Monday, 26 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (51-60)

51: Brianne Jenner Winter Games Gold Medalist, Clarkson Cup champion Named the captain of the Calgary Inferno in her rookie season, it was testament to the world-class talent that Brianne Jenner possesses. Capturing the Clarkson Cup during said season, it only added to her growing legend, while placing her in the Triple Gold Club for Women. One of the all-time scoring leaders in the history of the Cornell Big Red, Jenner donned the Team Canada jersey during her time there.

52: Jennifer Wakefield Winter Games Gold Medalist Among the hallmarks of such a distinguished career, Jennifer Wakefield has emerged as an incredible ambassador for the game. Having spent the last three seasons competing in Sweden, Wakefield may be the most popular Canadian to have ever competed in Europe.

Having also spent one season (2012-13) with the CWHL’s Toronto Furies, Wakefield enjoyed a stellar career at the NCAA level. One of the all-time scoring leaders in the history of the Hockey East Conference, the 2010-11 season may have been the most cherished of her collegiate career. Part of a star-studded lineup with the Boston University Terriers, she was joined on the roster by Marie-Philip Poulin and Catherine Ward.

53: Ann-Renée Desbiens Goaltender The first Canadian-born goaltender to win the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award, Ann-Renée Desbiens shattered numerous goaltending records in NCAA women’s ice hockey, including Noora Raty’s mark for career shutouts. In 2016, she was recognized as the WCHA Player of the Year. Graduating with a record of 81-12-6, she appeared in the NCAA Frozen Four championship game in her senior year.

Having appeared in the 2012 Clarkson Cup playoffs with the Montreal Stars prior to joining Wisconsin, Desbiens followed in a long line of elite backstops to emerge from Quebec. In 2016, she was the first Canadian taken in the NWHL Draft, claimed by the Boston Pride.

54: Jillian Saulnier Clarkson Cup champion Having called competitors such as Erin Ambrose and Laura Stacey teammates on the PWHL’s Toronto Jr. Aeros, Jillian Saulnier would go on to an incredible career at the NCAA level with the Cornell Big Red.

Capturing the 2016 Clarkson Cup with the Calgary Inferno, Saulnier would add to such jubilation by making her mark at the 2017 CWHL All-Star Game. Becoming the first player in the history of the Game to score a hat trick (Marie-Philip Poulin would also score a hat trick in the game, but Saulnier achieved it first), it signified Saulnier’s arrival as a bona fide superstar.

The first competitor born in Nova Scotia to compete for Canada’s national women’s ice hockey team, Saulnier is proud of a growing number of superstars to hail from the Maritimes, including Inferno teammates such as Blayre Turnbull and Sarah Davis. Named to Canada’s Centralization Roster in anticipation of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, Saulnier is looking to build on her already historic legacy.

55: Cornell's Dazzling Defensive Duo: Laura Fortino and Lauriane Rougeau Winter Games Gold Medalists

56: Tara Watchorn Winter Games Gold Medalist, Clarkson Cup champion The first Canadian-born captain in the history of the Boston Blades, Tara Watchorn is one of the club’s franchise players. Having began her CWHL career with Team Alberta, the alum of Boston University, where she was a Hockey East All-Star selection numerous times, returned to her New England hockey roots following a gold medal performance at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. Playing for head coach Digit Murphy, Watchorn would capture the coveted Clarkson in her first season (2014-15) with the Blades, as Janine Weber became the first European-born player to score a Cup-winning goal.

57: Danielle Dubé Goaltender A member of Canada’s national women’s ice hockey team during the 1990’s, Dubé earned a gold medal at the 1997 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships. Following her career with Hockey Canada, she would stand between the pipes for the San Diego Gulls, becoming the third female goaltender to compete in professional men’s hockey.

In 2012, Dubé would make an empowering comeback, suiting up for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. Earning a spot on the Canada West Conference All-Star Team, Dubé would help the club to the greatest turnaround in Canadian Interuniversity Sport history. Having endured a one win season in 2011-12, the arrival of Dubé was a key factor in the Thunderbirds capturing the Canada West postseason title, and qualifying for a spot at the CIS Nationals.

58: Laura Stacey CWHL Rookie of the Year The great granddaughter of King Clancy, a Hockey Hall of Famer whose career spanned over five decades, Laura Stacey is extending his legacy while carving one of her own. With a hockey resume that includes the 2011 Canada Winter Games and a gold medal with Team Canada’s entry at the 2012 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds, Stacey would compete at the NCAA level with the Dartmouth Big Green.

59: Erin Ambrose NCAA Frozen Four champion, CWHL All-Star Appearing on a trading card in Upper Deck’s 2011 “World of Sport” series, it introduced Erin Ambrose to a fan base eager for new superstars. Competing for Team Ontario at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, she would capture a silver medal.

Serving as Canada’s captain in a gold medal effort at the 2012 IIHF U18 Women’s World championships (the second gold of her career), it was the springboard that propelled her into one of Canada’s sporting heroes.

With a career that would also see her compete with Canada’s U22/Developmental and Senior Teams, Ambrose was part of one of the greatest recruiting classes in the history of the Clarkson Golden Knights. Playing alongside the likes of Renata Fast, Erica Howe, Shannon MacAulay and Jamie Lee Rattray, the squad would capture the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four, the first non-WCHA team to achieve this. Selected by the Toronto Furies in the 2016 CWHL Draft, she would call Fast a teammate once again, both part of the same draft class. Of note, both would compete in the 2017 CWHL All-Star Game at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

60: Kim Deschenes Clarkson Cup champion, Golden Path Trophy One of the most underrated players in hockey, Kim Deschenes has assembled a solid series of golden performances in her career. As the captain of Les Carabins de Montreal, she helped transform the program into one of the most dominant in Canada, capturing the Golden Path Trophy, awarded to the CIS national champions.

During her career with Les Carabins, she would also don the Canadian jersey in women’s ice hockey at the Winter Universiade, contributing to the team capturing its third consecutive gold medal at the event. Following graduation, Deschenes would jump to the professional ranks, competing with Les Canadiennes de Montreal. In each season, Deschenes would experience significant milestones.

During her rookie season (2015-16), she competed in the first professional women’s ice hockey outdoor game, as Les Canadiennes challenged the NWHL’s Boston Pride at Gillette Stadium. Not only was this the first game between the two leagues, Deschenes would score the first goal of the game. By season’s end, she would appear in the 2016 Clarkson Cup finals, the first contested in an NHL arena (Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre). Although she emerged from the Finals without the Cup, the following season would bring with it redemption. In a season that saw Deschenes also compete at Montreal’s Bell Centre, the 2017 Clarkson Cup finals would see Deschenes etch her name on the prestigious title, adding another proud championship in her career.

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