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
 

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