Two local women hoisted the Clarkson Cup after the Toronto Furies claimed the championship of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
Sarnia’s Carolyne Prevost and Watford’s Meagan Aarts are still excited about their team’s dramatic 1-0 overtime victory against the defending champion Boston Blades in the title game televised nationally on TSN.
Prevost, 24, tied for the scoring lead on the Furies with 23 points this season and added a pair of assists in the playoffs.
She is also an NCAA women’s hockey champion with the University of Wisconsin and winner of major awards in hockey, soccer and tae kwon do.
Aarts was standing at the bench waiting to jump on the ice for a line change when Britni Smith banged in a rebound 33 seconds into the extra frame to give the Furies the crown.
“I really didn’t know what to do,” admitted the 31-year-old league veteran, who grew up on Confederation Line.
“There were just a whirlwind of emotions,” she said. “It was pretty incredible.”
Aarts had a goal and an assist in four Clarkson Cup games after six goals and four helpers in 21 regular season games. The fourth-seeded Furies came together at the perfect time, she said.
“Everyone played their role and it worked out well for us.”
Prevost said her fellow Sarnia-Lambton teammate played a large role in the success of the Furies in the postseason.
“She stepped up her game,” she said of Aarts. “She was really clutch for us.”
Now, both women hope the CWHL can capitalize on the attention paid to the women’s game at the recent Winter Olympics in Russia.
They say North American hockey fans were captivated by the intensity of the rivalry between Canada and the United States.
On the health front, Aarts remains cancer-free after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2007. After several surgeries and painful radiation treatments, the cancer was declared gone and “everything remains clear today,” she said.
Aarts says since the cancer scare she is more aware of what she eats, getting rest and her overall physical condition. During the offseason, she stays in shape by playing ball hockey, inline hockey and soccer.
The Furies were honoured by the Maple Leafs when Toronto hosted the Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Centre on April 3.
– Barry Wright