As Saturday January 25, 2014 signified Women’s Hockey Day, the Toronto Marlies helped participate in the celebrations. Having invited three Toronto Furies players to take part in the ceremonial face-off at their home ice at Ricoh Coliseum, it was a special way of recognizing the growing impact that women’s hockey has in the Greater Toronto Area.
Prior to the contest against the Wolves, second-year player Jordanna Peroff was joined by rookie Holly Carrie-Mattimoe and Furies veteran Martine Garland for the face-off. Joining them at centre ice included Marlies skater Sam Carrick and Keith Aucoin of the Chicago Wolves.
Considering that the Marlies’ parent club, the Toronto Maple Leafs, is a sponsor of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, it is rewarding to see the Furies being integrated into one of the most prestigious hockey circles in Canada. Last season, the Furies participated in a regular season game at Air Canada Centre, and fans can only hope that the ACC shall stage another event.
Regarding the Furies appearance at the Marlies contest, it was great to see some new blood represented. While an individual such as captain Tessa Bonhomme is the face of the franchise, the opportunity for other members of the club to participate in special events only helps to increase their profile. As a side note, team founder and goaltender Sami Jo Small, Kori Cheverie and Jenelle Kohanchuk were also in attendance.
Raised north of Toronto in the rural community of Keswick, Peroff is an articulate and well-educated individual who supplies a winning presence for the blue and white. Having won multiple national championships with the McGill Martlets in Canadian Interuniversity Sport play, Peroff is a fundamentally sound forward who can engage in any role required.
One of the finest players in the Syracuse Orange program, Holly Carrie-Mattimoe embarks on the next step of her hockey career. Although the Orange do not have a lot of alumnus that have moved on to the CWHL, Carrie-Mattimoe may help reverse that trend. In her senior year with the Orange, not only was she a tri-captain, but the recipient of the College Hockey America Sportsmanship Award. Donning number 77 with the Furies, she has recently climbed into the Top 25 in the CWHL scoring race.
Providing a solid presence in the locker room, Garland is one of the more underrated competitors for the blue and white. A legendary defender with the University of New Hampshire, Garland is also a lawyer, embodying the spirit of empowerment that defines women’s hockey. Ironically, she would play with Wakefield at UNH, both earning Hockey East All-Star nods. While she may not be one of the team’s high scorers this season, she is one of those individuals that does the little things others may not notice. Garland proves that players who do not score can still make significant contributions on the ice.
Although the Marlies would endure a 2-1 loss against the Wolves, for this evening, the Marlies were part of something bigger. They made their own significant contribution as the invitation of the Furies players not only helps bolster the morale of the team and the league, but it proves that these are strong women who are not only valuable members of the hockey community, but that they are here to stay.
Image obtained from Facebook