Friday, 14 July 2017

Meghan Duggan represents women’s hockey on ESPY Awards Red Carpet

Although it was comedian, Bill Maher who called the ESPY Awards “the lamest awards show”, the reality of the event is that it goes beyond awards, and serves as a chance to celebrate sport while allowing a rare opportunity for world-class athletes from numerous sports to be gathered under one venue. Among the athletes, on-hand for this star-studded gala in Hollywood included Meghan Duggan.

As the captain of the United States women’s ice hockey team, Duggan is so much more than just the face of its team. She represents a movement that has seen women fight bravely for sporting equality, as evidenced by the national team’s courageous effort in pay equity.

Considering that the struggle of these wondrous female hockey gladiators for fairness, along with the potential boycott of the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships in Plymouth, Michigan, making international news, the women of the US national team would have been most worthy of the ESPY’s Arthur Ashe Award for Courage in Sport. Although such an honor was not meant to be, ESPN has definitely acknowledged what such a courageous effort meant for these players, and subsequently, the game’s growth.

Not only was it an opportunity for the sporting community to catch up to Duggan and her remarkable heroics, highlighted by her historic standing as the first captain to lead an American team to gold at the IIHF Women’s Worlds on home soil, there was also the dual purpose of recognizing the athletes featured in the 2017 Body Issue. It was one that included a significant women’s hockey presence, as an unprecedented six members of the US national women’s ice hockey team were featured in its pages.


In addition to Duggan, assistant captain Kacey Bellamy, Brianna Decker, who was recognized as the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 IIHF Women’s Worlds, Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux, along with goaltender Alex Rigsby (who captured a Frozen Four title in 2011 at Wisconsin with Duggan and Decker as her teammates) redefined team spirit, providing a unique viewpoint. Donning just their skates and a captivating confidence, this “Spectacular Six” turned the world of women’s hockey on its ear, while reinforcing the message that “Strong is Beautiful”.

Traditionally, the evening before the ESPY Awards, features a Body Issue celebration, in which all featured athletes grace the red carpet flashing both a smile and the photo from the Issue. Although Duggan was the only member of the US team that was present, her presence encompassed the positive message of her teammates, extending what has proven to be an empowering year for women’s ice hockey in the United States.

Following it up with a chance to attend the ESPY Awards, the entire experience was one that shall provide Duggan with a lifetime of memories, while affirming her status as one of America’s sporting heroes. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other female sporting giants such as Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Lindsey Vonn, the feeling of achievement, encouragement and glamor all intersected on the red carpet.

Having also visited the Young Hollywood Studio and the GBK Pre-ESPY Event at Luxe on Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills, California, there was another unique facet for Duggan. The night before the ESPY Awards, Duggan ran into New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. Although Duggan grew up in Danvers, Massachusetts, gaining the opportunity to grace the mound at Fenway Park an amazing three times in her career, the presence of Jeter may provide a very unique omen.

Leading into the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, the training camp for the US national women’s team shall take place in the non-traditional hockey market of Tampa, Florida. Taking into account that the Yankees hold their spring training camp in Tampa, where Legends Field serves as the preseason home for so many of the modern greats of Yankees lore, the Tampa connection may be the element of good luck that propels the US team to its first Winter Games gold medal since 1998, which would provide Duggan with the ultimate milestone that would help enhance the fascinating journey which also included the ESPY Awards.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Thunder leaves behind remarkable legacy in Brampton as it moves to Markham

Although the decade-long history of the CWHL has seen teams fold (the most recent were the Burlington Barracudas), there was always a sense of security surrounding the Brampton Thunder. Considering that the history of the Brampton Canadette-Thunder dates back over 50 years (it was one of the first teams Fran Rider played with when she was a teenager), the legacy of the organization was reinforced during the game’s revitalization in the 1990s.

From the Central Ontario Women’s Hockey League to its occupancy in the original NWHL, the Thunder were one of the inaugural franchises in the CWHL. Undoubtedly, most would have perceived it as one of the league’s signature franchises, perhaps its backbone. Of note, the Thunder captured the league’s inaugural championship, as Molly Engstrom scored the game-winning goal in overtime against the Mississauga Warriors (another defunct team). With a championship roster that also featured former softball star Cindy Eadie, CWHL co-founder Allyson Fox, along with Winter Games heroes Lori Dupuis, Jayna Hefford and Vicky Sunohara, it truly lived up to the billing of “dream team”.

Those wondrous women certainly followed an amazing legacy as the competitors who have donned the Thunder colors over the decades reads like a who’s who of women’s hockey. To begin the 2011-12 CWHL season, Angela James, the first Canadian woman inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame also served as its head coach. A constant fixture at the Esso Women’s Nationals (the predecessor to the Clarkson Cup), the Thunder were part of some of the greatest games contested in the 2000s.

During the days of the original NWHL, goaltender Sami Jo Small (who would later be a founder of the CWHL) once scored a goal as a member of the Thunder. Even Natalie Spooner played in a game with the Thunder, wearing their jersey for a charity fundraiser against NHL alum.

Heading into the 2017-18 CWHL season, it will be very difficult for some hardcore fans to absorb, as it shall mark the first without Brampton on its schedule. Instead, the club shall compete in the York Region community of Markham. The community’s impact still resonates within league annals. Having done a superlative job as host city for three consecutive Clarkson Cup championships (2013-15), it now takes its place as a full-time member of the CWHL’s family of teams.

Of note, this is not the first time York Region has hosted CWHL hockey. Among the CWHL’s charter teams were the Vaughan Flames. In its brief history, the roster featured the likes of Karen Thatcher, Meagan Aarts and a young Jennifer Wakefield. In addition, the second Clarkson Cup was staged in Richmond Hill, Ontario, which saw the Minnesota Whitecaps defeat the Thunder to become the first American-based team to emerge victorious.

While Markham was definitely an ideal choice for an expansion site, it now becomes the site for relocation instead. This transition has resulted in Brampton’s status now part of league history, rather than part of its continuous future. Of note, Montreal has now become the only charter franchise still remaining in its original city. Burlington, Ottawa and Quebec all folded while Mississauga and Vaughan fused into the Toronto Furies.

Undoubtedly, league history is undergoing a rather rapid change as the move from Brampton took place just a few short weeks after the announcement that China’s Kunlun Red Star was granted an expansion franchise. Both unforeseen events, with an almost rancid element of secrecy, it has certainly altered the league’s complexion.

For a decimated fan base in Brampton, it now empathically understands how it felt when the Brooklyn Dodgers left for Los Angeles, the original Cleveland Browns becoming the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Supersonics transformed into the Oklahoma City Thunder. Also moving with the team shall be Don Simmons, the current announcer of the Thunder and a volunteer with the club for nine seasons. Having also volunteered for Hockey Canada, his dedication to the game is renowned, and his role as announcer not only makes him an institution with the team, it is reminiscent of Vin Scully following the Dodgers to Los Angeles.

Considering that the Thunder have lost the fewest number of players to Canada’s Centralization, in preparation of the Winter Games, there is a strong chance that the club may contend for a Clarkson Cup. For the last three seasons, Lori Dupuis, who moved into the General Manager’s position was very astute in the draft, shrewdly acquiring talent that emerged as gems of the draft. Having revitalized the Thunder organization, the presence of Dupuis marked a great chapter in franchise history, rebuilding a team that had fallen into the doldrums, while also connecting with the women’s ice sledge hockey community.

While the individual that shall inherit the position from Dupuis is not confirmed yet, there is no question that the assiduous efforts of Dupuis have ensured that the future of the franchise remains in good hands. Said future also holds the potential for a makeover as fans can vote online and have their say regarding which color they would like the Thunder to adopt. Choices include green, teal and red.

For all the volunteers who helped make the Thunder such a fun stop on CWHL road trips, and helped to form one of the best team cultures in the CWHL, they are all worthy of a heartfelt thank you.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Kelley Steadman's sterling career embodied the exciting potential of the NWHL

Originally published on Women Talk Sports

In the blooming history of the Buffalo Beauts, the club was blessed by an abundance of superstars, highlighted by the likes of Meghan Duggan, Brianne McLaughlin and Emily Pfalzer, among others. Complemented by the remarkable show of support for Harrison Browne, along with Corinne Buie’s heroics in the march to the Isobel Cup, such stars have enamored a highly loyal fan base.

Perhaps the most fascinating player of this brief yet captivating era was Kelley Steadman. A soft-spoken yet assiduous competitor whose amazing hockey resume included a multitude of championships on both sides of the Atlantic, along with gold at the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championships, her heart of gold and authentic appreciation of fans, teammates and the game alike truly defined the raison d’etre for the NWHL.

Scoring the first goal in Buffalo Beauts history, it was more than just a concrete moment that added to the exhilaration of the NWHL’s opening day. It sparked Steadman’s impact, one that would see her embedded within the Queen City’s sporting mythology.

With Steadman having announced her retirement, that epic goal only enhances her mystique, quantifying a truly magnificent legacy. Joining the likes of recently retired teammates McLauhglin, Browne and Devon Skeats, all still in the primes of their careers, riding off into a sunset far too soon for a jubilant fan base, all that remains is to ponder what if this remarkable collection of talent would have remained for a third season.

Originally penciled in as a practice player, such plans were quickly shattered as Steadman was called into action with a sense of urgency, attributed to unforeseen issues with player visas. Such a move would prove to be a significant element in building the mythology of women’s ice hockey in Buffalo.

Unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, Steadman shone brilliantly, combining grace and a smooth scoring touch in a performance that reached legendary proportion, as the NWHL quickly gained a place of relevance on the sporting map.

As the season progressed, Steadman’s continued heroics at Harbor Centre became a vessel where fans could pour their emotions. No game would prove to be more prevalent there as the inaugural NWHL All-Star Game. The amalgamation of history, home ice advantage and sportsmanship resulted in a perfect storm. Emerging with MVP honors, it only affirmed Steadman’s role as a shining star and a fan favorite.

For Steadman, the NWHL All-Star Game would truly emerge as her lasting legacy. In the 2017 edition of the event, there was a tremendous sense of gravitas. Named as one of the team captains, this heartwarming moment and sense of appreciation was reciprocated with a proud fan base in Pittsburgh, site of the first neutral site event in league history, and the first professional women’s hockey game in the Keystone State.

After a difficult holiday break which resulted in an unfortunate alteration in the salary structure, there were many cynics that saw the league clinging to survival, before slipping into obliteration. With a player of Steadman’s magnitude remaining on the stage, it was a crucial element in a renewed vitality and focus, as the 2017 All-Star Game signified a relevant turning point.

Considering that Steadman, who juggled her playing career with an executive role as part of the Robert Morris Colonials leadership group, along with McLaughlin, a Colonials alum, the coordinates for the All-Star Game provided ample motivation. Both gaining the loudest ovations among the sold-out crowd, it was their finest hour as professionals.

While super rookie Amanda Kessel stole the show, scoring the first hat trick in NWHL All-Star Game history, it was an accompanying plot line to a much more profound narrative which starred Steadman and McLaughlin. This pair of remarkable leaders, trusted with the burden, easing the load and renewing the relevance of a league working to rebuild trust and set things right, their goals were fused, companions of a unified cause.

In the aftermath of this remarkable career milestone, Steadman and McLaughlin continued to set the tone for the Beauts. Their leadership was crucial in helping the club reach the jubilation of the Isobel Cup, gaining redemption after a heartbreaking finals loss in 2016. Providing the Queen City with its first hockey championship since the Buffalo Bisons captured the AHL’s Calder Cup in 1969, it was also part of a unique personal parallel for Steadman.

With a career that has included etching her name on the Clarkson Cup, capturing the College Hockey America (CHA) Player of the Year Award with the Mercyhurst Lakers, and a championship competing in Russia with fellow Clarkson Cup champion Cherie Hendrickson, the Isobel Cup was part of a remarkable feat in 2017. With the Colonials capturing the CHA postseason championship, qualifying for its first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament, Steadman became the first person to win both the Isobel Cup and a CHA title in the same season.

The season to come shall see Steadman take on a full-time coaching capacity in the CHA. Returning to her roots, where she called the likes of Meghan Agosta, Bailey Bram, Jesse Scanzano and fellow American Pamela Zgoda as teammates on a dominant Mercyhurst Lakers team, there is an emotional sense of homecoming. Taking on the role of an assistant coach with the Lakers, her enthusiasm for the game and comforting presence shall foster and encourage an exciting new generation of talent.

While there may be an element of sadness and mourning among the Beauts fan base, aware that Steadman shall no longer don their colors, it should not be approached as a time of sorrow. Instead, it deserves to be celebrated as an amazing time which enriched the experience for all involved.

Steadman was a gifted player, and the opportunity to share those gifts was a blessing, one that truly helped to alter the portentous perception of the Buffalo Sports Curse.

The Beauts may have built the stage, but it was Steadman that wrote the role. An eminent competitor whose legend in Buffalo sports history is destined to go untarnished with the passage of time, she truly mirrored the ambitions of the NWHL to bring an exciting and empowering new chapter for professional women’s ice hockey in the United States.

While she remains part of the game, looking to restore the glory days that she helped establish at Mercyhurst, while developing the next generation of stars that may one day emulate her heroics, the greatest legacy of her career will forever be embedded in Buffalo’s sporting culture.

For a legion of fans in Buffalo, her efforts will always remain in their hearts, forever grateful for the impact of this soft-spoken and stoic superstar, always reflecting on her meaningful Beauts career with a warm sense of nostalgia.

Friday, 30 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women's ice hockey (1-10)

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

1: Hayley Wickenheiser Player

2: Fran Rider Builder, Order of Hockey in Canada, IIHF Hall of Fame

3: Hilda Ranscombe and the Preston Rivulettes Player

4: Angela James Hockey Hall of Fame

5: Geraldine Heaney Hockey Hall of Fame

6: Jayna Hefford Winter Games Gold Medalist

7: Caroline Ouellette Winter Games Gold Medalist

8: Marie-Philip Poulin Winter Games Gold Medalist

9: Cassie Campbell Order of Hockey in Canada

10: The Fight for Gender Equity - Justine Blainey Player, Activist

Thursday, 29 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (11-20)

11: Manon Rheaume Goaltender

12: France St. Louis Player, Manager

13: Kim St. Pierre Winter Games Gold Medalist, Clarkson Cup champion

14: Jennifer Botterill Player, Order of Manitoba

15: Danielle Goyette 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee

16: Samantha Holmes Activist, Builder, Player, Manager

17: Charline Labonte Winter Games Gold Medalist, Clarkson Cup champion

18: Sue Scherer Canada’s First Captain

19: Stacy Wilson Captain, 1998 Nagano Winter Games

20: Natalie Spooner Winter Games gold medalist

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (21-30)

21: Melody Davidson Coach, General Manager Since the dawn of the millennium, Melody Davidson is the backbone of Canada’s national women’s team. From coaching Canada to consecutive gold medals at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games, she currently serves in the capacity of General Manager of the national team. Having also served in an advisory capacity with the IIHF, she is currently one of the most influential people in hockey. Davidson’s roots in the game date back to the early 1990’s when she served as a volunteer with Team Alberta at the 1991 Canada Winter Games.
 

22: Abby Hoffman Legend In the 1950s, no female player captured the imagination of sports fans the way Abby Hoffman did. Having cut her hair, pretending to be a boy, in order to play hockey (as girls leagues were non-existent), it was a revolutionary move that challenged social convention. Although coaches eventually discovered that Hoffman was a girl, she raised the idea that girls were capable of playing the game at a high level. When the national women’s ice hockey championships were first contested in 1982, the championship was named in her honor; the Abby Hoffman Cup. For more than two decades, the best players in Canada would play for a chance to hoist the Abby Hoffman Cup, a predecessor to the current-day Clarkson Cup.
 

23: Daniele Sauvageau Coach, General Manager Following the heartbreak of the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, a dejected Canadian team looked to Sauvageau to lead the way as their new head coach. Responding with three straight IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships (1999-2001), Sauvageau’s leadership set the tone for what would prove to be Canada’s golden generation.
 

When Canada captured the gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games, it was Sauvageau who served as head coach, assuring her place in hockey immortality as the first female coach to capture a gold medal in women’s ice hockey at the Winter Games. Almost a decade after Salt Lake, the next chapter in Sauvageau’s ice hockey legacy would see her build a dynasty in Canadian Interuniversity Sport. With Les Carabins de Montreal competing in conference play, she would build a program in collaboration with France St. Louis, winning two Golden Path trophies, while capturing the imagination of a hockey mad city.
 

24: Meghan Agosta Winter Games Gold Medalist, Angela James Bowl winner With three Winter Games gold medals (2006, 2010, 2014), Meghan Agosta is a naturally gifted scorer whose on-ice presence led the way for a new generation of superstars on Canada’s national women’s team. Experiencing a breakthrough performance at the 2006 Torino Winter Games, she became Canada’s sweetheart, fans eagerly anticipating the future that would unfold.
 

Following Torino 2006, Agosta would compete with the Mercyhurst Lakers in Erie, Pennsylvania, rewriting the program’s record books, while graduating as the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s ice hockey. Although it is surprising to consider that she never won the Patty Kazmaier Award, the highlight of her time with the Lakers was appearing in the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four championship game.
 

In between Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, Agosta would sandwich in two seasons with the CWHL’s Montreal Stars. As a rookie, she would break the CWHL’s single-season record, previously set by Caroline Ouellette, while gaining the Clarkson Cup, becoming the newest member of the Triple Gold Club. Capturing the Angela James Bowl in back-to-back seasons, Angela James would present her with the honor at the 2013 CWHL Awards.
 

25: Shannon Miller Coach Serving as Canada’s head coach between 1995 and 1998, Shannon Miller helped to transition a new generation of star players, including the likes of Cassie Campbell, Jayna Hefford, Becky Kellar and Hayley Wickenheiser. The 1995 Pacific Rim Challenge would serve as Miller’s first big test, as she had a roster filled with over a dozen rookies. Capturing the gold medal in a hard-fought win against the United States, it signaled a tremendous milestone for the assiduous Miller. Adding to the jubilation of the gold was the fact that the 1995 Pacific Rim Challenge featured the first all-female coaching staff in Canadian hockey history, as Miller was joined by Daniele Sauvageau and Julie Healy.
 

26: Laura Schuler Player, Coach Pencilled in as Canada’s head coach for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, it represents a great personal milestone for Laura Schuler. With Pyeongchang 2018 representing the 20th anniversary of the first women’s ice hockey tournament in the Winter Games, it brings Schuler’s career full circle. Of note, Schuler was part of Canada’s roster in a silver medal outcome at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games.
 

Although Danielle Goyette was the first member of the Nagano team to serve in a coaching capacity with Canada’s national team, Schuler is the first to take on a head coaching role. With a coaching resume that includes serving on Shannon Miller’s coaching staff at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, along with taking the head coaching reins at Dartmouth University in 2016, Schuler has assembled a solid career.
 

Regarding Hockey Canada, Schuler also brings significant experience. Part of Canada’s coaching staff for their U22/Development Team at the 2013 Meco Cup, she was also the head coach for Canada’s entry at the 2015 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds. With a roster that featured Micah Hart and Kassidy Sauve, it was an opportunity for Schuler to groom the talent of the future. As the head coach for Canada’s senior team, it makes her the first woman in the history of the Canadian national women’s team to serve in a coaching capacity with all three of its teams.
 

27: Vicky Sunohara Winter Games Gold Medalist, Coach Having called Laura Schuler a teammate at Northeastern University, the two would see their careers run parallel as teammates on Canada’s historic roster for the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. In a career that also saw Sunohara capture the gold medal at the 1990 IIHF Women’s World Championships, she was one of the sport’s biggest stars throughout the 1990s. Adding another gold medal with a victorious outcome at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Campbell, Jayna Hefford, Becky Kellar and Hayley Wickenheiser. The 1995 Pacific Rim Challenge would serve as Miller’s first big test, as she had a roster filled with over a dozen rookies. Capturing the gold medal in a hard-fought win against the United States, it signaled a tremendous milestone for the assiduous Miller. Adding to the jubilation of the gold was the fact that the 1995 Pacific Rim Challenge featured the first all-female coaching staff in Canadian hockey history, as Miller was joined by Daniele Sauvageau and Julie Healy.
 

26: Laura Schuler Player, Coach Pencilled in as Canada’s head coach for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, it represents a great personal milestone for Laura Schuler. With Pyeongchang 2018 representing the 20th anniversary of the first women’s ice hockey tournament in the Winter Games, it brings Schuler’s career full circle. Of note, Schuler was part of Canada’s roster in a silver medal outcome at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games.
 

Although Danielle Goyette was the first member of the Nagano team to serve in a coaching capacity with Canada’s national team, Schuler is the first to take on a head coaching role. With a coaching resume that includes serving on Shannon Miller’s coaching staff at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, along with taking the head coaching reins at Dartmouth University in 2016, Schuler has assembled a solid career.
 

Regarding Hockey Canada, Schuler also brings significant experience. Part of Canada’s coaching staff for their U22/Development Team at the 2013 Meco Cup, she was also the head coach for Canada’s entry at the 2015 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds. With a roster that featured Micah Hart and Kassidy Sauve, it was an opportunity for Schuler to groom the talent of the future. As the head coach for Canada’s senior team, it makes her the first woman in the history of the Canadian national women’s team to serve in a coaching capacity with all three of its teams.
 

27: Vicky Sunohara Winter Games Gold Medalist, Coach Having called Laura Schuler a teammate at Northeastern University, the two would see their careers run parallel as teammates on Canada’s historic roster for the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. In a career that also saw Sunohara capture the gold medal at the 1990 IIHF Women’s World Championships, she was one of the sport’s biggest stars throughout the 1990s. Adding another gold medal with a victorious outcome at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games, Sunohara would also serve as captain of the Brampton Thunder. Competing in the inaugural CWHL season, Sunohara was joined by fellow Team Canada stars Lori Dupuis and Jayna Hefford, as they captured the first championship in league annals.
 

28: Becky Kellar Winter Games Gold Medalist One of the most underrated stars of her generation, Becky Kellar was a defensive stalwart whose ethereal serenity and solid work ethic constantly shut down opposing offenses. Named to Canada’s roster for the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, it would mark the first of four consecutive appearances at the Games. Along with Jennifer Botterill, Jayna Hefford and Hayley Wickenheiser, they constituted the heartbeat of Canada’s leadership through a generation, capturing three Winter Games gold medals and a silver. At club play, Kellar served as the captain of the CWHL’s Burlington Barracudas, leading the team into the 2010 Clarkson Cup playoffs.
 

29: Cheryl Pounder Winter Games Gold Medalist, Broadcaster
 

30: Gillian Apps Winter Games Gold Medalist, Coach
 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (31-40)

31: Andria Hunter Player, Historian, Builder In the resurgence of women’s hockey, one of the biggest struggles has involved the gathering of information. So much of what took place throughout the 20th Century, especially in the pre-World War II era is sadly lost to time. During the late 1990s, Andria Hunter sought to bring order out of chaos, creating a website that became an invaluable reference for so many in the game, especially novice fans.
 

Called whockey.com, it is one of the crowning achievements in Hunter’s career. Of note, it was a career consisting of a remarkable number of on-ice glories. Consistently an offensive leader wherever she played, she scored an astounding 874 goals in five seasons with Otonabee in her youth. At the university level, Hunter would skate on both sides of the border. Competing with the University of New Hampshire, Hunter also gained All-OUA honors as a member of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues program. Among her teammates with the Varsity Blues was Lori Dupuis, who would go on to her own golden glories with Canada’s national team.
 

Hunter’s abilities as a scoring catalyst gained her an opportunity to don the Maple Leaf. Capturing gold at the 1992 and 1994 IIHF Women’s World Championships, it represented her pinnacle as a player. In 2002, Hunter would experience more golden glories, helping Canada to a triumphant outcome at the FIRS Online Worlds. During the same year, she would also be recognized with the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award.
 

Remaining a fan favorite, Hunter joined Hockey Hall of Famers Geraldine Heaney and Angela James, plus goaltender Sami Jo Small by making an appearance at the 50th Anniversary of the Brampton Canadettes Female Hockey Tournament in 2017. Two years earlier, Hunter would also stage a comeback on the ice. Competing in the Mimico Dad’s Hockey League, she still had offensive flair, amassing an astonishing 78 points in merely 18 games.
 

32: Cherie Piper Winter Games Gold Medalist With three Winter Games gold medals (2002, 2006, 2010) to her credit, Cherie Piper was one of the great hockey competitors of the 2000s. In addition to a stellar run with Hockey Canada, Piper enjoyed four fantastic seasons with the Dartmouth Big Green, finishing as a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award.
 

Having also competed with the Brampton Thunder, calling fellow Team Canada luminaries Gillian Apps, Lori Dupuis and Jayna Hefford as teammates, Piper would appear in the 2012 Clarkson Cup finals. As a side note, when the Honorable Adrienne Clarkson first introduced the coveted Cup, Piper was seated beside her for the unveiling.
 

Remaining part of the game in an administrative capacity, Piper is part of an exciting generation of hockey heroes giving back, while expanding their already formidable legacies. Working with the OWHA, she has helped organize the 2015 Canadian Under-18 nationals, while also serving as the General Manager for Team Ontario’s entry at the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
 

33: Meaghan Mikkelson Winter Games Gold Medalist Among a rare group of stars to have won both an NCAA Frozen Four title and a Winter Games gold medal, Meaghan Mikkelson is also part of the Triple Gold Club for Women. Capturing the 2015 Clarkson Cup with the Calgary Inferno, it was an opportunity for Mikkelson to tap into her proud hockey roots.
 

As the 2015 edition of the Clarkson Cup was contested at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre, it marked the first time that it was held in an NHL arena. As her father Bill once competed for the NHL’s New York Islanders, and her brother Brendan has suited up for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the CTC was a venue worthy of her brilliance. The postgame celebrations would also result in a feel-good moment as Mikkelson gently placed her infant son, Calder (the name was selected after an online vote by fans) in the coveted Cup.
 

In addition to an amazing list of hockey achievements, Mikkelson has also emerged into a pop culture icon. Appearing in Sportsnet Magazine’s “Beauty of Sport”, which was photographed in Las Vegas, it propelled her and the other athletes depicted into sex symbol status. Following a gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Mikkelson would gain unprecedented popularity, earning fame and reverence for her appearance with Natalie Spooner in The Amazing Race Canada, capturing first place in four episodes, and finishing second overall, while gaining a place in the hearts and minds of hockey fans nationwide.
 

34: Historic Goaltenders: Lacasse, Maschmeyer and Szabados Canadian national team From the outset, Genevieve Lacasse and Emerance Maschmeyer have a unique shared history among them. They are among a very rare sorority of goaltenders (including Erica Howe and Ann-RenĂ©e Desbiens) that have stood between the pipes for Canada’s U18, U22/Developmental and Senior Teams.
 

In addition, both are part of a unique chapter in Clarkson Cup history. While Liz Knox was the first rookie goaltender to start a Clarkson Cup finals game (in 2012), Lacasse would repeat this feat one year later with the Boston Blades, also capturing the 2013 CWHL Goaltender of the Year Award.
 

Defeating the Montreal Stars in the Finals, Lacasse became the first rookie goaltender to win the Clarkson Cup. The chance to compete with the Blades was an opportunity for Lacasse to extend her New England hockey legacy. Having competed at the NCAA level with the Providence Friars, she would rewrite the program’s goaltending records while gaining recognition as one of the greatest goaltenders in Hockey East history.
 

During a brilliant rookie season which saw Maschmeyer appear in the 2017 CWHL All-Star Game, she would become the fourth rookie to start a Clarkson Cup finals game (the third was Boston’s Brittany Ott in 2014). Gracing the ice at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre, Maschmeyer played valiantly in a heartbreaking loss.
 

Prior to joining the Calgary Inferno, Maschmeyer had already established herself as a prominent backstop in Alberta women’s hockey history. As a side note, her sister once played for the legendary Edmonton Chimos club. Leading Team Alberta to the gold medal at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, it represented the first of many proud milestones. Gaining the start for Canada in the gold medal game of the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championships, she would be recognized as Canada’s Player of the Game and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Goaltender.
 

Shannon Szabados will always hold a treasured place with Canadian hockey fans for her heroics at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games, backstopping the team to a pair of gold medals. Equally impressive is her ability to break hockey’s gender barrier at numerous levels of the game.
 

Starting in Bonnyville, Alberta, where she competed in Midget Boys hockey, she would call future NHL goaltender (and fellow 2014 gold medalist) Carey Price a teammate in the Western Hockey Leauge. In the aftermath of Sochi, Szabados would compete in professional men’s hockey, joining the Columbus Cottonmouths.
 

35: Rebecca Johnston Winter Games Gold Medalist, Angela James Bowl Winner One of the most offensively gifted superstars of her generation, Rebecca Johnston may be the greatest skater to come from Northern Ontario. Raised in Sudbury, Johnston would don the Team Ontario jersey at the Canada Winter Games, capturing a gold medal.
 

Competing with the Cornell Big Red at the NCAA level, Johnston was the cornerstone of the program. Capturing ECAC Player of the Year honors in her senior season, she was a key factor in the club qualifying for multiple NCAA tournaments.
 

After a season (2012-13) spent with the Toronto Furies, where she scored the overtime winning goal in the third place game at the Clarkson Cup playoffs, Johnston made the jump to the Calgary Inferno following the Sochi Winter Games. In her first season (2014-15) with the Inferno, Johnston was brilliant, capturing the scoring title, subsequently, becoming the first player in franchise history to win the Angela James Bowl. With a Clarkson Cup victory defining the following season, it placed Johnston into the Triple Gold Club for Women, assuring her place in hockey immortality.
 

36: Catherine Ward Winter Games Gold Medalist Perhaps the most accomplished blueliner of the millennium, Catherine Ward truly assembled a once-in-a-lifetime career. From the outset, Ward is a member of the Triple Gold Club, having captured gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championships in Burlington, Vermont, along with the chance to hoist the coveted Clarkson Cup after defeating the Brampton Thunder in the 2012 finals. As a side note, she would be recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 Clarkson Cup playoffs.
 

Such achievements are complemented by a superlative university career. Part of the McGill Martlets dynasty, playing alongside the likes of Charline Labonte, Vinny Davidson and Ann-Sophie Bettez, among others, she would enjoy the jubilation of the Golden Path Trophy. Following the Vancouver Winter Games, Ward joined the Boston University Terriers for the 2010-11 season. Fellow national team competitors Marie-Philip Poulin and Jennifer Wakefield were also part of the Terriers roster. Undoubtedly, Ward’s defensive acumen was crucial in the Terriers reaching the championship game of the 2011 NCAA Frozen Four.
 

37: Lisa Haley Coach
 

38: Ann-Sophie Bettez BLG Award Winner, Clarkson Cup champion One of the greatest players to don the McGill Martlets jersey, she graduated as the program's all-time leading scorer. Continuing her scoring brilliance with Montreal in the CWHL, she would emerge as one of the most spectacular competitors of the early to mid 2010s. Capturing the Angela James Bowl in 2014, it was an extension of her amazing legacy with the franchise, which sees her part of the 100-point club. The 2016-17 CWHL season would prove to be one filled with numerous milestones for Bettez. In addition to competing in the first-ever CWHL game held at Montreal's Bell Centre, said season would culminate with the first Clarkson Cup championship in her storied career.
 

39: Sensational Sisters: Bailey and Shelby Bram Mercyhurst Lakers and Canada's U22/Development Team
 

40: Donna-Lynn Rosa Northeastern Huskies Hall of Fame, Broadcaster Inducted into the Northeastern Huskies Hall of Fame in 2009, Donna-Lynn Rosa was the first female player from Ontario to receive a hockey scholarship to an NCAA school. Joining the Huskies in 1985, the Mississauga, Ontario native was part of an undefeated season in 1987-88, as the Huskies defeated Providence to capture the ECAC championship.
 

At the 1990 IIHF Women's World Championships, Rosa worked on the broadcast team for TSN with Michael Landsberg and Howie Meeker. Capturing a championship with the Toronto Aeros in the original NWHL, she would also serve as a coach with the Brampton Thunder, winning two league titles. When the Thunder joined the CWHL, Rosa spent several seasons as the General Manager.