Jamie Lee Rattray had a career season in the CWHL and was recognized by the members of the CWHLPA as the Most Valuable Player, winning the Jayna Hefford Trophy presented by the NHLPA.
With a 16 game point streak in the second half of the regular season (18 games if including the playoffs), Rattray showed strong leadership while wearing an ‘A’ for the first time. Only held off the score sheet in four regular season games, Rattray was instrumental in keeping Markham in the race for the Championship. Notching her first season where she surpassed the 30 point mark, Rattray finished the regular season with 39 points (22G, 17A) and added two goals in the playoff series against les Canadiennes, the most pivotal being the shorthanded overtime winner to claim victory in game one.
Rattray collected 11 multi-point games, including a four point performance (2G, 2A) that saw the Thunder claw back from being down 3-0 to take a point in overtime against Montreal. Every time she stepped onto the ice, Rattray was a threat. Partnered with the strong-willed Kristen Richards, and the hockey sense of Laura McIntosh, Rattray was able to be successful as the driving force for the Thunder offence.
When asked about what the honour of the Jayna Hefford Trophy meant to her at a recent Puck Talks Live event, Rattray shared that it was one of the most humbling experiences: “Think about the talent that’s in this league – you look around and every game is a grind,” said Rattray. “The work that the players put in to it, for them to vote me in as MVP… I still don’t believe it. To accept the award is very special as I’ve gotten to know Hefford very well, and as [she was] someone who I looked up to as a kid, it’s still surreal that that was me. I’m pretty humbled by it.”
MARKHAM, ON – Megan Bozek, all-star defender, Olympic silver medalist and Isobel Cup Champion, has signed with the Markham Thunder.
“I am very excited to get on the ice with the Thunder! When you are given a situation that is unexpected, you feel disappointed, discouraged, angry, sad, mad, and everything in between,” said Bozek. “But getting the chance to play in Markham with a great group of talented players – a handful that I have played with or against for years – is exciting! They bring energy and grit to every game, and I am looking forward to joining them on the run for the playoffs!”
With Thunder defence mainstays Jocelyne Larocque and Laura Fortino with Hockey Canada this season, Bozek brings her offensive prowess to the blue line. The last couple of seasons the Thunder have been very fortunate to have one of the strongest defence cores in the league which can be hard to maintain during Olympic years. With the Thunder facing several injuries this season, Bozek is coming in at a good time, especially as they make a push for playoffs in the second half. With a booming shot and quick puck movement, Bozek will be a threat in all zones.
Having played in both leagues and being a free agent, she was highly sought after by many teams. “I’m looking forward to seeing her wear the green this Saturday, and I have no doubt that she will put her mark on this organization early,” mentions General Manager, Chelsea Purcell. Adding an Olympian to the roster in an Olympic year is an opportunity that does not come around often, and Purcell knows how lucky the team is to bring Bozek on. “It’s definitely bittersweet. It’s never easy seeing a player losing the opportunity to go to the Olympics. You always want to see former or current CWHL players at the Games no matter what country they are representing. We are definitely very fortunate to be able to have her join the Thunder knowing she should be on that Olympic roster.”
The coaching staff also know that bringing a player of Bozek’s caliber is good for the entire team. “The experiences that Megan has as a player cannot be matched by many. NCAA Frozen Four Champion, World Champion, Olympic athlete, Isobel Cup Champion,” says assistant coach Candice Moxley, “She has grown as a player over the years and just keeps getting better.” Head coach Jim Jackson agrees that having a player who has excelled at all levels will have an immediate effect, “To bring in a player of Megan’s abilities will not only compliment our current team, but she also brings a strong work ethic, knowledge of the game and a will to win attitude.” As the Thunder make the final push towards the playoffs, assistant coach Kevin Stone knows this type of addition is coveted by all teams. “We are entering a big part of our schedule and every team is looking for that additional piece of the puzzle. We found a difference maker.”
Purcell haralds the coaching staff for allowing players to continue to grow and learn. “Megan signing here shows the strength this team has, and that we can recruit top level players,” she noted. With Markham’s depth being tested with multiple player injuries and three players centralized with Team Canada, the coaches can’t wait to have Bozek hit the ice. “She adds many elements to our team that will mesh well with our systems. We are excited to put her into the mix,” said Moxley. Jackson added, “As a coach you want other players around her to raise their level of game and overall compete level.”
Having played with and against many of her new teammates should help Bozek feel at home quickly in Markham. She recently played with forward Devon Skeats and defender Lindsay Grigg with the Buffalo Beauts, and faced many as a member of the Toronto Furies. “Megan could have gone anywhere,” says Stone, “But she sees the opportunity to step in to help Markham (League leader in overtimes and one goal games) with the little push to put us over the top.”
Bozek will play her first game this Saturday, January 13th as the Thunder faceoff against the Vanke Rays. You can purchase tickets by visiting thecwhl.com/tickets. For media inquires, please contact [email protected]
With the previous three games before this series against les Canadiennes needing extra time, it was fitting that two hard fought games to end the regular season series once again these teams needed more than 60 minutes.
Erica Howe and Emerance Maschmeyer faced off in goal for the first game of the weekend. Within the first minute the Thunder were on the power play as Karell Emard went to the box for tripping. With nothing materializing in the advantage, Montréal came back hard, forcing Howe to make key saves. Kristen Richards took a shot high on Maschmeyer, but the glove save was made. At the 7:44 mark, Jessica Hartwick sat for interference. With les Canadiennes on the power play, new squad member Erin Ambrose passed it to Cassandra Poudrier the shot bounced through traffic. It was Emard in front who would tip it in the back of the net to take the lead. Shortly after the ensuing faceoff, Ann-Sophie Bettez connected with Emard who got the puck to Marion Allemoz and Montréal took a 2-0 lead. Howe bounced right back making a stellar blocker save, keeping her team very much still in the game. With 2.2 seconds left in the opening frame, Jamie Lee Rattray took a wrister that was snagged by the glove of Maschmeyer.
Markham came back from the intermission with guns blazing. After Rattray just misses the net, the Thunder found themselves with another early power play as Poudrier was called for tripping. Howe made a brilliant glove save on Katia Clement-Heydra who had blocked a shot and went streaking in short handed. At 13:50, Ambrose and Emard set up Bettez for Montréal’s third goal of the evening. The Thunder continued to pressure. Laura McIntosh has a good chance at the side of the net, but the puck hit the goalie’s mask and stayed out. With about five minutes remaining in the period, McIntosh received the puck at the blue line, waited for Rattray to enter the zone and sneak behind the defender. She received the puck and shot it over Maschmeyer’s pad on the backhand to make the score 3-1.
On the next shift, Sophie Brault was called for tripping and the Thunder went to the power play. Lindsay Grigg got the puck at the point, sending it down to McIntosh below the circle, who found Rattray alone at the side of the net to bring Markham within one. As the period wound down, Howe made some great saves to keep the score 3-2.
The Thunder got another power play to open the period when Emard went to the box for slashing. It didn’t take long for Markham to tie the game. Rattray took the puck from the blue line and sauced it over to Richards as she came into the crease and flipped the puck shortside into the twine. After the ensuing faceoff, Richards got a penalty for hooking, giving les Canadiennes their first power play of the period. The penalty kill units and Howe did a great job shutting down Montréal. A few minutes later, the Thunder would return to the kill as Simmonds was sent off for body checking. Howe made some outstanding saves to keep her team in the game, but Grigg was flagged for cross checking and Montréal was given a 5-on-3 for 31 seconds. Taylor Woods laid down her body to block a shot, but les Canadiennes got the puck back and got it behind Howe to retake the lead. Markham would kill the remainder of the Grigg penalty with the help of a well positioned goal post. The Thunder continued to press, and with 1:46 left McIntosh passed the puck from behind the net out to Richards in the slot who put it top shelf on Maschmeyer to tie the game!
Within the last minute of the period, Howe kept the Thunder in the game by making key saves with tons of traffic in her crease. Richards went down to block a shot a the side of the net, and was called for delay of game as she had covered the puck. Les Canadiennes were put on the power play with 49 seconds left. Luckily, no goal was scored in the remainder of regulation, and we headed to another overtime frame.
With 1:09 left on the advantage, Montréal continued to press. Howe and the penalty kill unit were up to the task and Richards returned to the ice. After a couple of turnovers in the defensive zone, Emard connected with Kayla Tutino who put the puck shortside and won the game for Montréal.
Another goalie duel this afternoon, this time with Liz Knox in the net for Markham. The Thunder got out to a good start, clearing their zone soon after Montréal would enter it. Woods stripped Sarah Lefort of the puck, sending it down to Rattray at the other end of the ice. She would get a good scoring chance on Maschmeyer, but the puck didn’t hit the twine. Knox continued to make solid saves, one on a rolling puck making sure the rebound was covered quickly, and another with the blocker denying Bettez. A few minutes later, Dania Simmonds took a blast from the point. Richards tried to redirect the shot from in front of the net, but the save is made. As the period wound down, Karolina Urban was called for tripping. The frame would end scoreless, thanks to the brilliant work of Knox swing through traffic.
The Thunder started the second period by finishing off the penalty kill, and then heading to the power play. Chartrand sat for holding after hauling down McIntosh. The advantage didn’t last long, as Woods was also called for holding giving just under a minute of 4-on-4 play. McIntosh dangled around multiple Canadiennes players, but the puck rolled on her shot. When Chartrand returned to the ice, she blasted the puck from the blue line but it hit the post. Markham got the next power play when Desrochers was sent off for hooking at 8:29. Nothing materialized on the power play, and after Desrochers returned to the ice, Knox had to make several key saves. Unfortunately, 14:45 into the period Ambrose connected with Allemoz who shot the puck over Knox’s glove to put les Canadiennes ahead 1-0. Shortly after, with a great forecheck, Becca King got the puck behind Maschmeyer for the Thunder. After Markham lined up to faceoff at centre ice, the officials decided to call the goal back and sent King to the penalty box for goalie interference. The successful penalty kill ended the period.
The third frame started with lots of back and forth action. Montréal used their timeout, and came back blazing. Knox made more stellar saves including one where she reached back to cover the puck with players crashing the net. Around the halfway mark, Rattray took the puck in the offensive zone and sailed the puck over Maschmeyer to tie the game! After more back and forth, 60 minutes was not enough, and we headed to overtime.
The Thunder had many great scoring chances during the 4-on-4 five minute extra frame, but nothing went in. The final game in the regular season series with les Canadiennes would be decided by a shootout.
Woods shot first for Markham and was stopped by Maschmeyer.
Katia Clement-Heydra was up next for Montréal, and scored on Knox.
Up next for the Thunder was Rattray, who was denied.
Bettez was next over the boards for les Canadiennes. Her shot went wide of the net.
McIntosh was the third shooter for Markham, but she could not get the puck past Maschmeyer. Montréal took the game 2-1.
Candice Moxley has been appointed assistant coach of the Markham Thunder, joining head coach Jim Jackson, and assistant coach Kevin Stone.
“Candice is a great addition to the Markham Thunder organization and the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, as she brings a strong hockey background of coaching and teaching at all levels to the CWHL. We are very fortunate to have candice join our coaching staff.Welcome aboard!”
– Jim Jackson, head coach
“Candice will be a great assest to our staff. She used to be on staff with a great friend of mine and he raves about her knowledge of the game. Thunder Nation is lucky to have her.”
– Kevin Stone, assistant coach
Moxley served as the Head Coach for Buffalo State Women’s Division III hockey team for the past four seasons. Moxley led the Bengals to the ECAC West playoffs for the first time in six years during her first season behind the bench, and was named ECAC West Coach of the Year in 2015.Under Moxley, the Buffalo State Bengals won a program-best 35 games in the past two seasons (35-16-2) and has made four-consecutive postseason appearances, including earning its first-ever postseason victory last season.
She has also worked as a video coach with Hockey Canada’s women’s development team from 2013-2015. Prior to Buffalo State, Moxley spent two seasons as an assistant coach at The Ohio State University and two years as an assistant at Robert Morris University, both are NCAA division I programs.
A native of Markham, Ontario, Moxley was a four-year player at Division I Niagara from 2001-05 and played Women’s professional hockey for 3 years in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). Moxley has also been a member of Canadian Women’s Inline team and Canadian Women’s Ball Hockey team competing internationally at world’s tournaments.
On the morning of July 11, 2017, Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) Commissioner Brenda Andress and Mayor Frank Scarpitti gathered to announce the relocation of the CWHL’s Thunder hockey team from Brampton to the City of Markham. The team will officially relocate to the City of Markham’s Thornhill Community Centre for the 2017/18 hockey season.
Established in 1998, the Brampton Thunder hockey team is the longest running club in the CWHL. The Thunder played in the National Women’s Hockey League for nine seasons, winning the Championship in the 1998-99 season and then again in the final season. The Thunder have been home to several great Olympians including Jayna Hefford, Vicky Sunohara, Cherie Piper, Gillian Apps and Lori Dupuis. In 2007, the CWHL was formed and the Thunder continued on as the Brampton Canadettes-Thunder. It was only in the inaugural season of the CWHL that the Thunder won the league championships.
“The City of Markham has had a strong and successful relationship with the CWHL, including hosting the Clarkson Cup in 2013 and 2014,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We are thrilled to be part of the CWHL and hosting a women’s team of this caliber within our community. This move will continue to increase the profile of female athletes in Markham, in particular women’s hockey and is a perfect synergy with our community girls’ hockey league, the Markham Stouffville Stars Hockey Program and supports Markham’s Sport Development vision.”
In Markham, the Thornhill community has a long hockey history. The Thornhill Community Centre hosts two long standing minor hockey organizations that are very supportive of the sports development. Both, the Thornhill Community Hockey League and the Markham Islanders Majors continue to provide excellent development opportunities to youth in the City of Markham. As well this community centre is home to the Thornhill Figure Skating Club.
“This partnership with the City of Markham, is another giant step for the future of the CWHL, especially with our recent announcement with Kunlun Red Star joining our league,” said CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress. “This is a great opportunity for the Thunder to excel in a community that has in the past been a gracious host for the Clarkson Cup, is also is home to some of our Board Members, including Brad Morris and Peter Zukow, and has strong ties to the business community.”
In June, the CWHL announced a historic five year deal that will see the Kunlun Red Star (KRS) based in ShenZen, China, join the league for the 2017-18 season. KRS will encourage the growing interest in hockey and female sport in China in advance of the country hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. Through this partnership, KRS aims to have an immediate impact on growing the interest in hockey, more specifically in women’s hockey.