I am now going into the second half of my second season with the Toronto Furies and from the moment I pulled on that blue jersey it has felt like a roller coaster. We have our ups and we definitely have our downs, but there is something about this team that figures out a way to pull it together.
The month of December was very exciting for the Furies. We were playing some great hockey, but at times it seemed like we were not on the same page. On our second road trip of the year we traveled to Montreal to play the Stars. This was the first time we would face Montreal since the 2014 Clarkson Cup, where the Furies stole a shootout win in the semi final game. This game brought on a little déjà vu, as we took the Stars into overtime and came out of the first game with 2 points. Unfortunately the second game didn’t go as well as we had hoped. We got on the bus with a 4-1 loss and walked away with only 2 points from the weekend. Although Montreal brings some big names to the table having Caroline Ouellette and Julie Chu on forward, and not to mention Charlene Labonte backing them up in net, the Furies know this isn’t a team that we can’t beat.
I think I speak for all the Furies when I say we didn’t bring our best hockey to our home series against the Brampton Thunder. After dropping two games to Brampton, we all felt like it was time to take a step back and reflect on our game and where we want to be in March. The Clarkson Cup is coming up fast and only four out of the five CWHL teams earn a spot to this Tournament. As the defending champions we made it clear that not only do we want to be there, we want to defend this championship and bring it home again this year.
The Furies had a few weeks off to try out some new lines in practice, work on a new D zone and come up with a plan to take on the Boston Blades on December 20th and 21st. We had an exciting time watching some of our teammates (Natalie Spooner, Jenelle Kohanchuk, Carolyn Prevost, Tessa Bonhomme, Michelle Bonello, Shannon Moulson, Christine Kessler and Sami Jo-Small) compete in the first Annual CWHL All Star Game. All the Furies gathered after the draft to celebrate with our All Stars and see some of our old teammates from University that had traveled from other CWHL teams. The game was hosted at the Air Canada Centre, Prior to the Toronto Maple Leafs game. The All Stars of the CWHL put on a show and one of our own Furies, Natalie Spooner received second star of the game with 1 goal and 1 assist.
On the weekend of December 20th the Furies decided it was time to pull it together. Or maybe we just wanted to give our coach the best Christmas present she would receive this year… I’m not sure, but whatever it was it worked. We played our best hockey that weekend and it paid off. The Furies became penalty-killing experts, killing off a lot more penalties than we would have hoped. It also doesn’t hurt that we have one of the best goalies in female hockey, Christina Kessler, backing us up when we decided to pinch on the blue line. Getting out shot by the Blades, it really was a Kessler show, stopping 36 of the 38 shots.
The Furies had a new teammate join that weekend after finishing her degree at the University of Minnesota. Kelly Terry needed no time to settle in, scoring the winning goal with only minutes left in the third period.
Apparently winning is a lot more fun than losing, so we decided to try it again the next night. December 21st brought a little more stress than expected as the Furies were missing some names from the line up due to work and injury. Tessa Bonhomme, Megan Bozek, and Katie Wilson would not dress for the second game. Missing two of our top defensemen was an adjustment, but nothing the Furies couldn’t handle! (We face adversity quite well) Rookie, Tanis Lameroux really stepped it up that weekend scoring her first goal as a Toronto Furie and adding an assist to the game-winning goal. Terry notched her second goal of the season, in only her second game… we decided to keep her around.
The furies headed home for Christmas with a lot of smiles and excited to spend the holidays with family.
Toronto’s next home series is scheduled for January 10th at the Master Card Center against the Montréal Stars.
Toronto Furies, CWHL