— Toronto Furies (@TorontoCWHL) January 23, 2016
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:
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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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