Worcester Blades

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Worcester Blades
Worcester Blades.png
CityWorcester, Massachusetts
LeagueCanadian Women's Hockey League
Founded2010 (2010)
Home arenaFidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center
ColorsBlack, gold, white
              
General managerDerek Alfama
Head coachPaul Kennedy
WebsiteWorcester Blades Official website
Franchise history
2010–2018Boston Blades
2018–presentWorcester Blades

The Worcester Blades are a professional women's ice hockey team in the Canadian Women's Hockey League and are based in Worcester, Massachusetts, and play their home games at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. The team began play in the 2010–11 CWHL season as the Boston Blades[1] and have won the Clarkson Cup twice, in 2013 and 2015.

After playing in several Boston-area arenas throughout its first eight seasons, the Blades moved to Worcester in 2018 and rebranded.

History[edit]

Boston Blades players: #8 Caitlin Cahow, #4 Angela Ruggiero and #22 Kacey Bellamy.

On August 12, 2010, the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) announced that Boston would be granted an expansion team for the 2010–11 CWHL season, making the Boston franchise the first CWHL team in the United States.[1]

On September 14, 2010, retired goalkeeper Erin Whitten was named Boston's first head coach.[1] An expansion draft was held to stock the team in August.[2] Their most significant player was free agent signing Angela Ruggiero, a four-time Olympian.

The Boston Blades' inaugural season included 16 home games. Their first match, on October 30, 2010, ended with a 3–0 shutout victory over the Burlington Barracudas, with the team beginning the season with seven victories in their first twelve games. A seven-game losing streak ensued, and the Blades finished with a 10–16 record, still good enough for third place in the five team league. In the playoffs against the Toronto Aeros, the Blades lost 4–2 and 3–1, swept in the best-of-three series.

In the 2012–13 season, the Boston Blades were regular season champions and then became the second American-based team to capture the Clarkson Cup, which was the women's equivalent of the men's Stanley Cup, after the Minnesota Whitecaps. The Clarkson Cup is named after Canada's former Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, and used to be played for between all Canadian women's leagues. The Blades beat the rival Montreal Stars for the clinching victory. Hilary Knight was named CWHL MVP, Geneviève Lacasse Best Goalie, and Digit Murphy Coach of the Year.

In the penultimate game of the regular season in 2013–14, Jessica Koizumi became the first player to register 50 career points with the Blades franchise.

In the 2014–15 season, the Blades finished the regular season with the best record in the CWHL at 15–2–1–6. During the season, the league held its 1st Canadian Women's Hockey League All-Star Game, with Digit Murphy serving as the winning coach for Team Red. In the first round of the Clarkson Cup playoffs, the Blades were matched against the fourth seeded Toronto Furies. The best-of-three series ended in a sweep for the Blades with 3–0 and 7–3 victories.

On March 7, 2015, the Boston Blades faced the Montreal Stars for the Clarkson Cup, their second appearance in the Clarkson Cup finals in three years. Both the Blades and Stars tallied goals in the first and third periods. Hillary Knight and Brianna Decker were the lone goal scorers in regulation for the Blades. Regulation ended with the score tied at 2–2, requiring an overtime period to decide a winner. Janine Weber scored the series-clinching goal on a pass from her former college roommate Corinne Buie, 2:12 in the overtime period earning the Blades their second Clarkson Cup.

Nine players of United States women's national ice hockey team were rostered on the Boston Blades for 2011–12 CWHL season.

Following the 2015 season, the National Women's Hockey League was established and with the new league came a new team in Boston with the Boston Pride. Soon after, the national team players on the Blades moved to the Pride and the new league leaving the Blades to have to rebuild from the ground up. The Pride from that point had more national exposure, better facilities and more support then the Blades in Boston.[citation needed]

The Blades competed with the Pride for Boston fans until 2018 when the team relocated an hour away to Worcester and were rebranded as the Worcester Blades on August 20, 2018, playing out of the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center for the 2018–19 season.[3]

Seasons[edit]

Season Finish Clarkson Cup playoffs
2010–11 3rd Lost first round of 2011 Clarkson Cup playoffs, 0–2 vs. Toronto Furies
2011–12 2nd Did not qualify
2012–13 1st Won 2013 Clarkson Cup championship game, 5–2 vs. Montreal Stars[4]
2013–14 2nd Lost 2014 Clarkson Cup championship game, 0–1 (OT) vs. Toronto Furies[4]
2014–15 1st Won 2015 Clarkson Cup championship game, 3–2 (OT) vs. Montreal Stars[4]
2015–16 5th Did not qualify
2016–17 5th Did not qualify
2017–18 7th Did not qualify

Notable former players[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

Season-by-season[edit]

Season Leader (F) GP G A Pts Leader (D) GP G A Pts PPG SHG GWG
2010–11[5] Sam Faber 23 15 15 30 Angela Ruggiero 22 11 15 26 Ruggiero (6) Faber (2) Jessica Koizumi (3)
2011–12[6] Kelli Stack 27 25 17 42 Kacey Bellamy 22 5 7 12 Stack (4) Erika Lawler and Kacey Bellamy (1) Gigi Marvin (4)
2012–13[7] Hilary Knight 24 17 15 32 Anne Schleper 24 2 13 15 Knight (3) Karen Thatcher (1) Knight (5)
2013–14[8] Jillian Dempsey 24 14 14 28 Blake Bolden 23 5 14 19 Dempsey (5) Casey Pickett (2) Four tied with 2
2014–15 Brianna Decker 12 16 16 32 Tara Watchorn 21 6 14 20 Decker (6) Decker and Watchorn (2)
2015–16 Megan Myers 17 4 3 7 Tara Watchorn 23 2 4 6 Seven tied with 1* None Kristina Brown (1)
scored in shootout
2016–17 Kate Leary 24 10 6 16

All-time scoring leaders[edit]

Player GP G A Pts Seasons
Jessica Koizumi 66 27 28 55 2010–15
Hilary Knight 38 25 28 53 2012–15
Kelli Stack 39 31 22 53 2011–13

Awards & honors[edit]

Team honors[edit]

  • First overall, CWHL standings (2012–13)
  • First overall, CWHL standings (2014–15)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Zhe, Mike (21 November 2010). "Blades have high aims in inaugural CWHL season". New England Hockey Journal. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010.
  2. ^ "Boston lands CWHL expansion team; roster announced". New England Hockey Journal. 12 August 2010. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Boston Blades Relocate to Worcester for the 2018-19 Season – Woo Hockey". woohockey.com. August 20, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Clarkson Cup History". CWHL. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Boston Blades: CWHL 2010/2011". pointstreak.com.
  6. ^ "Boston Blades: CWHL 2011/2012". pointstreak.com.
  7. ^ "Boston Blades: CWHL 2012/2013". pointstreak.com.
  8. ^ "Boston Blades: CWHL 2013/2014". pointstreak.com.

External links[edit]