All-Star Weekend a Shining Success For CWHL Once Again

Jerred Bapty
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@CaptainBapty

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Team Gold (#TeamKnox) 8 – Team Purple (#TeamLacquette) 4 FINAL

TORONTO – What’s an All-Star game if it’s not a high-scoring affair? 

The CWHL All-Stars gave fans just that in an 8-4 score-fest victory for Liz Knox’s Team Gold. But let’s start with Saturday’s draft. 

Both Captains were allowed to select their starting lineup before drawing the rest of their team at random. Calgary’s Brigette Lacquette had the most fan votes for captain, so she selected the Montreal Captain Marie-Philip Poulin 1st overall for Team Purple. With her remaining selections, Lacquette chose Toronto Furies’ rookie star Sarah Nurse, fellow Inferno Blayre Turnbull, Canadiennes’ goalie Emerance Maschmeyer, and teammate Halli Krzyzaniak. 

With her sections for Team Gold, Knox took Calgary’s Brianna Decker, Montreal’s Ann-Sophie Bettez, her teammate Jocelyne Larocque, Furies’ captain Natalie Spooner, and Shenzhen’s Jessica Wong. 

Wong stepped in to represent the Rays after Rachel Llanes announced she wouldn’t be able to attend due to injury. 

The coaches were also selected by the team captains. Curtis Joseph, Cheryl Pounder, and Anastasia Bucsis joined Team Purple while Glenn Healy, Charline Labonté and Gerry Dee led Team Gold. 

Here are the full rosters from the game:

TEAM PURPLE

  TEAM GOLD 

Player Name

Position

Player Name

Position

Brigette Lacquette

D

Liz Knox

G

Marie-Philip Poulin

F

Brianna Decker

F

Sarah Nurse

F

Ann-Sophie Bettez

F

Blayre Turnbull

F

Jocelyne Larocque

D

Emerance Maschmeyer

G

Natalie Spooner

F

Halli Krzyzaniak

D

Jessica Wong

D

Cayley Mercer

F

Jill Saulnier

F

Lauren Williams

D

Kacey Bellamy

D

Jamie Lee Rattray

F

Hilary Knight

F

Lauriane Rougeau

D

Laura Fortino

D

Laura Stacey

F

Hanna Bunton

F

Alex Rigsby

G

Noora Raty

G

Zoe Hickel

F

Brianne Jenner

F

Renata Fast

D

Megan Bozek

D

Victoria Bach

F

Rebecca Johnston

F

Mellissa Channell

D

Erin Ambrose

D

Hannah Miller

FAlex CarpenterF

The game itself on Sunday afternoon was an exciting one, and full of firsts. Brianne Jenner with her first All-Star hat trick, while Ann-Sophie Bettez, Hanna Bunton, Lauren Williams, and Zoe Hickel all scored their first career All-Star goals. Williams’ goal was also her first career CWHL goal, and it was at the All-Star game!

Brianna Decker opened the scoring with 2 goals in the 1st period and gave #TeamKnox a 2-0 lead at the end of the opening frame. 

Middway through the 2nd period, both teams swapped goalies, but in two very different ways. Maschmeyer was replaced by Calgary Inferno starter Alex Rigsby, while Knox went for a different approach. 

The Markham goalie left the net with a Team Gold rush and bolted to the net while her team controlled the puck in the offensive zone!

“Definitely our coaches’ [fault]. Gerry, he was giving me the signal, so I just started to go!” she joked with reporters post-game. “Noora actually wasn’t quite ready. She barely had her helmet on, and I was already at the blue line so… It was good for a laugh anyways!”

Knox also mentioned she had told her teammates to make sure they kept control of the puck when they saw her leave the net. Knox only allowed one goal during her time in net, that one by Laura Stacey.

Vanke Rays’ starter Noora Raty made it safely to the net. 

Knox looked like she was having a great time out there. At the ceremonial puck drop with Leafs’ great Doug Gilmour, she pounced on the puck goalie style, as if she was making a desperation cover-up to prevent Team Purple Captain Lacquette from getting another shot on net. 

The score was 5-3 after two periods of play as Team Purple started a comeback sparked by goals from Stacey, Turnbull, and Williams. 

But the 3rd period proved too much for Team Purple as Team Gold kept driving the net and scored 3 more goals to run away with the 4th annual CWHL All-Star game. 

As the league returns from the All-Star break, the Calgary Inferno hold a 2-point lead over Les Canadiennes de Montreal for 1st place with 33 points. Shenzhen has played the most games (21) and sits 3rd with 23 points, with Markham just two points behind them. Toronto and Worcester currently sit outside the playoff picture, the Furies needing 5 points to tie the Thunder, while the Blades still remain winless. 

For this week’s matchups, the Calgary Inferno and Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays’ All-Stars jump on a plane back to Calgary for one game on Tuesday January 22nd, before the Rays return home to Shenzhen where Toronto will face the Vanke Rays the following week. Meanwhile Montreal and Markham is the lone matchup of the coming weekend, they’ll face off from Markham on Saturday and Sunday. 


Let me know what you think!!

Twitter: @CaptainBapty

Email: jerred@barnburner.ca

Photo: @The_CWHL