The Markham Thunder revealed their 2018-19 roster this morning, and it’s pretty much who you’d expect.
They’re here to defend the Cup.— Markham Thunder (@ThunderCWHL) October 5, 2018
Meet the 2018-2019 Markham Thunder https://t.co/O0jZQ5SSTg #FundaReplay pic.twitter.com/tbuzuxeQYm
All of Markham’s Olympians are returning for another season, including captain Jocelyne Larocque, defensive stalwart Laura Fortino, and the Clarkson Cup-winning goalscorer Laura Stacey. Mid-season pickup 2014 USWNT Olympian Meghan Bozek returns as well.
Jess Jones, the 2016-17 co-winner of the Angela James Bowl (for top scorer, along with Marie-Philip Poulin), returns to the Thunder after a season with the Buffalo Beauts. She’s looking for a return to form, possibly with old linemate Jamie Lee Rattray by her side. Markham’s other free-agent acquisition, Brooke Webster, also makes the lineup.
Victoria Bach and Ailish Forfar headline the rookie class of five, which also includes multi-sport athlete Ella Matteucci, University of Vermont defender Gina Repaci, and Guelph Gryphons centre Kelly Gribbons. Gribbons is notable as the only newcomer whose college career did not involve any time in the NCAA.
Markham sticks with their Cup-winning goalie tandem of Erica Howe and Liz Knox. Although she did not make the 25 player roster, we’re told that Elijah Milne-Price is on the 40 player roster and will be the third goalie if necessary.
Milne-Price will be our third goalie, but she remains on the 40 player roster— Markham Thunder (@ThunderCWHL) October 5, 2018
Goalie Mariah Fujimagari, drafted in the ninth round, was announced on the roster of the Worcester Blades just yesterday.
The Thunder announced four retirements in the offseason, so the cuts were few. Laura McIntosh only played in 17 regular season games last season, although she finished among the top in team scoring. Megan Delay was left off the roster for the Clarkson Cup playoffs, presumably to make space for returning Olympians. Devon Skeats and Lindsay Grigg both joined Markham from other leagues last season, but didn’t survive what GM Chelsea Purcell characterized as “one of the most competitive tryouts we have ever had”.
Competitive tryouts are great when you’re trying to repeat as Clarkson Cup Champions. Can this group come together to hoist the Cup again? Only time will tell.
The Markham Thunder will raise their Clarkson Cup banner and start the 2018-19 season at the Thornhill Community Centre on Saturday October 13 at 7:30 pm against the Worcester Blades. Single game and season tickets are available now!