pair of honors for Bannon, including a nod to the ECAC Second Team All-Star team, along with a selection to the NCAA Frozen Four All-Tournament Team. During such a memorable senior season, which also saw Bannon serve as an assistant captain, she amassed 53 points, placing second on the team.

The championship game also proved to continue the theme of unique connections that defined Bannon’s career in Potsdam. From the outset, former Montreal Stars goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens was between the pipes for the opposing Badgers. In addition, Sarah Nurse, claimed second overall by the Toronto Furies in the 2018 CWHL Draft, was among the Badgers’ leaders on offense.

Adding to the sense of coincidence was the fact that the Golden Knights’ first game of that championship season was an exhibition tilt against Montreal’s Concordia Stingers. Not only have the Stingers recently produced a crop of draft picks for Les Canadiennes, but their head coach is franchise legend Julie Chu, who won three Cups with the Stars/Canadiennes franchise.

Worth noting, Bannon is joined by goaltender Shea Tiley as Golden Knights greats that are part of the 2018 CWHL Draft class, both looking to stake their claim in league lore. Although Tiley shall take on the role of opponent this season, selected sixth overall by the Toronto Furies, there is a much more profound Clarkson connection related to this pick.

Last season, the Furies shipped Ambrose to Les Canadiennes in the aftermath of her release from Canada’s Centralization Camp. Reaping a bounty of draft picks in exchange, the Furies also obtained Les Canadiennes’ first round pick in 2018, which proved to be the sixth pick overall. Not only was Tiley technically traded for Ambrose, a former teammate at Clarkson, Bannon’s entry into the professional hockey ranks allows her the opportunity to call Ambrose a teammate once again. Such familiarity should result in strong on-ice chemistry, making the adjustment to the CWHL much more enjoyable for a pair of players both entering their first full seasons with the bleu, blanc et rouge.

Although Les Canadiennes offense currently features two of the world’s finest forwards in Marie-Philip Poulin and Hilary Knight, the acquisition of Bannon provides a significant depth to the offense. As demonstrated at Clarkson, Bannon not only possesses strong playmaking abilities, capable of feeding the puck to skilled scorers, which Les Canadiennes have no shortage of, her greatest asset may be her willingness to learn and grow.

In three successive seasons with Clarkson, Bannon continued to set career highs in assists and points, reaching lofty career totals of 101 assists and 150 points, respectively. For a Montreal franchise looking to become the first-ever to win five Clarkson Cups, Bannon’s big game experience may be the suitable fit to make such ambitions an historic reality, bringing a consistency that has made her a valued teammate and significant asset on every team that she has skated for.

Kori Cheverie a portrait of consistency for Toronto Furies

Epitomizing grace and class, Kori Cheverie is among one of the most valued members of the Toronto Furies. Bringing a solid presence and scoring consistency, her contributions this season were among the highlights for a club that endured its share of struggles.

A charter member of the Furies, Cheverie reached double-digit in points four seasons, highlighted by a career-high 24 points during their inaugural season. Her benchmark of 14 goals was scored in the following season. Having appeared in every playoff game in franchise history, Cheverie is one of the living linkages to the Furies early glory years.

With sporting interests that also extend to beach volleyball, soccer and ball hockey, Cheverie is a well-rounded athlete who has quietly carved an admirable sporting legacy. Cheverie also makes an impact as a skating specialist at Ryerson University, helping to profoundly shape their Skate Training and Hockey Development Program. Working with many players from Lisa Haley’s Ryerson Rams women’s ice hockey squad, her strong knowledge of the game and friendly demeanor have inspired some players from the Rams to pursue their ambitions of professional hockey by registering for the CWHL Draft.

During the 2015-16 Furies season, Cheverie tied alternate captain and rising star Alyssa Baldin for second on team in scoring with 18 points. Of note, she also ranked second in goals and tied with rookie sensation Emily Fulton third in assists. Cheverie would also tie Carolyne Prevost (who also dabbles in CrossFit) in power play goals with three, the highest in one season for her since the 2011-12 campaign.

Among a rare group of Maritimers to have won the Clarkson Cup, hoisting the coveted prize in 2014, Cheverie is among the franchise’s leader in games played (152) and is also the all-time leading scorer, with an incredible 82 points (although Natalie Spooner is close behind with 71 points). As the following season will likely see Cheverie eclipse the 100-point mark, it shall be a fitting milestone in such a distinguished career.

Before coming to the Toronto Furies in their inaugural campaign, Cheverie had assembled an impressive body of work in her home province of Nova Scotia. Raised in New Glasgow, she would suit up for the provincial team in three Esso Women’s Nationals (2005, 2007, and 2008). In addition, she would make her mark with the St. Mary’s Huskies. The first (and only) player in the history of the Atlantic University Sports (AUS) Conference to win three consecutive Marion Hilliard Awards, she would also make an impression in the classroom, where she was an Academic All-Canadian.

Of note, Cheverie is also assembling an impressive body of work on the ball hockey court. With several other women that have graced CWHL ice, Cheverie was part of a roster that competed at the Hockey Night in Canada Play On! Street Hockey Tournament. In addition, she was joined by fellow CWHL star Liz Knox (a goaltender for the Brampton Thunder) and Harvard hockey legend Nicole Corriero with Team Italia at the 2015 ISBHF Women’s Worlds. Although Italia did not enjoy a podium finish, Cheverie was one of the team’s leading scorers, an extension of her international hockey career.

While Furies players such as Natalie Spooner are current members of the Canadian national women’s ice hockey team, a unique fact is that Cheverie also enjoyed that privilege. Among a group of CIS All-Stars that represented Canada in women’s ice hockey at the Winter Universiade, Cheverie would contribute towards a gold medal performance.

Among the season highlights for the Furies in 2015-16, Cheverie played a prominent role, experiencing a pair of career milestones herself. From the outset, Cheverie became the first player in franchise history to reach 80 career points with the club. In addition, she would score the first two game winning goals of her career. Subsequently, she would pace all Furies in this category.

Coincidentally, both game-winning goals occurred in back-to-back games against the Boston Blades. The first game-winner was scored in a February 6 contest which saw the Furies prevail by a 5-0 tally. Of note, Cheverie had logged the game’s first goal. Earning the assists on this landmark goal for Cheverie were the likes of Spooner and Baldin.

The February 7 match involved more flair. In a 5-2 outcome that saw the blue and white pepper Amanda Cariddi with 54 shots, Cheverie scored at the 9:55 mark of the second period as the assists were credited to Spooner and Michelle Bonello.

Complementing such jubilation was the fact that Cheverie would experience the thrill of playing in a regular season game broadcast on national television in partnership with the You Can Play foundation.

Although she would wait until the fifth game of the season to log her first point, she would log at least one point in 12 of the last 20 games of the season. During this stretch, she would assemble a pair of scoring streaks. The first took place from December 5 to December 20, as she logged six points on the strength of four assists in four straight games, which resulted in the Furies enjoying a 3-1-0 mark, including a win against the eventual Clarkson Cup champion Calgary Inferno. In addition, she would close out her sixth Furies season with a three-game streak, compiling five points as the Furies enjoyed a 2-1-0 mark, the one loss taking place in a shootout against archrival Brampton.

Possibility of outdoor game between CWHL and NWHL would be a monumental milestone

First reported by Elliotte Friedman, the discussion that a women’s outdoor game shall take place the day before the NHL’s Winter Classic would signify a watershed moment in the growth of the game. Multiple reports have suggested that the NWHL’s Boston Pride and the CWHL’s signature franchise, Les Canadiennes de Montreal would be the participating teams.

Such an event would also see the first-ever game between teams from the CWHL and the NWHL. There is no question that without the arrival of the NWHL, such a game would never have even been given serious consideration. Although the NWHL has been perceived as an interloper by some north of the border, imposing some type of sacred frozen turf, the reality is that the league has contributed a tremendous growth spurt for women’s hockey.

Taking into account that games were broadcast on the highly popular New England Sports Network (NESN) and ESPN3, along with online interviews with SINow’s Maggie Gray, this league has done so much for women’s hockey in the United States, helping bring much needed awareness; this game is truly a greater triumph for them.

Said game would take place on December 31 at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots. The stadium shall also host another outdoor game on that day, as alumnae from the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens take to the ice, renewing rivalries and stirring emotions and fond memories among its loyal fans. Considering that no official announcement has been made by either league, let alone the NHL, rumors have been rampant. Two of the most prominent have involved the availability of players.

As several Boston Pride players are also members of the US national team, including the likes of Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker (named by The Hockey News as the best women’s player for 2015), Kacey Bellamy and Zoe Hickel, speculation has persisted that commitments to USA Hockey during this time will prevent their participation at the outdoor game.

While some fans have gone to social media, begging that USA Hockey reconsider the availability of its players, it may be best to have a more firm announcement about any such game. Should this game truly be a reality, there is no question that USA Hockey would likely do the right thing and acquiesce to any request, especially if the NHL or a television network graciously requested.

Another angle to this story involves the suggestion that players from other teams in both leagues would gain the chance to don the colors of Les Canadiennes and the Pride for this game. Therefore, the match would lose an element of its integrity, becoming a glorified All-Star Game.

Perhaps the most shocking rumor is the suggestion that a CWHL board member (whose background also includes serving as a General Manager in the NHL) believes the two leagues would actually merge. Based on the bad blood that exists between both leagues, it would be like suggesting a merger between Ford and GM, or an alliance between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

While the two leagues did have a meeting at the NHL’s head office in September, which is where the concept of the outdoor game was supposedly first suggested, any discussions from said meeting were not mentioned on either league’s website. Sadly, the secretive nature among some individuals in women’s hockey has only lingered. Although the arrival of the NWHL has helped the game grow by a quantum leap, it cannot repeat the past behavior of others in the hopes of a more prosperous future.

Instead of an open dialogue, the sense of cloak and dagger and the frustration of secret meetings and closed doors only adds to the frustrations of some fans. Perhaps some of this can be attributed to possible legal issues, making such silence understandable, the women’s game at times seems to be defined by a lack of communication, with rumor only succeeding in tarnishing its image. For all the discussions of bringing women’s ice hockey to the next level, some individuals in the game have been infamous for placing themselves (and others) in a bubble, fostering a country club culture, burning bridges in the process.

With due deference, this event, and more importantly, the handling of such speculation should have been handled differently. Instead, silence lingers and fans feel excluded, relying on rumor rather than fact. Although playing the game is ultimately the end goal, helping to advance women’s hockey, making any current speculation futile in the long term, a closer look would reveal that this is another missed opportunity by some to establish a sincere connection, something not uncommon to longtime fans.

Wickenheiser logs first career CWHL points as Inferno sweep defending Clarkson Cup champs

In the opening weeks of the 2015-16 CWHL season, anticipation built as living legend Hayley Wickenheiser was prepared to make her debut for the Calgary Inferno. Having played for the Calgary Oval X-Treme in the now defunct WWHL and with the Calgary Dinos in Canadian Interuniversity Sport play, the CWHL’s Inferno remained the final Calgary-based team for Wickenheiser to suit up for.

Despite being 36 years of age, Wickenheiser is still among the world’s finest competitors, able to provide a superior level of play against competitors half her age. No one is expecting Wickenheiser to be the player that she was 10 years ago. On talent alone, she can cause potential nightmares for opposing defenses. Her presence alone is enough to generate confidence in her teammates while her vast knowledge can only help improve the quality of her teammate’s play.

With the Inferno’s season opener taking place on October 24, 2015, it would prove to be a test for the club. Facing off against the defending champion Boston Blades, a victory would make a significant statement.
Taking into account that it was also Wickenheiser’s CWHL debut, the fact that the contest took place on home ice at the Winsport Arena only added to expectation. As highly touted draft picks Brianne Jenner and Jillian Saulnier, also members of Canada’s national making their CWHL debuts in the contest, opening game would prove to be an indicator of what fans could expect.

It was an outcome where Wickenheiser would deliver on all accounts. Like Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, Wickenheiser has the gift of making others around her better, increasing their confidence. It would not take long for her to make an impact in the season opener.

At the 12:14 mark of the first period, Wickenheiser and Kristen Hagg would earn an assist on the first goal of the Inferno season. Scored by Jillian Saulnier, it also signified the first goal in her CWHL career. After goals by Elena Lovell (just 19 seconds after Saulnier’s goal) and Jessica Campbell, who gained the distinction of being the first-ever rookie to serve as captain at the CWHL All-Star Game, another first followed. Less than four minutes after Saulnier’s goal, Brianne Jenner would log the first goal of her CWHL career, resulting in four Inferno goals in a time span of just three minutes and 37 seconds.

With Jenna Cunnigham, a link to the Inferno’s former Team Alberta days, and Campbell scoring in the second period, the game was out of reach for the beleaguered Boston Blades. Although Blades’ forward Megan Myers would break Delayne Brian’s bid for a shutout in the third period, the 7-1 final proved to be the largest margin of victory on opening day in franchise history. Perhaps more impressive was the fact that the Inferno peppered Blades goalie Genevieve Lacasse with an astounding 56 shots.

Following the convincing opening day win, Wickenheiser also added her name to the stat sheet in the second half of the two-game set. Logging another assist, she was one of nine different Inferno players to register a point in a 4-1 victory.

Similar to the opening day win, the Inferno came out strong and did not relent. Brianne Jenner would open the scoring with her first career power play goal as Hayleigh Cudmore and Brittany Esposito earned the assists. Sarah Davis, the first Newfoundland-born player to compete on the national team, scored the second goal of the first period, which would prove to be the game-winning tally.

Wickenheiser and Jacquie Pierri would add to the Inferno’s 2-0 lead as they logged the assists on a goal scored by Boston University alum Louise Warren. As a side note, Warren would finish the game with a stellar three-point performance. Just 10 seconds after Warren’s goal, Blayre Turnbull, a former captain with the Wisconsin Badgers, scored her first career CWHL goal, placing the game out of reach for the Blades.

Tara Watchorn, in her first season as the Blades captain, scored the last goal of the second period, which would prove to be the final goal of the game. With Elena Lovell serving a penalty for too many men, Watchorn snapped another shutout effort for the Inferno.

Despite three power play opportunities in the third period for the Blades, Kathy Desjardins nullified all of them, preserving the win for the Inferno. Having not played during the 2014-15 season, as she temporarily relocated to British Columbia, she would be among the other feel-good stories of the game. Earning her first CWHL win since March 2, 2014, coincidentally that win also came against the Boston Blades, part of a 29 save effort in a 4-2 final.

For the Calgary Inferno, a weekend sweep of the defending Clarkson Cup champions made a remarkable statement. The addition of Wickenheiser has helped to add a new dimension to an already explosive offensive attack for the Inferno, ambitiously seeking their first-ever Clarkson Cup. Should the Inferno’s Clarkson Cup dreams come true, it will allow two of their members, Wickenheiser and Brianne Jenner the rare privilege of having won the IIHF Women’s Worlds, Winter Games Gold, and the Clarkson Cup, a symbolic crossroads for a pair of elite scorers simultaneously representing the heritage and the future of women’s hockey in Canada.

Jordanna Peroff the perfect acquisition for the Montreal Stars

As the Montreal Stars look to capture their first Clarkson Cup since 2012, a former star player with the McGill Martlets may be the final piece of the puzzle. With 12 players from the 2014-15 Stars roster not returning, Peroff brings two very valuable elements to the club.

In addition to having already won a Clarkson Cup championship (with the Toronto Furies in 2014), Peroff enjoyed a stellar university career with Montreal’s McGill Martlets. In five sensational seasons with the Martlets, Peroff participated in five Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship tournaments.

Although Peroff did not find her scoring stride with the Furies (traditionally, they have always been an offensively starved team, her positive attitude did not wane. Known as a social butterfly, Peroff tends to be a popular player and teammate wherever she plays.

Raised north of Toronto in Keswick, Ontario, a municipality in York Region, Peroff was part of several key events in Furies franchise history. Of note, she played with the club at Air Canada Centre in November 2013, which was the first CWHL regular season game played in an NHL arena.

In addition, she would help the club capture its first-ever Clarkson Cup, an emotional 1-0 overtime win against the Boston Blades. Adding to Peroff’s jubilation was the fact that the victory came in Markham, Ontario, also part of York Region, making the win feel like it was literally in her own back yard.

Making her CWHL debut on October 20, 2012, it resulted in a winning start as the Furies prevailed by a 4-3 tally against Brampton. Appearing in 20 games, she only logged two penalty minutes, showing strong discipline.

In the opening match of her second season (2013-14), a November 9 contest against the Calgary Inferno, Peroff logged her first career goal. Of note, it was a memorable goal providing her with a special milestone. Peroff would log the game-winning tally as the Furies prevailed by a 3-2 count against the visiting Inferno.

By season’s end, she would log assists in a pair of losses to Montreal (February 15) and Brampton (March 9). Ironically, the loss against Brampton represented the only game all season in which Peroff had a positive plus/minus rating (+2).

With only six penalty minutes in more than 40 career games played at the CWHL level, her remarkable discipline reflects a great style of play that should enable her the chance to make an impact with the Stars.
With the blue and white, Peroff’s role occupied more of a forechecking capacity, proving that preventing goals comprises a key role. Paying attention to such details is just as important as a teammate that may have scored a goal on the opposite end of the ice.

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Competing with the Stars, it is highly likely that Peroff shall establish new bench marks for most goals and points in one season during her CWHL career. Reunited with the likes of Martlet teammates such as Ann-Sophie Bettez (a BLG Award winner), former captain Cathy Chartrand, 2015 second round pick Katia Clement-Heydra and All-World goaltender Charline Labonte, there are strong feelings of familiarity and pride on this year’s edition of the Stars.

In Montreal hockey circles, it had only been one year earlier (2011), when Peroff solidified her legacy. Leading the Martlets to a victory over the highly talented St. Francis Xavier X-Women in the 2011 CIS national title game, Peroff assembled a solid two-point performance that set the tone for the remainder of the game. For her efforts, she was recognized as tournament MVP, a remarkable milestone in her fabled career.

Graduating with 139 career points with the Martlets, Peroff was also an alternate captain for three seasons. Her leadership followed later in her career. Having also dressed the shirt of Macedonian Suns in the Canadian Multicultural Hockey League, she acquired the 2013 MVP award.

Although Peroff was not part of CWHL play during the 2014-15, she was equally prominent. Competing with the Italian club, the Bolzano Eagles, she participated in Group G of the Euorpean Women’s Champions Cup. Playing alongside Chelsea Furlani during the season, Peroff logged a pair of assists in a 7-3 final on December 6 against the Espoo Blues.

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During the 2014-15 EWHL season, Peroff was one of seven Canadians competing in the league. She was joined by the likes of Alex Gowie (KHM Budapest), blueliner Regan Boulton (EHV Sabres Vienna) and Abygail Laking (DEC Salzburg Eagles). Of note, the Neuberg Highlanders featured the most Canadians of any European roster. Consisting of three players, including scoring champion Devon Skeats, forwards Shelby Ballendine and Paula Lagamba completed the Canadian trio.

With a very strong roster this season, Peroff may likely be a third line player with the Stars, but her talents give her the potential to be remarkably effective, giving the Stars solid depth. Possessing an impressive skill set, she also has the ability to occasionally shift to a second or first line, showing versatility. Possessing championship experience, Peroff not only knows what it takes to win a Clarkson Cup, her positive attitude and team first approach make her an ideal teammate.

Sam Faber on the ground floor of another New England hockey revolution

As the NWHL becomes the first professional hockey league for women in the United States, there is a feeling of relevance with the on-ice involvement of veteran star forward Sam Faber. One of the first players to sign with the Connecticut Whale, she is part of a new era of promise for the hockey-mad state. On the momentum of strong women’s hockey programs at the NCAA level such as Storrs’ UConn Huskies, New Haven’s Yale Bulldogs and Hamden’s Connecticut Bobcats, Faber shall be the cornerstone of an offense looking to capture the inaugural Isobel Cup.

Raised in Mount Sinai, New York, Faber’s first brush with New England women’s hockey came as a member of the University of New Hampshire’s Huskies. With an astounding 51 points in her freshman season, she would compile 189 points (on the strength of 112 assists) and an astonishing 23 game winning goals during her distinguished NCAA career. In addition, she would skate with the US National Team in a gold medal effort at the 2008 IIHF Women’s Worlds.

Perhaps an element of greater importance may be her experience at the professional level in New England women’s hockey. Of note, the Whale does not reflect her first sojourn into pro hockey. When the Boston Blades became the first American-based in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Faber was one of the club’s charter members.

Playing alongside the likes of CWHL co-founder Mandy Cronin, All-World blueliners Caitlin Cahow and Angela Ruggiero, along with current Boston Pride GM Hayley Moore plus Huskies leading scorer Jaclyn Hawkins, Faber was part of a remarkable chapter in American women’s hockey.

During that inaugural Blades season (2010-11), Faber brought an offensive flair and playmaking ability that resulted in finishing said season as the Blades scoring leader. Although Montreal’s Caroline Ouellette captured the scoring title that season, Faber’s 30 points helped propel the Blades into the postseason, simultaneously demonstrating that there was a market in the United States for professional women’s hockey. As a side note, she ranked second to Julie Chu that season among American-born scoring leaders in CWHL play.

Faber’s first career point with the Blades came in their inaugural game. Along with Karen Thatcher, both would earn the assists on Jessica Koizumi’s third period goal, the first in Blades franchise history, part of a 3-0 win against the Burlington Barracudas. The following day, Faber would contribute 4 points, including her first career goal with the Blades, sweeping the Barracudas.

Accumulating at least one point in 15 games played, Faber also registered eight multi-point efforts. Her finest single-game performance was a five-point output which included her first career hat trick in a 6-5 win against eventual Clarkson Cup champions Montreal on January 30, 2011. Earlier that season, Montreal would provide another memorable moment for Faber.

Just six days before Christmas, the Blades did more than just spoil Montreal’s bid for an undefeated season. Fighting back from a 2-0 deficit, Faber would score Boston’s first goal of the game, signifying a shift in momentum. Ruggiero would score the dramatic game-winning tally in overtime while Cronin made an astounding 74 saves in one of the greatest goaltending performances in league history.

Such experience shall place Faber into a key leadership position with the Whale this season, as she also holds the unique distinction of being the first player signed in franchise history. Taking into account that former Blades teammate (and two-time Clarkson Cup champion) Jessica Koizumi shall be joining her on the Whale, it only adds to the veteran impact that should contribute to a fundamentally sound game on the ice. As a side note, both have also worked as coaches, with Koizumi serving on the Yale Bulldogs staff and Faber with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers.

Among the crop of youthful free agents that should benefit most positively from their leadership includes the likes of Quinnipiac grads such as Shiann Darkangelo and Kelly Babstock, plus Clarkson Cup champion Kaleigh Fratkin. The younger players shall definitely reciprocate as they bring enthusiasm and high energy, strong motivational factors for Faber.

Having last played during the Blades inaugural season, Faber has remained in the game off the ice as the Chelsea Piers Youth Hockey Director in Stamford, Connecticut. Among her accomplishments with Chelsea Piers includes the fact that she oversees the largest Mite League program in the state. The chance to return to the rink for the first time since 2011 shall serve as an opportunity to inspire the young players that have passed through Chelsea Piers. Being part of the NWHL’s inaugural season as a member of the Connecticut Whale presents Faber (and Koizumi) with the rare opportunity to make history twice in New England women’s hockey.

Brittany Ott continues New England women’s hockey legacy with Boston Pride

As the free agent freezy continues for the incipient NWHL, a key element involves which player shall stand between the pipes for the inaugural puck drop. While the Buffalo Beauts won the Brianne McLaughlin sweepstakes, the Boston Pride may have found a dark horse in accomplished backstop Brittany Ott.

Ott’s first brush with women’s hockey in New England involved four stellar seasons with the Maine Black Bears in Hockey East conference play. Not only would she set a new program record for most saves in a regular season game (accomplished in 2010), she would break her own record in 2013 with a sterling 72 save performance against Boston College in a 2-1 overtime loss.

Although her final season at Maine did not translate in a lot of wins, that was attributed to a rebuilding year for the program. Had Ott not been between the pipes for the Black Bears, the potential for a disastrous season was highly possible, testament to her superlative skills.

Selected in the fifth round, 25th overall, in the 2013 CWHL Draft, Ott would prove to be one of the steals of the draft. No other goalie drafted past the fifth round in draft history enjoyed as many wins, let alone play in the Clarkson Cup championship game.

With Genevieve Lacasse placed on reserves that season, due to her commitments with the Canadian national team at the Winter Games in Sochi, Ott proved to be a blessing in disguise, allowing the club to maintain its great standard of superlative goaltending. Taking to the ice in her powder blue goalie pads, it was not only endearing, but a fitting reminder of what made her an elite goaltender in Hockey East play.

Heading into the final month of the 2013-14 CWHL season, Lacasse returned to the Blades but Ott has established herself as one of the league’s finest goaltenders. Her 10 wins ranked second in league play to rival Catherine Herron of the Montreal Stars, while her .921 save percentage and 475 saves were tops in the league.

In the aftermath of the golden outcome at the Sochi Winter Games, Lacasse earned some playing time with the Blades, but Ott had proven that she belonged among the elites of the game. Such effort was reflected in the fact that Ott became only the fourth rookie goalie to get the start in the Clarkson Cup championship game. The decision was a show of gratitude, testament to her dedication and perseverance during the season.

Despite the Furies by a narrow 1-0 margin in overtime, Ott provided a valiant performance with three solid periods of shutout hockey, stopping 23 shots. The following season, Ott contributed a 10-6-0 mark, establishing herself as the finest backup goaltender in CWHL play. Complemented by a Blades’ Clarkson Cup victory, it represented redemption.

Such solid numbers are what the Pride is hoping that Ott can provide for the inaugural season. With the aim of winning the first-ever Isobel Cup, it would only solidify Ott’s standing as one of the finest American-born goaltenders in hockey today. It would also make her the first goaltender to have won both the Clarkson and Isobel Cups.

There will certainly be some familiar faces surrounding Ott in this quest for history. Joining her on the Pride include several former Blades teammates that were part of the run for the 2015 Clarkson Cup. Players such as Jillian Dempsey, Alyssa Gagliardi and Jordan Smelker (the first player from Alaska to win the Clarkson) are joined by three other Blades that have represented historic signings.

From Blake Bolden becoming the first African-American player to sign with the NWHL, to Kaleigh Fratkin becoming the first Canadian-born player to join the league, there is another exciting acquisition. Jessica Koizumi, the first player to register 50 points with the Blades (she also scored the first power play goal in Blades history), has become the first signee to have played in the former Western Women’s Hockey League. Such familiarity should enable the Pride to have the strongest on-ice chemistry of all NWHL clubs while Ott’s presence between the pipes maintains the high standard of goaltending that she has established during her stellar hockey career in New England.

Upon the Pride’s first faceoff, Ott should retain her powder blue pads from Maine. Taking into account how goaltenders are some of the game’s most unique characters, identified by the creative artwork on their masks, or the style of their equipment, Ott’s powder blues make her instantly identifiable, an element that should establish her as a fan favorite in Boston and throughout the NWHL.