Friday, 6 May 2016

Brittney Fouracres continues proud McGill legacy in CWHL Draft

As the number of registered prospects continues to increase for the 2016 CWHL Draft, it presents another opportunity for the McGill Martlets women’s hockey program to extend its legacy. One of the most successful programs in the history of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the Martlets has graduated many players to the CWHL.
With momentum building for the draft, Martlets blueliner Brittany Fouracres holds the potential to be a first-round pick. Recognized as the Martlets blueliner of the year in 2015-16, she was also named to the CIS Second-Team All-Canadians. Joining her on the list of draft prospects is goaltender Taylor Hough, who gained the start in multiple CIS national tournaments for the Martlets. As a side note, Fouracres and Hough were part of a graduating class that also included Joanne Cagianos, Elizabeth Hillier, Kelsie Moffatt, Stephanie Pohlod, Erika Pyke and Olivia Sutter, who played two seasons in the CWHL when the Inferno were once known as Team Alberta.
Embodying the empowering role of being a student-athlete at one of Canada’s most prestigious universities, the highly cerebral Fouracres majored in Chemical Engineering. Undoubtedly, her strong analytical skills make her a key component to any defensive unit in hockey. With Hough, these two exceptional Martlets are poised to build on the list of CWHL success stories that only continues to grow for the Martlets.
Three of McGill’s greatest alums, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Cathy Chartrand and Charline Labonte have all won major awards at the CWHL level, each members of Les Canadiennes de Montreal. In addition, Chartrand inherited Montreal’s team captaincy from Liz Breton, making her the first woman to serve as a captain in both the CIS and CWHL.
Fouracres definitely brings maturity and a solid team-first approach, all qualities which shall make her a perfect fit for whichever team selects her. Taking into account that she was raised in Airdrie, Alberta, where she played with her sister Brooke, Fouracres would hone her skills at The Edge School. Having also represented Alberta in a gold medal effort at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, the opportunity to return home and play for the defending Clarkson Cup champions would definitely hold significant appeal. During her McGill career, she returned to Calgary once to play for Canada’s Under-22 women’s team in an exhibition series against their eternal rivals, the United States.
In the aftermath of the 2016 Clarkson Cup, which saw Calgary defeat Montreal in an 8-3 final, charter member (and blueliner) Kelsey Webster announced her retirement. A talent such as Fouracres would help ease such loss, while ensuring that the Inferno still had significant depth on the blueline. As a side note, another teammate from Alberta’s entry in the Canada Winter Games, Emerance Maschmeyer is also part of the list of CWHL Draft prospects, which would only add to that team’s growing legend.
On the other hand, McGill is based in Montreal and the city has become a second home to Fouracres. Having played Montreal in multiple preseason games over the seasons, she is definitely familiar with their style of play and would blend in perfectly as so many McGill alums have extended their careers with Les Canadiennes, resulting in strong chemistry.
There is no question that Fouracres has shown offensive flair during her years on the Martlet defensive unit. Such flair would add a strong dimension to Les Canadiennes, while relieving the burden of responsibility on Chartrand, who accounted for more than half the points logged by blueliners. Fouracres could provide Montreal with another solid playmaking blueliner that can serve as a quarterback on the power play and feed the puck.
During the 2015-16 season, when Fouracres logged at least one point, the Martlets enjoyed a sterling 13-3 mark. Having logged three multi-point efforts in her final season, the last point of her Martlets career was a goal on February 27 against the upstart Ottawa Gee-Gees.
The possibility of Les Canadiennes drafting a Martlets star for the second straight season in the first round is a possible one. During the 2015 CWHL Draft, les Canadiennes opted for Martlets alum Katia Clement-Heydra with their first-round pick. Selecting Fouracres in 2016 would be another solid pick for the squad. Not only have Clement-Heydra and Fouracres captured a national championship together as teammates in 2014, which saw Fouracres score the championship winning goal in overtime against Les Carabins de Montreal, the two were also part of the Canadian national team that won the gold medal at the 2013 Winter Universiade (recording a combined 30 points). If the two could help Les Canadiennes capture an elusive Clarkson Cup, it would be the ultimate pinnacle to their hockey friendship.

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