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Toronto Furies headline rosters of CWHL All-Star Game

For the Furies’ Kelly Terry it’s exciting to feed off the energy of the big crowd.

CWHL All Star Draft 2017
Chris Tanouye/Canadian Women's Hockey League

The one year mark to the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang passed two days ago. The Olympics have been the sole source of exposure to the women’s game for most hockey fans, but the Canadian Women’s Hockey League is working hard to create new avenues for women hockey players to showcase their talent. Today’s All-Star Game will be one of these moments.

The best players in the CWHL will take to the ice today at the Air Canada Centre in a showcase of the top talent in the league. The Toronto Furies will be well represented at today’s CWHL All-Star Game. A total of eight Furies players will participate, including four rookies.

In advance of the game, a fan vote selected captains for the two teams, White and Blue. The Furies’ Carlee Campbell was the winner, while the Furies’ Natalie Spooner wound up in an exact tie with Meaghan Mikkelson of the Calgary Inferno. In an elegant solution they were appointed co-captains. They also coordinated for the event.

The Captains were able to select five players by name, and then drew mini-sticks, colour coded by position, to fill out their teams.

You can find the full rosters here at Sportsnet, including an interview with Natalie Spooner.

The Furies’ Kelly Terry is attending her second All-Star Game. The first was last year, and she wasn’t quite prepared for how big of an event it was. “I didn’t realise how big of a deal it was. It was so exciting to play in front of so many people in an arena like that. I actually didn’t really spread the word to my family or friends because I was not aware.”

She’s not going to make the same mistake twice. “This time around I made sure that I let my grandparents know, I told some family friends, so I’ve got a bit of a following coming.”

Kelly Terry of the Toronto Furies Chris Tanouye / CWHL

However, it’s not only friends and family Terry is happy to see in the stands. “Last year I just remember looking up and seeing two little girls in Whitby Wolves jerseys. I played for the Whitby Wolves from when I was four years old up until I left for college.”

It was at times an emotional game for Terry, but one that made her feel proud of her accomplishments. “I looked up to [the] older players, now I’m honoured that [younger players] get to look up to me. I hope that I can inspire them to keep playing, and keep growing the game.”

The gala was a swanky event. In attendance were some celebrities, including Jim Treliving, star of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, and the founder of Boston Pizza. The reason for his attendance became clear when the emcee of the evening, Furies’ goalie Sami Jo Small, made a surprise announcement that the league had landed some new big name sponsors.

This is good news for the league, its continuing stability, and its march towards being able to pay its players.

Of course, being the All-Star weekend, it’s not all serious business. It was obvious the players from different teams who don’t often see each other outside of games or training camps enjoyed the chance to socialize, catch up on their lives outside of hockey, and, of course, share some gossip.

There was also lots of fooling around.

Carlee Campbell and Natalie Spooner of the Toronto Furies play fight before the 2017 CWHL All Star Game Chris Tanouye/Canadian Women's Hockey League

Kelly Terry laughed and admitted she doesn’t quite remember last year’s result. “I actually don’t even remember who won last year. I just remember what an awesome game it was.”

However, for her second time around at the All-Star game, while having fun is still important, it’s not necessarily the top priority. “My competitive edge does take over, so I really do hope we come out with the win.”

The All-Star game is Saturday at 1:00PM EST at the Air Canada Centre. It will be broadcast on Sportsnet starting at 3:30PM.