CWHL Season Opening Weekend
The 2017-2018 CWHL season-opening weekend kicks off on October 14th-15th. The weekend festivities include Les Canadiennes de Montreal, the reigning Clarkson Cup Champions, take on the Boston Blades in Montreal. The other exciting matchup pits the Markham Thunder vs the Toronto Furies in Toronto. The regular season will feature 98 games with 23 to be streamed live with four tilts nationally broadcast on Sportsnet.
2017-2018 CWHL Season Preview
New Era For The CWHL
The CWHL has added two teams based in Shenzhen China, the Kunlun Red Star, and the Vanke Rays. The Red Star debut on the October 21st-22nd weekend. The Red Star take on the Markham Thunder. While the Rays debut against the Furies on the weekend of October 28th-29th. On November 18th the first home game in China pits the Red Star vs the Thunder. The next tilt in China comes with the Rays hosting the Furies on December 8th.
On another positive for the league, the CWHL & CWHLPA, Team general managers, and the board passed pay compensation for the players. A first for the league, the compensation will range between $2,000-$10,000 per player. Pay is based on years played in the CWHL. The general managerss will have a discretionary fund to add to player pay.
Markham Thunder goaltender and Players Association rep Liz Knox stated “The league and the Players Association have been working hard together to ensure the longevity of the player careers in the CWHL. We understand that this is just the beginning for the growth of our game and look forward to the future.”
Les Canadiennes de Montreal
With the retirement of Charline Labonté, the Canadiennes went out and acquired goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer from the Calgary Inferno. Les Canadiennes also acquired two defensemen in Maggie DiMasi and Nachi Fujimoto from the Boston Blades for a Sixth and Seventh round draft picks respectively(years to be determined). Brittney Fouracres was traded by Les Canadiennes to the Inferno for future considerations. Leslie Oles was released so she can play in Europe.
Les Canadiennes first round 2017 draft pick, the 4th overall, they selected Melodie Daoust. Daoust was McGill Universities captain and a Canadian Olympian. Les Canadiennes selected a total of three centers, one right wing, one left wing, two defencemen and three goalies.
Les Canadiennes coaching staff consists of head coach Dany Brunet, assistant coach/director of player development Lisa-Marie Brenton-Lebreux. Assistant coach Éric Bouchard returns, he previously served with the team during the 2014-2015 season. Gilles Charron is the goalie coach. Meg Hewings tops the braintrust as Les Canadiennes general manager.
Marie-Philip Poulin, Ann-Sophie Bettez and Caroline Ouellette return to pace the offense. On defense Cassandra Poudrier and Sophie Brault head up the blue line.
Les Canadiennes 2017-2018 roster.
Forwards 9 Kim Deschenes, 10 Noémie Marin, 13 Caroline Ouellette, 16 Sarah Lefort, 19 Katia Clement-Heydra, 20 Jordan Peroff, 22 Erinn Noseworthy, 24 Ann-Sophie Bettez, 25 Lore Baudrit, 29 Marie-Philip Poulin, 39 Marion Allemoz, 47 Emmanuelle Blais, 76 Karell Emard, 78 Tracy-Ann Lavigne, 88 Kayla Tutino.
Defence 5 Lauriane Rougeau, 7 Nachi Fujimoto, 8 Cathy Chartrand, 11 Natalie Barrette, 17 Melanie Desrochers, 23 Sophie Brault, 51 Cassandra Poudrier, 91 Laurence Beaulieu.
Goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer and Catherine Herron
In August, the Calgary Inferno traded goalie Emerance Maschmeyer to Les Canadiennes to complete the trade that brought Olympian Haley Irwin to Calgary in 2014. In addition the Inferno acquired defenceman Brittney Fouracres from Montreal, forward Dakota Woodworth from Boston and Kristen Barbara from Brampton/Markham.
The Inferno 1st round pick in the 2017 CWHL draft was defenceman Taryn Baumgardt out of Quinnipac University. In total the Inferno drafted 13 players: two centers, three right wings, four left wings, three defencemen and one goalie.
The Calgary coaching staff includes newly hired head coach Tomas Pacina. Assistant coaches include new additions Juliane Jubinville and Kelly Bechard with returning assistant coach Gina Kingsbury. Kristen Hagg resides as the Inferno’s general manager.
Returning to lead the Inferno offense is Iya Gavrilova, Brittany Esposito and Louise Warren. Anchoring the blue line are returning players Hayleigh Cudmore and Katelyn Gosling.
2017-2018 Calgary Inferno roster
Forwards: Wendy Abramenko, Kelty Apperson, Kennedy Brown, Laura Dostaler, Brittany Esposito, Anissa Gamble, Kayla Gardner, Iya Gavrilova, Erica Kromm, Rihanna Kurio, Elana Lovell, Sophie Shirley, Louise Warren, Dakota Woodwoth.
Defence Taryn Baumgardt, Hayleigh Cudmore, Brittney Fouracres, Katelyn Gosling, Megan Grenon, Kelly Murray and Jacquie Pierri.
Goaltenders Delayne Brian, Lindsey Post and Toni Ross.
In July of 2017 the Brampton Thunder announced their relocation from Brampton to Markham. Established in 1998 the Brampton Thunder Hockey Team is the longest running club in the CWHL. In nine seasons in Brampton the Thunder won the Championship twice.
The Thunder had the third overall pick in the 2017 CWHL draft, they selected center Nicole Kosta. Markham had 12 picks and took three centers, one right wing, two left wings, four defencemen and two goalies.
The Thunder coaching staff boasts head coach Jim Jackson, newly added assistant coach Candice Moxley, as well as assistant/goalie coach Kevin Stone. Lori Dupuis is the general manager. The assistant general manager is Chelsea Purcell.
Laura Stacey and Jamie Lee Rattray return to lead the Thunder offense. Jocelyne Larocque and Laura Fortino head up the defensive corps. Erica Howe and Liz Knox return to guard the net.
Thunder 2017-2018 roster
Forwards: 2 Becca King, 7 Laura Stacey, 9 Kristen Richards, 15 Laura McIntosh, 16 Fielding Montgomery, 17 Nicole Brown, 21 Devon Skeats, 22 Nicole Kosta, 25 Taylor Woods, 26 Jamie Lee Rattray, 28 Melissa Wronzberg, 91 Jenna McParland and 96 Karolina Urban.
Defence 3 Jocelyne Larocque, 8 Laura Fortino, 10 Alexis Woloschuk, 11 Megan Delay, 18 Jessica Hartwick, 19 Dania Simmonds, 23 Lindsay Grigg and 24 Kristen Barbara.
Goaltenders 27 Erica Howe, 31 Jamie Miller and 37 Liz Knox.
With the first overall draft pick in the 2017 CWHL draft the Blades selected forward Courtney Turner. She is from Union College. The Blades had 21 picks, taking six centers, two right wings, six left wings, five defencemen, and two goalies.
The Blades head coach is Casey Brugman with Mark Bates as assistant coach. Ben Bradley will handle the goaltenders. The general manager is former Boston College Eagles defenseman Jessica Martino.
Boston has leading scorers Kate Leary, Meghan Grieves and Melissa Bizzari returning to lead the Blades offense. Dru Burns also returns to lead a revamped Boston defense.
Boston Blades 2017-2018 roster
Forwards 3 Courtney Turner, 4 Elizabeth Aveson, 5 Michelle Ng, 6 Erin Kickham, 9 Cassandra Sherman, 12 Casey Stathopoulos, 15 Megan Myers, 16 Kaitlin Spurling, 17 Meghan Grieves, 19 Taylor Wasylk, 22 Chelsey Goldberg, 23 Melissa Bizzari, 27 Nicole Giannino, 28 Kate Leary.
Defence 7 Dru Burns, 8 Sato Kikuchi, 10 Erin Hall, 18 Taryn Harris, 20 Meagan Spurling, 24 Kristina Brown, 71 Kelly Kittredge, 91 Jordan Hampton.
Goaltenders 1 Robyn Chemago, 21 Jetta Rackleff.
With the second pick in the CWHL 2017 draft the Furies picked left wing Kristyn Capizzano. Cappizzano an Oakville, Ontario native attended Boston College. The Furies drafted 13 players: four centers, one right wing, five left wings, one defenceman and two goalies.
On the bench the Furies are led by head coach Sommer West who coached the Furies to the 2013-2014 Clarkson Cup Championship. West was also awarded the 2013-2014 Coach of the Year award. Assistant coach Lexie Hoffmeyer was part of the Furies title team and has been a Furies assistant coach after her retirement in 2015. Matthew Hallett and P.J. Michael round out the assistants. The goaltending coach is Jamie McGuire and Nicole Latreille is the Furies general manager.
Julie Allen, Jess Vella and Carolyne Prevost come back to spearhead the Furies attack. Carlee Campbell and Michelle Saunders lead the defense.
Furies 2017-2018 Roster
Forwards 2 Julie Allen, 3 Hayley Williams, 7 Brooke Beazer, 10 Shannon Stewart, 12 Jess Vella, 14 Alessandra Bianchi, 16 Alexa Aramburu, 17 Emily Fulton, 18 Danielle Gagne, 19 Brittany Zuback, 27 Carolyne Prevost, 44 Jenna Dingeldein and 93 Cassidy Delaney.
Defence 5 Michelle Saunders, 8 Sydney Kidd, 11 Jessica Platt, 15 Carlee Campbell, 20 Katie Gaskin, 22 Ella Stewart, 23 Shannon Moulson And 29 Jessica O’Grady.
Goaltenders 1 Sami Jo Small and 30 Sonja van der Bliek.
Kunlun Red Star/Vanke Rays
For the 2017-2018 season the CWHL added two teams based in China. For their inaugural 2017 draft picks #6 and #7 respectively the Red Star drafted goaltender Noora Raty and the Rays selected left wing Cayley Mercer.
Both squads had 20 picks, the Red Star drafted four centers, two right wings, four left wings, seven defencemen, and three goalies. The Rays drafted four-centers, three right wings, four left wings, seven defencemen, and two goalies.
Behind the bench the Red Star have Digit Murphy as head coach with Saara Niemi as assistant coach. Chris Vanstone is the Red Star general manager. The Rays braintrust is head coach Rob Morgan, assistant coach Jenesica Drinkwater with Shirley Hon as general manager.
Red Star draft picks
(G) Noora Raty, (c) Alex Carpenter, (lw) Shiann Darkangelo, (lw) Stephanie Anderson, (rw) Zoe Hickel, (D) Taylor Marchin, (rw) Madison Woo, (D) Melanie Jue, (D) Beiwei Yu, (D) Zhixin Liu, (D) Lu Wen, (G) Yuqing Wang, (G) Siye He, (c) Rui Zhu, (C) Liying Yang, (C) Wenzhou Wang, (LW) Lixue Xing, (D) Yue Hou, (D) Naixin Zhou, (LW) Bowen Jiang.
Rays draft picks
(LW) Cayley Mercer, (G) Elaine Chuli, (C) Brooke Webster, (LW) Hanna Bunton, (C) Emily Janiga, (RW) Ashleigh Brykaliuk, (C) Emma Woods, (C) Xin Fang, (D) Qinan Zhao, (D) Rose Alleva, (D) Lauren Kelly, (RW) Minghui King, (LW) Xin He, (RW) Yue Lv, (D) Bo Wang, (G) Tianyi Zhang, (D) Hongxin Yan, (D) Jiachao Xu, (LW) Han Gao, (D) Jinqiu Xiao.
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