Thursday, 22 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (101-110)

101: Joan Snyder Philanthropist The positive impact of Snyder for women’s ice hockey in Calgary experience has seen teams at the amateur, university and professional levels benefit. Through her generous contributions, the Joan Snyder Centre of Excellence has heralded an era where players not only enjoy a top-notch facility, but their value and importance to the game is exemplified every time they grace the ice at this exceptional venue. Home to the University of Calgary Dinos and the Calgary Inferno, which has seen Hayley Wickenheiser suit up for both teams, Snyder also has her own hockey history. Of note, her mother competed with a team based in Saskatchewan prior to the Great Depression.

102: Danielle Grundy Player, Hockey Humanitarian Having competed with the Vancouver Griffins of the original NWHL, Grundy was among the first generation of star players from British Columbia in the game’s modern era. Later competing with the Dartmouth Big Green at the Ivy League level, along with a stint in Switzerland, Grundy eventually returned to her Pacific roots. Having launched “Grundy’s Grind”, providing hockey instruction exclusively for female players, she would collaborate with Sasha Podolchak and the evolution of her initial venture became the Grindstone Award Foundation. Awarding bursaries of $500 for female players (aged 5-18) in financial need, the Foundation is helping encourage a new generation of girls to experience the thrill of competing, while bringing betterment to the community.

103: Amanda Mazzotta Player, Coach A member of Canadian U18 national women’s team that competed at the inaugural IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds, Amanda Mazzotta has remained close to her Hockey Canada roots. Having served in a coaching capacity at numerous U18 and U22/Development Goaltending Camps, Mazzotta is passing on her knowledge of the game to a new generation of players eager to emulate her success. As a member of the Cornell Big Red, Mazzotta competed in the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four championship game. Currently a goaltender coach with the Quinnipiac Bobcats, some of the notable goaltenders that benefitted from her tutelage included ECAC First-Team All-Star Syndey Rossman.

104: Katelyn Gosling Player, CWHL All-Star Part of the Western Mustangs 2015 CIS national championship team, Katelyn Gosling was the heartbeat of the defensive unit. Gaining All-Canadian honors, her proficiency gained her a spot on the Canadian roster that competed in women’s ice hockey at the Winter Universiade. Selected by the Calgary Inferno in the 2016 CWHL Draft, she would experience numerous milestones in her rookie season. From competing in Japan to gracing the ice at Montreal’s Bell Centre, she also gained the opportunity to participate in the third CWHL All-Star Game at Air Canada Centre. By season’s end, she appeared in the Clarkson Cup finals. Contested at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre, it marked the third NHL venue in one season where she competed.

105: Vanessa “Vinny” Davidson Player, Clarkson Cup champion One of the most offensively gifted competitors to suit up for the Montreal Stars franchise, Vanessa “Vinny” Davidson was frequently among the club’s leading scorers. A Clarkson Cup champion in 2012, the honor complemented another significant milestone in her career. Having played at the renowned McGill University, calling the likes of Alyssa Cecere, Charline Labonte and Catherine Ward teammates, she captured the CIS national championship. All would become teammates with the Stars, appearing in the 2013 Clarkson Cup finals. Although Davidson hung up her skates, she remains active in competitive sport. Participating in softball, Davidson is aiming for another championship, competing at the Canadian Nationals in August 2017.

106: Rebecca Vint Player, Hockey Humanitarian Having graduated as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Robert Morris Colonials women’s ice hockey program, Vint’s presence helped raised its profile prominently. Accumulating a seemingly endless list of accolades with the Colonials, she was a significant factor in helping the program ascend to the top of the College Hockey America conference.

Upon graduation from the Colonials, Vint enjoyed the jubilation of a national hockey championship. Along with former Colonials teammate Kristen Richards, the two donned the green and white jersey of the Toronto Shamrocks, capturing the 2015 CBHA ball hockey title in Ottawa. Serendipitously, the two would call each other teammates for a third time, both drafted by the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder.

Gracing the ice at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre for the 2017 CWHL All-Star Game, it signified Vint’s arrival as an elite competitor in league play. Another hallmark of her time with the Thunder has included organizing a Tealpower Hockey Fundraiser in her hometown of Bolton, Ontario. With numerous Thunder teammates graciously giving their time to participate, Vint has emerged as a hockey humanitarian, bringing betterment to the community, while fostering a sense of friendship and teamwork.

107: Jaimie Leonoff Raised in Montreal, Leonoff would become a significant part of Connecticut hockey lore. Competing for the Yale Bulldogs in the Ivy League, Leonoff would serve as the starting goaltender for three seasons, winning over 25 games. Upon graduation, she signed with the newly launched Connecticut Whale in the NWHL. Competing in the league’s first-ever game, an October 15, 2015 tilt with the New York Riveters, Leonoff gained the win, etching her name in league history.

108: Michelle Bonello A charter member of the Toronto Furies, Bonello is among a rare group of competitors to have participated in both of the Furies appearances in the Clarkson Cup finals (2011, 2014). Having graced the ice at the Air Canada Centre for the inaugural NWHL All-Star Game in December 2014, Bonello also served as the Furies captain during the 2014-15 season. Running parallel to her proud career with the Furies, Bonello has spent a decade as a member of Canada’s national women’s inline team, capturing a gold medal at the 2016 FIRS Inline Worlds.

109: Alexa Normore Having captured the CIS rookie scoring championship in her inaugural season with the St. Francis Xavier X-Women, Normore's 41 points also ranked third among all players in the nation. In the season to follow, she would capture the national scoring title, the first of two (2012, 2014) in her career. Recognized as the St. Francis Xavier Female Athlete of the Year in 2014, she would also lead the X-Women to a bronze medal at the CIS nationals, the first time that a team from Atlantic University Sport experienced a podium finish.

110: Four Fantastic Sisters: Eden, Kelly, Logan and Madison Murray Among the premier families in women’s ice hockey, the Murray sisters have left an indelible mark in the game. From the outset, each sister has competed at the renowned Shattuck St. Mary’s school in Faribault, Minnesota.

Youngest sister Eden competed with Canada’s U18 national team, participating in the IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds. In addition, she would play alongside her older sister Madison with the Ivy League’s Yale Bulldogs. Also competing at the Ivy League level was Kelly, spending two seasons with the Cornell Big Red. Transferring to the UBC Thunderbirds, she would graduate with First-Team All-Canadian honors. Logan, the oldest sister, graced the ice with the McGill Martlets winning the Golden Path Trophy under the tutelage of head coach Peter Smith. Upon graduation, she entered the family business, engaging in a career in vehicle sales, which sees the Murray family as proprietors of over 40 dealerships.

In addition, second cousin Sarah Murray played for Shannon Miller as a member of the UMD Bulldogs. Heading into the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, Sarah shall serve as head coach for host country South Korea. Considering that 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the first women’s ice hockey tournament in Winter Games history, there is a unique coincidence, as Miller was the coach for Team Canada at Nagano 1998.

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