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Article from the Ottawa Citizen: Inferno engulfs Canadiennes to win Clarkson Cup

Calgary Inferno 8, Montreal Canadiennes 3

Leave it to Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medallist and a mother of a 16-year-old son, to sum up what it means to win the Clarkson Cup as Canadian Women’s Hockey League champions.

“I’ve pretty much won every championship except this one and just to do it with this group of players is special,” said Wickenheiser, 37, who picked up a pair of assists as her Calgary Inferno romped past the Montreal Canadiennes 8-3 at the Canadian Tire Centre Sunday to capture their first CWHL title.

“This group is interesting in the sense that we’ve got some players who are sort of pro players like myself, and other national team players, and then you’ve got other women who are working 9-to-5 jobs. They come to the rink at night for practice and they don’t get a chance to train. I was thinking about those players. We’ve got a police officer, a teacher, a lawyer and for those girls to win a championship like this, and all the tears, it means a lot to them. That’s why this league matters.”

The Inferno jumped on the Canadiennes early, making it a long and rough afternoon for Canadiennes goaltender Charline Labonte, also a four-time Olympian. Calgary led 2-1 after the first period, 5-2 after the second and was up 7-2 early in the third period.

Blayre Turnbull, Jessica Campbell, Rebecca Johnston and Brianne Jenner all scored twice for the Inferno.

The Canadiennes received goals from Olympic star Marie-Philip Poulin, Noemie Marin and Kim Deschenes, but on the occasions where they pushed to get back into the game, Inferno goaltender Delayne Brian was sharp. Brian stopped 38 of 41 shots.

“We won as a team, it wasn’t an individual effort by any means,” said Turnbull. “It feels great, something we’ve been working towards all year. Our team has been through a lot as a group. We’ve had some really high highs and some really low lows, so I think to come out here and win in front of such a good crowd was really special for us.”

The announced crowd of 4,082 (it appeared more like 3,000 were in the building) is small by NHL standards, but it is huge compared to the 300-500 who regularly show up for CWHL regular season games in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Brampton. The Inferno players said the atmosphere added to the championship game. Wickenheiser is hoping that with a little more promotion, a bit more media coverage and more general awareness of the game, attendance could double when the CWHL championship returns to Canadian Tire Centre next year.

“It’s always good to come to Ottawa,” she said. “We always know we’re going to get a good reception here. Just to see the turnout today, I thought it was pretty decent for relatively short notice, and we know this is a girls hockey hotbed here and in the surrounding community. This is hopefully a future place for a team.”

As for Sunday’s game, the Inferno was on fire early. Johnston opened the scoring at the 2:26 mark against Labonte, who on Friday was named CWHL goaltender of the year.

The Canadiennes tied the game on a power play, when Poulin found a loose puck at the side of the net and beat Brian with a backhand. Poulin, who scored 23 goals and 23 assists in 22 games during the regular season and scored the gold-medal winning goals for Canada at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, was named the league’s most valuable player on Friday.

From there, though, the Inferno took over the game.

Brianne Jenner restored the Inferno’s lead before the period was out and Calgary padded the lead to 4-1 on goals from Campbell and Turnbull early in the second period.

The Canadiennes’ Marin made it 4-2, but Turnbull replied quickly to give the Inferno its commanding three-goal lead heading into the final period.

Goals from Campbell and Johnston early in the third made it 7-2. The Canadiennes attempted a late rally, receiving a goal from Deschenes. But the Canadiennes were in desperate straits, pulling Labonte for an extra skater with 5:30 remaining. Brian made a couple of big saves and Jenner capped the scoring into an empty net.

The Free Press Article: Ex-local rugby coach inducted into sports hall of fame

Neil Langevin spent his childhood in Sparwood and attended Sparwood Secondary School. There, with the help of his English teacher, Jim Vallance, he found the sport of rugby. Little did he know at the time he was finding more than just a sport – he was finding a coaching career.

“He actually saw me play basketball in Grade 10 and he told me I wasn’t so good at basketball but he had a sport he thought I would like. He was right on both counts,” Langevin said of Vallance.

After high school, Langevin went to Lethbridge for university. There he started the women’s university team and started competing against the larger universities in the area.

“We kind of started that group up and coached it for 11 years, culminating in – we had three years in a row that we won a national title and six years in a row that we won the Canada West.”

Recently, Langevin was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his coaching career.

“It’s recognition of not just my efforts but the efforts of a large group. The team, we have been lucky enough to be inducted into the Hall of Fame already as a team, and as well as the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame last year.”

Langevin was with the University of Lethbridge Horns women’s rugby program since its inception in 2000. Throughout his time with the Horns, the team garnered a reputation as the country’s premier rugby program. His longest winning streak was 22 games in a row. He also took Canada’s National Women’s team to a fourth place finish at the 2006 World Cup.

Langevin says some of Vallance’s philosophies and mottos have stayed with him throughout his career.

“When I started in Grade 10, it was interesting to see Jim Vallance’s sayings used and his philosophy,” he said. “His style of play, that stayed with me forever. Lots about defence and about pressure all of the time. There is a phrase he use to say – ‘you need to turn pressure into points’.”

It seems that’s exactly what Langevin did – pressure into points, and ultimately into the Hall of Fame.


March 8, 2016

International Women's Day (IWD) is a day to Celebrate Women's Achievements socially, culturally, politically, and economically through History and across Nations. IWD dates back to March 19, 1911, and is celebrated in many countries for many different reasons. Since its inception in 1957, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum has inducted numerous women for their achievements in sports. The percentage per category looks like this: 23% Athletes, 15% Builders, 9% Achievement Award, 3% Bell Memorial Award, and 7% Pioneer Award. While the numbers aren't a demonstration of equality, more and more women are being recognized for their achievements in sport. Four of the 2016 Inductees are in fact women who are being celebrated for their contributions to Alberta sport history.

If you would like to learn more about how to Nominate someone to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, click here.

This year, for International Women's Day, we have decided to put the spotlight on a few of our female builders. These incredible women have helped grow and shape sports in Alberta and have been an inspiration to young female athletes and other potential builders.

Melody Davidson

Melody Davidson was inducted in 2008 as a hockey builder. She began her hockey career in 1978 by coaching for her brother's Hockey team and in 1989 she made the move into coaching women's hockey. After coaching Team Alberta for three consecutive Canada Winter Games from 1991 to 1999 Melody made the move onto the National stage by becoming the assistant coach to the Canada Women's team in the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics. By the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, Melody found herself Head Coach of yet another Olympic gold medal team, a position she held for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. This three-time Olympic gold medal coach has been pivotal in developing many grassroots programs in Alberta as well as an amazing role model for girls in hockey across the province.

Gwen Davies

Gwen Davies was inducted in 2010 as both a golf athlete and a golf builder. Gwen won the title of Canadian Ladies Amputee Golf Champion 12 times in 17 years: 1992 to 1994, 1996 to 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, and from 2006 to 2009 as an athlete. Gwen is currently the President and Founding Member of the Canadian Amputee Golf Association and has been instrumental in creating guideline for the Canadian Amputee National Golf Tournament. Gwen has also been an instrumental role model for those facing amputation as well as being an advocate and ambassador for persons with disabilities in sports. On top of her volunteering for Amputee Golf, Gwen was also involved in the World Advisory Committee in the bid for Disabled Gold as a Paralympic Sport in 2016 Summer Game. Gwen was also been heavily involved in Skate Canada from 1979 to 2006, volunteering at the local, provincial and national level.

Debbie Muir

Debbie Muir was inducted in 1994 as a synchronized swimming builder. She became the Assistant coach of the Calgary Aquabelles in 1973. After being appointed as the head coach two years later, Debbie became the National Team Coach in 1976, a position she maintained until 1991. During her first year as National Team coach, her team won a gold medal at the 1976 Canadian Synchronized Swimming Championships. At the 1978 World Aquatic Championships two of her athletes claimed Canada's first gold medals in the Solo and Duet categories. Her athletes repeated World Championship placements in 1982, 1986 and 1991. Debbie, who was the Olympic coach in 1984, 1988 and 2000, coached four Olympians to two gold and two silver medals.


Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum's Female Builders

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum has many amazing volunteers who help out during events, around the museum, and with special projects and committees.

Today, we recognize one of our Honoured Members and Selection Committee Volunteers; Mr Ken Newans.

Ken was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2011 as a Multisport Builder. His contributions to sport in Alberta is diverse and long reaching. Ken has also been on the Selection Committee for 30 years, helping fill the walls of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Ken has retired from the Selection Committee this February and they will miss his knowledge and passion for sport in Alberta.

Ken Newans: Hall of Fame Bio:


Big 105.5 The Drive News: Kings Volleyball Dynasty Gets Hall of Fame Call

One of Red Deer's all-time greatest sports dynasties is being enshrined in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.  The Red Deer College Kings Volleyball teams from 1999-2007, which won a record eight consecutive national titles, are among the Hall of Fame's 2016 inductees in the Team category.

Also among this year's inductees are curling great Cheryl Bernard, the Forzani brothers, Ponoka figure skating builder Marilyn Chidlow, and legendary rodeo pioneers from Ponoka Tom, Vernon, and Brian Butterfield.

The full list of 2016 Inductees, announced Monday morning, will be honoured at this year's Induction Banquet in Red Deer on June 3.

Medicine Hat News: Graham Kelly to be inducted into Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Graham Kelly, the Medicine Hat News’ long-serving Canadian Football League columnist, will be inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, it was announced Monday.  The Bell Memorial Award is used to honour media members who have made a significant contribution to athletics in the Alberta.  In a release from the Red Deer-based hall on Monday announce Kelly as this year’s recipient.  The retired high school principal and former city alderman has penned his “Inside the CFL” column in the News sports pages since 1972.  Former winners include Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers

Former winners include Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers broadcasters Peter Maher and Rod Phillips.  Bob Ridley, the ironman broadcaster of Medicine Hat Tigers games and sports director at CHAT-TV, won the Bell Memorial award in 2000.  

The induction ceremony will take place on June 3 in Red Deer and will include 14 other honourees, including the one-time Calgary Stampeders ownership group, including Joe, Tom and John Forzani.  Rodeo family Tom, Vernon and Brian Butterfield will be honoured with the Pioneer Award.  Among the individual athlete inductees is Olympic-class fencer Sherraine Schalm, of Brooks, curler Cheryl Bernard and Shirley Cameron, female hockey, in the builder category.  

The full list of 2016 inductees.