Sunday, 5 January 2014

Jenelle Kohanchuk scores in CWHL debut as Furies pummel Brampton by 9-1 tally

After helping Canada to a gold medal effort at the 2013 Four Nations Cup, Jenelle Kohanchuk was one of the first wave of players that were released from Canada’s Centralization Camp. Despite the heartbreak, Kohanchuk has bounced back with the Toronto Furies.

On a squad that must still cope with the loss of Rebecca Johnston, Natalie Spooner and Jennifer Wakefield, Kohanchuk has provided an injection of leadership for the blue and white. In addition to her experience with the Canadian National Team (which has also included a gold medal at the Meco Cup), she has accumulated 138 career points with the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA.

During her tenure with the Terriers, some of her teammates included Wakefield and other Canadian national players such as Marie-Philip Poulin and Catherine White. In her final season with the Terriers, she not only helped the club to a Hockey East title, but she scored a goal in the NCAA Frozen Four title game against Minnesota.

Making her CWHL debut against the Brampton Thunder at Century Gardens on January 5, 2014, Kohanchuk would score her first career goal against former Furies backstop Erika Vanderveer. Said goal would provide the Furies with a 5-1 lead as Alyssa Baldin and Britni Smith earned the assists. For Smith, it would prove to be the first of three assists in the second stanza.

2013 draft pick Jessica Vella would score twice in the first while Alyssa Baldin added the third Furies goal with less than 90 seconds remaining. The second stanza began with fellow Furies rookie Holly Carrie-Mattimoe scoring for the 4-1 advantage.

Of note, Kohanchuk’s goal would be scored on the power play as Tara French was serving an interference penalty. In addition, Vanderveer was pulled after the goal in favour of Sonja van der Bliek. Meghan Aarts and Baldin completed the scoring in the second for a convincing 7-1 lead.

Carolyne Prevost and Kelly Zamora would score in the final frame as the Furies in a 9-1 triumph that sees them overtake the Boston Blades for second place in the CWHL standings. Tessa Bonhomme, who was also one of the players released from Canada’s centralization would earn an assist on Zamora’s goal.

With Kohanchuk ready to extend her playing career as a member of the Furies, it alleviates the burden from other top scorers such as Prevost and Baldin. Having established herself in the NCAA and with the Canadian program as an elite player, there is no question that Kohanchuk adds a new dimension to the Furies offense. The Team Canada connection with Kohanchuk and Bonhomme is propelling the Furies upwards in the standings and perhaps towards its first Clarkson Cup.

Image obtained from Twitter:

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