CWHL Frozen Fantasy Draft recap with Wickenheiser’s eyebrow-raising comment

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TORONTO, Ont. – The second inaugural CWHL All-Star weekend kicked off with a glitzy cocktail reception at the Toronto Hilton where fans could mingle among the CWHL All-Stars in attendance.

The party later moved into the ballroom for the Frozen Fantasy Draft. Julie Chu from Les Canadiennes de Montreal and Natalie Spooner of the Toronto Furies, acting as fan-selected captains, determined their starting lineup.

With Chu receiving the highest percentage of fan votes, she was afforded the opportunity to pick first. The captain selected league leading scorer, and Les Canadiennes teammate, Marie-Philip Poulin. After the announcement, Poulin joked, “I have to pay [Chu] a lot” for drafting her first overall.

As for Spooner’s first pick, she went with Brianne Jenner of the Calgary Inferno. The forward is fourth in the CWHL in total points. When asked what it was going to take to beat the other team, she replied with a deadpan, “Headshots. Plenty of headshots.”

Chu filled out the rest of her starting lineup with teammate, and hockey legend, Caroline Ouellette, Brampton Thunder defenseman Laura Fortino, Inferno forward Jillian Saulnier, and Furies goaltender Christina Kessler. 

Spooner followed up her first selection with Thunder forward Jamie-Lee Rattray, Boston Blades defenseman Tara Watchorn, Thunder defenseman Courtney Birchard, and Les Canadiennes goaltender Charline Labonte.

After the starters were selected, the captains picked from color coded sticks in a bucket labeled with each player’s name to fill out their lineup. It was a relatively quick process from that point on out. 

The only moment that took everyone back was that of Hayley Wickenheiser’s comments following her drafting to Team Chu. Wickenheiser, who is technically a rookie in the CWHL this year, is a Canadian hockey legend and one of the most noticeable women in the game. She said, “We know here are two leagues and there should only be one, and this is the one.”

The other league she is referencing is the NWHL. There is clearly no love lost between the two leagues. The two of them came together after much negotiation to put on the women’s game at the Winter Classic, but that has been the most the two have worked together since the NWHL’s inception. Wickenheiser was not available to the media following the fantasy draft.

The final two players left were Brampton’s Candice Styles and Calgary’s Elana Lovell. Porter Airlines, a sponsor of the CWHL, gave both women vouchers for roundtrip tickets to anywhere Porter Airlines flies.  

The women take to the ice on Saturday at 1:00pm ET in the Air Canada Centre for the All-Star Game. Sportsnet will offer the game on a tape delay at 3:00pm ET.

Here’s the complete rosters with season stats:

TEAM CHU                             
Player POS Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH GWG      
Laura Fortino D Brampton Thunder 18 6 15 21 +8 10 8 1 1      
Julie Chu (C) D Les Canadiennes de Montreal 10 2 6 8 +7 2 7 0 0      
Cathy Chartand D Les Canadiennes de Montreal 16 1 11 12 +17 12 3 2 0      
Laurianne Rougeau D Les Canadiennes de Montreal 14 1 6 7 +12 2 4 1 0      
Michelle Bonello D Toronto Furies 20 0 2 2 -12 28 1 0 0      
Sena Suzuki D Toronto Furies 18 1 5 6 -11 4 0 1 1      
Kristina Brown F Boston Blades 18 2 0 2 -20 4 1 0 0      
Jess Jones F Brampton Thunder 18 12 6 18 +11 22 3 0 3      
Elana Lovell F Calgary Inferno 18 13 9 22 +13 8 6 0 2      
Hayley Wickenheiser F Calgary Inferno 17 3 9 12 +12 8 2 1 0      
Jillian Saulnier F Calgary Inferno 16 11 7 18 +9 14 5 1 3      
Ann-Sophie Bettez F Les Canadiennes de Montreal 16 13 12 25 +21 6 7 1 3      
Caroline Ouellette F Les Canadiennes de Montreal 16 8 9 17 +16 12 4 1 3      
Kim Deschenes F Les Canadiennes de Montreal 16 9 12 21 +17 6 2 0 2      
Marie-Philip Poulin F Les Canadiennes de Montreal 14 13 13 26 +13 8 7 2 4      
                             
Player POS Team GP GS Min W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Christina Kessler G Toronto Furies 16 16 928 3 11 0 1 1 51 3.30 488 0.905
Delayne Brian G Calgary Inferno 14 14 795 10 1 1 0 2 38 2.87 315 0.892

 

TEAM SPOONER                            
Player POS Team GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH GWG      
Dru Burns D Boston Blades 17 0 2 2 -26 14 1 0 0      
Tara Watchorn D Boston Blades 19 2 4 6 -30 20 3 0 0      
Courtney Birchard D Brampton Thunder 18 2 13 15 +7 6 6 1 0      
Jocelyn Larocque D Brampton Thunder 18 2 3 5 +7 24 0 0 0      
Sarah Edney D Brampton Thunder 18 3 4 7 +8 8 3 0 1      
Jacquie Pierri D Calgary Inferno 18 0 1 1 +14 14 0 0 0      
Candice Styles F Brampton Thunder 18 6 8 14 +8 26 2 0 2      
Jamie-Lee Rattray F Brampton Thunder 16 10 10 20 +5 16 5 1 1      
Brianne Jenner F Calgary Inferno 18 8 15 23 +20 4 6 1 3      
Brittany Esposito F Calgary Inferno 18 6 12 18 +12 2 8 0 1      
Jessica Campbell F Calgary Inferno 16 10 10 20 +10 6 3 0 1      
Katia Clement-Heydra F Les Canadiennes de Montreal 16 5 9 14 +15 2 0 0 0      
Natalie Spooner (C) F Toronto Furies 18 16 9 25 -1 20 8 1 0      
Emily Fulton F Toronto Furies 18 4 7 11 -6 10 2 0 0      
Kelly Terry F Toronto Furies 12 2 4 6 -3 8 4 0 1      
                             
Player POS Team GP GS Min W L OTL SOL SO GA GAA SV SV%
Genevieve Lacasse G Boston Blades 20 20 1203 1 19 0 0 0 87 4.34 934 0.915
Charline Labonte G Les Canadiennes de Montreal 12 11 660 10 1 0 0 4 14 1.27 189 0.931

 

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