The Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) ice hockey league was founded in 2007. The league currently has five ice hockey teams in Ontario, Québec and Boston. The CWHL was an initiative spearheaded by players such as Allyson Fox, Kathleen Kauth, Kim McCullough, along with national team members Sami Jo Small and Jennifer Botterill. The players worked with a group of volunteer business people to form the CWHL by following the example of the National Lacrosse League. The league would be responsible for all travel, ice rental and uniform costs, plus some equipment.
The Brampton Canadettes Thunder won the first CWHL championship on 22 March 2008, winning 4-3 over the Mississauga Chiefs in the final. Molly Engstrom scored the overtime-winning goal while Lori Dupuis won the Championship Game MVP honours. At season's end, Jayna Hefford was voted the league's regular-season Most Valuable Player. Jennifer Botterill won the Angela James Bowl as the league's top scorer (she led the league with 61 points).) and was voted the CWHL Top Forward. Becky Kellar was voted the CWHL Top Defender, Kim St-Pierre was voted the CWHL Top Goaltender, and Marie-Philip Poulin was voted the CWHL Outstanding Rookie.
In 2008-09, the Stars de Montréal repeated as regular season champions, winning a league record 25 wins. At season's end, Caroline Ouellette was voted the league's regular-season Most Valuable Player. Jayna Hefford won the Angela James Bowl with a new record of 69 points and was also voted the CWHL Top Forward. Becky Kellar was voted the CWHL Top Defender, Kim St-Pierre was voted the CWHL Top Goaltender, and Laura Hosier was voted the CWHL Outstanding Rookie.
In 2009-10, Sabrina Harbec won the Angela James Bowl as the top scorer as the Stars repeated as regular-season champions. She was also voted the league's most valuable player, the CWHL Top Forward and a CWHL First Team All-Star. Teammate Annie Guay was voted CWHL Top Defender while Laura Hosier was voted CWHL Top Goaltender. Danielle Blanchard was voted CWHL Outstanding Rookie.
Failed WWHL mergerEdit
The league announced on April 19 2011, that it would merge with the Western Women's Hockey League for the 2011-12 CWHL season. The merger will feature one team based in Edmonton and Calgary and is a combination of the former WWHL franchises the Edmonton Chimos and Strathmore Rockies. The team will play their games in various locations around Alberta. The WWHL announced that there was in fact no merger and that the WWHL would continue for the 2011-12 season with two new teams joining the league. Strathmore and Edmonton were welcome to depart the WWHL but the league would not disband as initially reported by the CWHL through various media outlets.
|Current Teams||City||Primary Arena||ESSO National Championships/Clarkson Cups||Notes||Heritage (2006-07 NWHL Team)|
|Boston Blades||Boston||Ristuccia Arena||0||None|
|Brampton Canadettes-Thunder||Brampton, ON||Century Gardens||1||NWHL Brampton Thunder|
|Burlington Barracudas||Burlington, ON||Wave Twin Rinks||0||NWHL Oakville Ice|
|Mississauga Chiefs||Mississauga, ON||Iceland Mississauga||0||NWHL Mississauga Aeros|
|Stars de Montréal||Montréal, QC||Etienne Desmarteau Arena||1||NWHL Axion de Montréal|
|Former Team||City||Primary Arena||ESSO National Championships/Clarkson Cups||Notes||Heritage (2006-07 NWHL Team)|
|Ottawa Senators||Ottawa, ON||Bell Sensplex||0||Previously CWHL Capital Canucks||NWHL Ottawa Raiders|
|Phénix de Québec (defunct)||defunct||defunct||0|
|NWHL Avalanche du Québec||Vaughan Flames||Vaughan, ON||Vaughan Sports Village||0||NWHL Etobicoke Dolphins|
CWHL All-Time Leading ScorersEdit
Most points, regular season (2007-08 through 2009-10)
|1||Jayna Hefford||Brampton Canadettes-Thunder||56||70||57||127||2.27|
|2||Sommer West||Mississauga Chiefs||86||50||71||121||1.41|
|3||Jennifer Botterill||Mississauga Chiefs||54||49||67||116||2.15|
|4||Jana Harrigan||Burlington Barracudas||77||52||57||109||1.42|
|5||Lori Dupuis||Brampton Canadettes-Thunder||80||44||60||104||1.30|
|6||Sabrina Harbec||Stars de Montréal||56||35||66||101||1.80|
|7||Noémie Marin||Stars de Montréal||54||48||44||92||1.70|
|8||Lindsay Vine||Burlington Barracudas||88||39||53||92||1.05|
|9||Lisa-Marie Breton||Stars de Montréal||81||33||45||78||0.96|
|10||Kelly Hart||Burlington Barracudas||90||29||48||77||0.86|