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Six Degrees of Thunder First-Round Pick Laura Stacey

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With the third pick overall in the 2016 CWHL Draft, the Brampton Thunder contributed to another chapter in the growing hockey legacy of Laura Stacey by making her the newest member of their club. Having spent the last four seasons with the Dartmouth Big Green, Stacey instantly brings back memories of another exciting Brampton player with ties to Dartmouth women’s hockey; Gillian Apps.

Akin to Apps, Stacey also has a proud lineage to hockey royalty. In addition to being the great granddaughter of Hockey Hall of Former King Clancy, who holds the rare feat of having played, coached, managed and officiated in the NHL, her great uncle Terry Clancy played in the Winter Games (where Stacey aspires to play next) and in the first wave of NHL Expansion, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in the 2016-17 season. Coincidentally, the 2016-17 season shall also signify the 10th anniversary of the CWHL.

Considering that the Toronto Furies held the second pick overall in the CWHL Draft, and have an informal association with the Toronto Maple Leafs, a possible selection of Stacey would have represented history. Considering that more second and third generation women’s hockey players hold family ties to the Maple Leafs than any other team in the NHL (which features players such as Apps, Hannah Armstrong, Kalley Armstrong (no relation), Katie Fergus, Morgan Richardson, Stacey), none have donned the Furies colors.

Instead, the Furies opted for Clarkson Golden Knights blueliner (and multiple All-Academic selection) Renata Fast, who made history by scoring the quickest overtime goal in NCAA tournament history. Also opting for another Clarkson blueliner in the second round by making Erin Ambrose a member of the blue and white, it resulted in another unique coincidence.

Among Stacey’s achievements, she was a member of the Canadian national team that won a gold medal at the 2012 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds. The road towards the gold in 2012 began with an emotional three-game exhibition series against the United States in the Ottawa area. Coincidentally, King Clancy began his distinguished career with the Ottawa Senators, adding another fascinating parallel to Stacey’s career.

Of note, five members of that 2012 team (including Ambrose) were among the top eight players selected in the 2016 CWHL Draft. Stacey was part of a CWHL first-round draft class that featured two other members from that gold medal team including Sarah Lefort, who was selected by Les Canadiennes de Montreal while Emerance Maschmeyer was the first round pick of the Calgary Inferno.

Shannon MacAulay, who scored the 2014 Frozen Four-clinching goal for Clarkson, was taken eighth overall (with Ambrose taken seventh), while fellow 2012 alum Taylor Woods became Brampton’s 23rd overall selection. Considering that MacAulay was the captain for Clarkson, and Woods played for Cornell (like Dartmouth, they were also an Ivy League team), it provides Stacey with the chance to call former collegiate rivals her teammates at the CWHL level. Should the Thunder capture the elusive Clarkson Cup title in 2017, it would only make Ottawa that much more special to Stacey’s career as the Cup shall be contested at Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre, the current home of the Senators.

Image obtained from: https://twitter.com/thecwhl?lang=en

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