Thursday, 22 June 2017

150 Canadian Greats in women’s ice hockey (91-100)

91: Hurricane Hazel McCallion Builder Although McCallion is most famous as the mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, she holds a love of hockey that has extended for decades. Having grown up in Montreal, she played for a team sponsored by KIK Cola. During her lengthy time as Mississauga’s mayor, she became a champion of the game. When Samantha Holmes engaged in her letter writing campaign to include women’s ice hockey in the Winter Games, McCallion was one of her first supporters. When Fran Rider, the president of the OWHA, organized the first women’s world hockey championship in 1987, the championship trophy was named in McCallion’s honor. Integral to helping Mississauga land the 2000 IIHF Women’s World Championships, McCallion is still prevalent at local rinks, participating in ceremonial faceoffs. For the many players who grew up in Mississauga, McCallion may have been their most prominent cheerleader.

92: Noemie Marin Clarkson Cup champion Having won four Clarkson Cup championships with Montreal, Marin has bridged generations for the franchise. Holding what may be the safest record in CWHL hockey, having recorded 10 points in one game versus the Ottawa Lady Senators, Marin may be the most talented player to have never won the Angela James Bowl. During her time with Montreal, Marin has also served as a coach with Hockey Canada’s U22/Development Team, likely foreshadowing a successful future after she retires from active competition.

93: Katie Weatherston Winter Games Gold Medalist Remaining active in the game as a prominent instructor, having also served in this role with male players, Katie Weatherston enjoyed the jubilation of a gold medal, competing with Canada’s contingent at the 2006 Torino Winter Games. Having also skated with Canada’s entry at the 2007 IIHF Women’s Worlds in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Weatherston would experience the rare privilege of winning a world championship on home soil. Part of the CWHL’s inaugural season, skating with the Ottawa Capital Canucks and the Montreal Stars, she would gain a spot on season’s end as one of the Eastern Division All-Stars.

94: Jaclyn Hawkins Player, Coach, Builder Among the legacies that have defined the era of women’s ice hockey since the dawn of the millennium, one of the most impactful is attributed to Jaclyn Hawkins. As the founder of Women’s Hockey Life, Hawkins has created a forum which allows for multiple functions. From networking, allowing players the chance to find teams, to equipment review, and the blogging function, providing fans, coaches and players an opportunity to share their views on the game, WHL is an invaluable resource for the game.

In addition to fostering a sense of belonging, enhancing the hockey experience for all enthusiasts of the female game, Hawkins is also an accomplished player, coach and hockey humanitarian, signifying her heart of gold. Having graduated as the all-time scoring leader in Connecticut Huskies history, she also made her mark in New England as a charter member of the Boston Blades. Having also competed in Switzerland, where Boston University alum Amanda Shaw was among the fellow Canadians on the roster, Hawkins returned to her roots. Currently serving as an assistant coach with the Huskies, she has also organized numerous try hockey for free events in the Nutmeg State, understanding that financial obstacles need to be overcome in order to allow everyone to truly enjoy the game.

95: Kim McCullough Player, Coach, CWHL Co-founder

96: Allyson Fox CWHL co-founder One of the most talented blueliners to compete with the York Lions, Fox was a multiple Ontario University Athletics All-Conference selection. Her fundamentally sound approach would enable her to become one of the most dependable members of the Brampton Thunder’s defensive unit. Pairing up with All-World blueliner Molly Engstrom, they were in a class of their own, propelling the club to the CWHL’s first-ever league title in 2008. Having also appeared in the 2010 and 2012 Clarkson Cup finals, Fox’s legacy is enhanced by the fact that she is one of the CWHL’s co-founders.

97: Jessica Wong Frozen Four champion Scoring the overtime winning goal in the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four national championship, Jessica Wong assured herself a place in hockey immortality. Having also competed with Canada’s U22/Development Team, capturing a gold medal at the MLP Nations Cup, Wong was one of the first scoring sensations from Atlantic Canada to make her mark in the game. Following a successful collegiate career with the UMD Bulldogs, Wong was the first pick overall in the 2013 CWHL Draft, becoming the first visible minority to be selected first overall in a modern professional women’s ice hockey draft. As a side note, Kelsey Koelzer was taken first overall by the New York Riveters in the 2016 NWHL Draft.

98: Sarah Nurse Player Part of one of Canada’s premier sporting families, her brother Darnell plays for the Edmonton Oilers, and her cousin Kia won gold in women’s basketball at the 2015 Pan Am Games, Sarah Nurse continues to marvel with her growing list of achievements. Having established herself as one of the finest Canadian players in the history of the Wisconsin Badgers program, Nurse was crucial in the program finishing the 2016-17 regular season ranked first in the national polls.

Appearing in the 2017 NCAA Frozen Four championship game, it was the fitting end to an amazing career with the Badgers. Playing for head coach Mark Johnson, Nurse recorded over 100 points, establishing herself as one of the program’s most effective competitors on special teams, while pacing her team multiple times in game-winning goals.

Named to Canada’s centralization roster in advance of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, Nurse is joined by fellow Badgers alumnae Emily Clark, Ann-Renee Desbiens and Blayre Turnbull. If she is named to the final roster, she would become the first visible minority to wear the Canadian jersey in women’s ice hockey at the Winter Games.

99: Katia Clement-Heydra Clarkson Cup champion Among a remarkable number of McGill Martlets alumnae that have also competed at the CWHL level for Montreal, Clement-Heydra experienced championship glory at both levels of the game. While at McGill, she was not only bestowed the honor of the Brodrick Trophy, awarded to the Most Outstanding Player in CIS women’s ice hockey, she would hoist the Golden Path trophy in 2015. Fast forward two years later, and Clement-Heydra added another significant milestone. Registering the first goal of the 2017 Clarkson Cup finals, she would help Montreal capture its first Cup title since 2012, while furthering the city’s legacy as one of the elite hot spots for women’s ice hockey. During the Cup celebrations, a selfie taken by Clement-Heydra was the defining photo of the entire event.

100: Shannon MacAulay NCAA Frozen Four champion Scoring the game-winning goal in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four championships, it was one of the most important goals of the decade in women’s ice hockey. Defeating the defending national champion Minnesota Golden Gophers, said goal provided the Clarkson Golden Knights with its first national championship in any sport in university history. It also allowed the Golden Knights to make history as the first team outside of the WCHA conference to capture a Frozen Four title.

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