Carolyne Prevost is hoping the Toronto Furies can catch lightning in a bottle again.
Last season, the Sarnia native and her teammates went into the Canadian Women’s Hockey League playoffs the lowest seed of the four contenders, but the chips fell perfectly, resulting in them winning the Clarkson Cup, emblematic of women’s professional hockey supremacy in Canada.
The St. Francois Xavier graduate said every team in the five-team league has the talent to win it all when the title in contested early next month at the Centennial Centre in Markham. Measuring this season against last is like comparing apples to oranges, she said.
“The league as a whole has gotten so much stronger with all the Olympians back this year,” she said.
Three of the top scorers in the CWHL this season, Rebecca Johnston, Carolyn Ouellette and Hilary Knight, played little in the league last season due to commitments to their Olympic squads in Canada or the United States.
“I think that every team in the league can win the Clarkson Cup,” said Prevost. “Every game (this season) is very competitive”
As of press time, the Furies and Brampton were battling it out for the final playoff spot.
The league includes franchises in Montreal, Calgary and Boston.
Prevost played four seasons and won two national championships at the University of Wisconsin on a hockey scholarship, and has competed for Canada in several international tournaments. She currently sits 10th in league scoring with eight goals and seven assists in 20 games.
And she was chosen to compete in this season’s league All-Star game at the Air Canada Centre.
“It was a fun day and a great experience,” said Prevost. “It was kind of nice to get a mixture of Canadian and American players playing with each other. This was really the first time that we got to see line combinations that were pretty unique,” she added.
Prevost said several ex-national team players from Canada are now coaching in Europe and Asia in an effort to grow the game on more of a global scale, but she admits that Canada and the United States are still by far the top women’s hockey nations in the world.
“But the overall quality of the game is growing all the time,” said Prevost.
The 25-year old, who teaches math, science and physical education at a French-language school in Oakville, is also a competitive soccer player and an elite CrossFit athlete.