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CWHL All-Star Game: Preview, Game thread, rosters, and how to watch

The best players in the CWHL come together at the Air Canada Centre

CWHL / Chris Tanouye

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s All-Star weekend kicked off Friday night at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Toronto with a draft of the 34 players taking part in the third All-Star Game at the Air Canada Centre this afternoon.

The game starts at 1:30 p.m. at the ACC, and will be shown on Sportsnet in its entirety starting at 3:30 p.m.

Toronto Furies defender Carlee Campbell will captain Team White while Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson will be co-captains of Team Blue. The two captains picked their starting lineup.

For the second consecutive year, Les Canadiennes forward Marie-Philip Poulin was the first overall pick, by Campbell’s Team White. Team Blue tried to orchestrate a trade for the superstar, but could not come up with the necessary pieces.

Poulin was the Most Valuable Player of last year’s game.

CWHL / Chris Tanouye

Montreal also had the second player picked as Team Blue’s first selection was forward Ann-Sophie Bettez.

The remainder of the starting lineups were, for Team White: Laura Fortino on defence with Campbell, and Caroline Ouellette and Rebecca Johnston with Poulin up front. Christina Kessler, who Campbell has been friends with since high school, was picked to get the start in goal.

On Team Blue, Mikkelson will partner on defence with Courtney Birchard. Brianne Jenner will start up front with Spooner and Bettez. They picked Calgary netminder Emerance Maschmeyer to get the start in goal.

The rest of the teams were picked by a random stick pull.

Michela Cava of Toronto and Rebecca Vint of the Brampton Thunder were the last two players to be selected, and they received a spa day of their choice as a prize for their patience.

The other Canadiennes at the All-Star game were split almost evenly, with five on Team White and three on Team Blue. Poulin, Ouellette were joined by Sarah Lefort, Julie Chu, and Charline Labonté.

Bettez will be joined by Cathy Chartrand and Cassandra Poudrier on Team Blue.

For the first time, both teams will have CWHL alumni as coaches to coincide with the league’s 10th anniversary. The two duos were Tessa Bonhomme, the first draft pick in CWHL history, and Becky Kellar and Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux and Cheryl Pounder.

Breton-Lebreux was a player-GM for Les Canadiennes/Montreal Stars upon the creation of the league 10 years ago before current GM Meg Hewings took over. Breton-Lebreux is in her second year as an assistant coach with the team.

Team White won the coin flip to see who could choose their coaches, and Campbell selected Bonhomme and Kellar.

How to watch:

Live at the Air Canada Centre: 1:30 p.m.

TV/Online (3:30 p.m.)
Canada: Sportsnet
Canada (stream): Sportsnet Now
Outside of Canada (stream):

Team White Projected Lineup

Coaches: Becky Kellar, Tessa Bonhomme

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
13- Caroline Ouellette MTL 29- Marie-Philip Poulin MTL 6- Rebecca Johnston CGY
11- Jill Saulnier CGY 7- Laura Stacey BRA 22- Jess Jones BRA
17- Meghan Grieves BOS 28- Rebecca Vint BRA 16- Sarah Lefort MTL

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
12 - Meaghan Mikkelson 24 - Hayleigh Cudmore
4 - Brigette Lacquette 5 - Katelyn Gosling
11 - Jacquie Pierri 16 - Erica Kromm
18 - Aina Takeuchi

35 - Christina Kessler TOR
32 - Charline Labonté MTL

Team Blue Projected Lineup

Coaches: Cheryl Pounder, Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
9- Ann-Sophie Bettez MTL 19- Brianne Jenner CGY 24- Natalie Spooner (C) TOR
26- Jamie Lee Rattray BRA 18- Haley Irwin CGY 91- Jenelle Kohanchuk TOR
88- Kayla Tutino BOS 94- Michela Cava TOR 10- Kelly Terry TOR

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
5 - Lauriane Rougeau 51 - Cassandra Poudrier
8 - Cathy Chartrand 21 - Julie Chu
6 - Carly Hill 14 - Brittney Fouracres
23 - Sophie Brault

38- Emerance Maschmeyer CGY
27- Erica Howe BRA