The following article appeared on www.womenshockeylife.com on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 featuring former St. Lawrence standout Brooke Webster.
By Mark Staffieri
Having attained All-America status while skating for St. Lawrence University, Brooke Webster followed up such a prestigious achievement by contributing towards a compelling chapter in hockey history. With the CWHL adding a pair of internationally-based expansion teams, the Kunlun Red Star and the Vanke Rays (the first professional women’s’ teams to hail from China), Webster was among the distinguished talent from North America taking on double duty as franchise players and ambassadors for the game’s growth.
Selected by the Rays 21st overall in the 2017 CWHL Draft, Webster was part of a highly talented draft class which included numerous Canadians. Among them included Cayley Mercer, the club’s first-ever draft pick, Hanna Bunton, Ashleigh Brykaliuk, goaltender Elaine Chuli, plus Emma Woods. As a side note, the only American-born player in the Rays draft class was Emily Janiga, who captured an American hockey championship in 2017 with a team based in Buffalo.
Wearing the same #26 that she made so iconic at St Lawrence, Webster and her fellow draft picks were part of a crucial time for the game’s growth in China. As Beijing serves as host city for the 2022 Winter Games, the aspiration is to bring about an on-ice renaissance, complemented by the dream of a podium finish. Worth noting, China played in the bronze medal game at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, which featured the first-ever women’s ice hockey tournament.
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