After a much anticipated official announcement, it is finally time for the CWHL and NWHL to come together at the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
Both teams will bring 16 skaters and 2 goaltenders to the game which will not be a full 60 minutes.
Les Canadiennes will bring all of their biggest names. The only players missing are rookies who play on the fourth line. Charline Labonté is a welcome sight on the roster as she missed Les Canadiennes last two games of the regular season in Brampton with a lower body injury.
For Boston, the big news is that they are missing some of their biggest names, and the biggest names in the sport who are at a Team USA camp. However, they have the rest of their roster plus five players from other NWHL teams. Ten players (in italics) on the Pride's Winter Classic roster played for the CWHL's Boston Blades last year.
The Blades beat Les Canadiennes (then Stars) in last season's Clarkson Cup final.
The starting goaltenders should be Labonté and Brittany Ott. Labonté is an Olympic Gold Medalist and is one of the best goaltenders in the world. She won the 2014 Goaltender of the Year Award in the CWHL. Ott split time in goal last year with the Blades. Her and Genevieve Lacasse led the Blades in goal and Ott has cemented herself as the Pride's top goaltender.
Players to Watch
For Montreal, it comes down to Julie Chu, Marie-Philip Poulin and Caroline Ouellette. The three are all legends in women's hockey and for them to have this experience is very special to them. Chu and Poulin both played their university hockey in Boston (Chu at Harvard and Poulin at Boston University) so this is a bit of a homecoming for them. Chu was born in Bridgeport, CT which is about two and a half hours from Gillette Stadium.
For Boston, Blake Bolden is one of the top defenders in women's hockey who is out of the National team spotlight. Bolden has a hard shot and can be seen as an offensive defender. She was a 2014 CWHL All-Star and will be an NWHL All-Star this year.
Other NWHL all-stars for the Pride in the women's Winter Classic are Ott, Emily Field, and Kaleigh Fratkin (who plays for the Connecticut Whale).
Puck drop is at 2:00 PM EST
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Ann-Sophie Bettez||Marie-Philip Poulin||Caroline Ouellette|
|Noémie Marin||Katia Clement-Heydra||Kim Deschênes|
|Emmanuelle Blais||Emilie Bocchia||Leslie Oles|
|Lauriane Rougeau||Julie Chu|
|Cathy Chartrand (C)||Carly Hill|
|Chelsey Saunders||Karell Emard|
|Jillian Dempsey||Corinne Buie||Rachel Llanes|
|Emily Field||Kelly Cooke||Denna Laing|
|Bray Ketchum||Meghan Fardelmann||Kate Buesser|
|Blake Bolden||Marissa Gedman|
|Kaleigh Fratkin||Shannon Doyle|
|Cherie Hendrickson||Meaghan Mangene|
Italics denotes player played for CWHL's Boston Blades last season.