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Women’s hockey league begins premiere season

Most of the teams may still be relying on their jersey colour for a name, but the Whitehorse women’s rec hockey league season — the first…

Most of the teams may still be relying on their jersey colour for a name, but the Whitehorse women’s rec hockey league season — the first season ever — is in full swing, with two weeks of play complete.

“They just gave everybody colours and now we’re just making up names as we go,” said Cindy Gasslin, a centre on the Fury, formerly known as Team Black for its black jersey adorned with flame designs.

Just a year ago, Whitehorse’s female hockey enthusiasts had only weekly shinny games and skills camps to satisfy their craving for Canada’s pastime.

Now, for the first time ever, Whitehorse has a women’s rec league consisting of four teams (white, blue, red and the Fury), made up of 64 players age 14 and up.

“The momentum for women’s hockey has been increasing and we’re getting more and more women out to play,” said Janice Millington, one of the league organizers.

“We’ve been doing scrimmages for a couple years, and learn-how-to-play camps, and we wanted a league because, obviously, having teams would be a lot more fun.”

Even with scrimmages and camps in years past, nearly half of the players in the league were not known by organizers beforehand, said Millington.

“We got a lot of people that we didn’t know we would get,” said Millington.

“We had so many people we had to turn people away,” she added, agreeing the league might see the addition of a fifth team next season.

Games take place every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. and Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Canada Games Centre and will carry on until the playoffs in March.

Monday night women’s scrimmages are still taking place while the league is in progress.

Fury remains unbeaten

in fledgling league

Trading goals, the undefeated Fury (2-0-0) scored two, allowed two, and scored two more in a 4-2 win over team Blue (0-2-0) Thursday.

“We’re just out to have fun,” said Gasslin, who scored two goals and assisted the game winner.

“For me it’s nice just to be able to play and to not have worry about having nowhere to play or having to play with boys who didn’t want the girls to play (with them).”

The third period began tied 2-2, but unlike previous periods where the Fury out-shot Blue by one, the final period was all Fury’s, which out-shot Blue 11-3.

The game winner, scored by Fury winger Catherine Bouchard, came with 10 minutes left.

Amidst a line change, Gasslin broke down the ice followed by Bouchard, who picked up Gasslin’s rebound to score.

“It was just sitting there,” said Bouchard of the puck.

Pam Morrissey opened the scoring for the Fury 7:20 into the game, lifting the puck over Blue’s goalie, Jenny Pope, after drawing her into a lying position.

“We’ve got a good group of girls, different age groups, different levels of playing, but it’s OK, we’re working together,” said Gasslin. “You have people who still don’t know what an offside is and you have people who’ve been playing for a while, and the in between — it’s good.”

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