The Thunder organization would like to send our deepest thanks and gratitude to Fielding Montgomery, Jessica Hartwick, Melissa Wronzberg, and Karolina Urban for their commitment and dedication, as they step away from playing professionally. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours, and look forward to welcoming them back to the Thornhill Community Centre!
Montgomery played for four seasons (2014-2018) appearing in 88 regular season and four playoff CWHL games, all with the Thunder, and she announced her retirement on July 12 while on The Hockey Show.
“My experience with the Thunder is hard to put into words,” says Montgomery, “I am so fortunate and thankful that hockey allowed me to travel to places like Calgary, Montreal, Boston and China to compete and play the sport I love! My teammates made this experience one I will never forget and I am thankful for everything they have taught me as a player and a person.”
She continues, ”The biggest underrated thank you goes to Thunder sponsors and volunteers, who commit their time, energy, and passion into this organization to give the players the professional experience we all dream of. Lastly, thank you to the fans who show their support to our team and league in any way they can! Thank you, Thunder Nation.”
Montgomery will continue to work on her thesis and defending her PhD (planning for September 2019) as she spoke about in Chasing PhDs and Clarkson Cups. “I will also be continuing to be a volunteer/coordinator for CAGIS (Canadian Association for Girls in Science) that runs volunteer events in STEM throughout the Toronto region.”
Though she will not be playing professionally, Montgomery will be the head coach of the Etobicoke Dolphins Novice A team for the upcoming season, “I am so excited to be on the other side of the bench and to watch young female athletes grow over the season. This will be my first coaching position so I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me!”
Hartwick played for two seasons (2016-2018) appearing in 48 regular season and two playoff CWHL games, all with the Thunder. “I am extremely grateful for the privilege of being apart of the Thunder organization. To play with and complete against some of the best women’s hockey players in the world for the last two years has been a dream come true,” remembers Hartwick. “It is with a heavy heart that I will be stepping away for the upcoming season.”
In 2017, Hartwick opened her own business, Hart and Stride Hockey Development Inc. and began a full-time job at her alma mater, Ryerson University. “Hart and Stride grew much faster than I was expecting with many thanks to my connections made with the Thunder and also my own personal success. Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day to work two full-time jobs and try to balance practices and games, although if I had a choice I’d make sure there was,” she explains. “With this, though, comes the extremely hard decision to step away from playing in order to focus more on training the next generation of hockey players and focus on my career at Ryerson!”
Through her business, Hartwick will stay connected to hockey and will continue to help grow the game by training players of all ages. “I will also be looking to volunteer in any programs in and around the community, whether it be through the Thunder or other hockey organizations,” Hartwick remarks, “I am a huge believer in giving back to the community that helped me become the woman that I am today. I hope to see everyone soon!”
Wronzberg played for two seasons (2016-2018) appearing in 32 regular season games and one playoff CWHL game, all with the Thunder. “I am so thankful that I have been able to represent the Thunder the last couple years. I was able to learn so much from the coaches, staff and my teammates who are new lifelong friends,” Wronzberg says. “Being able to play with and against the best players in the world while living out your dream will be something I’ll always cherish.”
She continues, “I’d also like to give a special thank you to Chelsea for all the hard work she puts in behind the scenes, and to our volunteers who are always helpful and supportive no matter what their job was or how our team was doing. Honestly, you guys are just as important to the team as everyone who suits up on the ice. I can’t wait to see the Thunder going for the repeat this season!”
Since hanging up her skates, Wronzberg has been promoted at Athletic Knit, to a position where she is able to focus on larger projects and travel to meet with clients. Not only does her career keep her in the hockey world, she will also be able to spend more time on her coaching duties with the Leaside Jr Wildcats of the PWHL.
“The demands of the CWHL meant missing a good chunk of games for the Jr team. It also meant that during the week I was at a practice every night, either coaching or as a player – it can become exhausting and tiresome both mentally and physically,” Wronzberg explains. “I am excited that this year I’ll be able to attend all the games for the Jr team, but will be able to put a lot more energy into helping the Leaside girls reach their goals of the next level, and hopefully, one day I’ll be watching them play for the Thunder.”
Urban played for a combined three seasons (2012-2014, 2017-2018) appearing in 75 regular season and eight playoff CWHL games, spending her final season with the Thunder. She announced her retirement from playing after the Clarkson Cup on Instagram.
Over the next several months, Urban will be finishing up her PhD, which she discussed in Chasing PhDs and Clarkson Cups. She will also begin working as an associate at the Blackshire Group.
Urban will still be in the hockey community as the head coach of the Toronto Leaside BAA Wildcats, “I am looking forward to focusing my extra time on helping develop the next generation of young athletes!” Urban continues, “And I will continue to be around the Thunder supporting the GM with sponsorship generation.”