Sunday, 25 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (71-80)

71: Therese Brisson Winter Games Gold Medalist A member of Canada's roster at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games, Brisson joined the national team in 1993, quickly becoming one of its anchors. In March 2009, she was voted onto the Canadian Olympic Committee's Board of Directors. Part of her Hockey Canada legacy also includes serving as Director for the Women's High Performance Advisory Committee.
 

72: Canada's Dynamic Duo on Defense: Carla MacLeod and Gina Kingsbury Winter Games Gold Medalists, Coaches Among the defensive superstars for Canada's roster in women's ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Games, their careers have practically run parallel. Having retired from the game together, the two would also enter coaching. MacLeod would serve on the coaching staff of the Japanese team that qualified for the 2014 Winter Games. Kingsbury was on the coaching staff of the Calgary Inferno, capturing a Clarkson Cup in her first season (2015). In a unique instance of six degrees of hockey separation, Scott Reid was on the coaching staff of both of these teams.
 

73: Dawn McGuire Pioneer Having first made a name for herself as a member of the Edmonton Chimos, the most famous Canadian women's club team of the latter half of the 20th Century, she would gain a spot on Canada's roster at the 1990 and 1992 IIHF Women's World Championships. Capturing gold both times, the 1990 tournament would see McGuire saw tournament MVP honors.
 

74: Judy Diduck Winter Games Silver Medalist, Golden Path Trophy A star player in both ringette and ice hockey, Diduck gained Ringette Hall of Fame honors in 2005. The sister of former NHL competitor Gerald Diduck, she suited up for the Edmonton Chimos, and was part of four straight gold medalist teams with Canada at the 1990-92-94-97 IIHF Women's Worlds. Part of the roster that competed at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, she would also capture a CIS national championship with the Edmonton Chimos, also serving on Howie Draper's coaching staff.
 

75: Gillian Ferrari Winter Games Gold Medalist, Golden Path Trophy Inducted into Brampton's Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, Ferrari was a member of the Brampton Thunder, competing at multiple Esso Women's Nationals. Capturing a gold medal with Canada's entry in women's ice hockey at the 2006 Torino Winter Games, it was also an opportunity for Ferrari to get closer to her heritage, as her father is Italian. In 2010, Ferrari joined the McGill Martlets and would capture a national championship with the club. For the 2012-13 season, she also saw spot duty with the Montreal Stars.
 

76: Christina Kessler Goaltender One of the most durable and valiant goaltenders in the history of the CWHL, Christina Kessler stood between the pipes when the Toronto Furies captured the Clarkson Cup in a dramatic overtime final against the Boston Blades. Recognized with tournament MVP honors, Kessler would also participate in the first three CWHL All-Star Games, joining Charline Labonte as the only goaltender to achieve this. Prior to the Furies, Kessler also stood between the pipes for the Burlington Barracudas. With several other Barracudas, they would compete in the first-ever women's ice hockey tournament for Hockey Helps the Homeless. In 2008, Kessler was named a Second-Team All-America with the Harvard Crimson.
 

77: Cayley Mercer Patty Kazmaier Award Finalist Capturing the 2016-17 NCAA scoring championship, Cayley Mercer was the Team MVP for the Clarkson Golden Knights for three consecutive years. The runner-up for the 2017 edition of the Patty Kazmaier Award, Mercer would get the last laugh as her Golden Knights emerged with the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four, defeating the top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers. Prior to Clarkson, Mercer was a captain with the PWHL's Bluewater Hawks. At the 2011 Canadian U18 nationals, she would capture gold with Team Ontario, following it up one year later with a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF U18 Women's Worlds.
 

78: Sarah Davis Player The first player from Newfoundland to compete with Canada's national women's ice hockey team, Sarah Davis continues to build on her proud hockey legacy. The pride of Paradise, Newfoundland, where a street is named in her honor, Davis captured an NCAA championship with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Jumping to the professional ranks with the Calgary Inferno, she would capture the 2015 Clarkson Cup.
 

79: Courtney Birchard Defense Appearing in the 2012 Clarkson Cup finals with the Brampton Thunder, Birchard has also donned the Team Canada jersey, competing in numerous IIHF Women's Worlds. Capturing the 2011 Karyn Bye Award while competing at the University of New Hampshire, she was also a multiple Hockey East All-Star selection. At the professional level, Birchard has also competed in consecutive CWHL All-Star Games.
 

80: Jessica (Jess) O'Grady Player, Administration Having competed at the university level with Ottawa's Carleton Ravens, it was the extension of a proud local legacy. As a teen phenom, she competed for the Ottawa Capital Canucks during the inaugural CWHL season of 2007-08. Her greatest moment as a player would take place on January 29, 2013 as she scored three straight goals in a shootout with the Carleton Ravens, a Canadian Interuniversity Sport record. In addition to one season spent as a player with the CWHL's Calgary Inferno, she would also suit up for host country Canada at the 2013 ISBHF Women's Worlds, capturing a gold medal. Following her playing career, O'Grady served in the CWHL in numerous capacities, including Marketing and Communications, plus one season as the Manager of Hockey Operations. She would also serve as the scorekeeper at the 2015 Clarkson Cup Finals, the first ever contested in an NHL arena. Coincidentally, this was held at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre, bringing her career full circle. Having also organized a charity golf tournament known as The Darlene O'Grady Open, she has become a hockey humanitarian, raising close to $100,000 over the course of seven years for cancer research.
 

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