Toronto has yet to name their team, though they still have been on a signing spree. The NWHL expansion team north of the border in The Six has signed four more players ahead of the 2020-21 season. Less than a month ago, on April 22, the team was announced. Now, as of May 18, they have nearly rounded out their offense with nine forwards, two goaltenders, and two defensemen. All four of the latest signees are Canadians coming from three different provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. Two of the four will be making their professional debuts, one is bringing her experience from Sweden, and the other is a four-year CWHL veteran.
Forward Amy Curlew, who was drafted eighth overall in the 2020 NWHL Draft and was a go-to player for Cornell University, has made it official with Toronto. Natalie Marcuzzi, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2020 NWHL after a solid four-year career at Robert Morris University, is also joining the team.
Samantha Ridgewell is returning home to Canada after being the starting goaltender for Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Women’s Hockey League (SDHL). Four-year CWHL veteran and 2018 CWHL champion Jenna McParland also will bring her experience to Toronto.
Curlew and Marcuzzi will line-up on offense with Toronto this season. Curlew rounded out her four-year Cornell career with 24 goals and 36 assists for 60 points over 121 games. She proved her dominance in her senior season, being plus-30 on the ice in 32 games. She helped lead her team to be ranked No. 1 in the NCAA for the first time in program history.
Marcuzzi was solid on the wing for Robert Morris in all four years of her college career, accumulating 20 goals and 20 assists over 139 games played. Marcuzzi helped bring her team to the College Hockey America (CHA) Championship all four years she was there, taking home gold in her freshman season in 2017. Marcuzzi was named assistant captain ahead of her senior campaign with RMU.
Ridgewell Comes Home From Sweden
Goaltender Samantha Ridgewell was a starter last season for the Djurgardens IF in the SDHL. She had a 2.03 GAA and a .920 save percentage in 22 games for the team, who lost in the semi-finals of the playoffs. She was solid for Merrimack University from 2015 to 2019, where she found herself the No. 1 goaltender her senior season, starting 32 out of 37 games. She left Merrimack with a 1.89 GAA and .936 SV%.
She stands at 5-foot-11 bringing some height to Toronto. She originally hails from Outlook, Saskatchewan, so she is coming back to her roots in Canada being only 2,897 kilometers from her hometown, rather than the 6,578 kilometers away when she was playing in Stockholm, Sweden.
CWHL Veteran and 2018 Champion Brings Her Experience
McParland, a forward who is known to contribute all over the ice, also put pen to paper. McParland played four seasons with the Markham Thunder in the CWHL and brought home the championship in 2018. She measures in at 5-foot-9, adding size to the Toronto roster. She had a notable career at Minnesota-Duluth where she tallied 50 goals and 66 assists for 116 points in 141 games. She is from Schreiber, Ontario, located on the northernmost point of Lake Superior, but played in the PWHL before attending Minnesota-Duluth. She was a member of Team Canada’s Under-18 team in 2010, where she brought home the championship.
Curlew, Marcuzzi, Ridgewell, and McParland have made it official with Toronto, bringing their roster to 13 players. The team is well on their way to completing their roster despite not even having a nickname yet. For most during this pandemic, COVID-19 has halted any future opportunities, but Toronto has provided opportunities.
Professional Women’s Hockey player. Co-host of Locked In with the ladies – sports talk show on YouTube. Former digital media content creator for Syracuse Athletics and Women’s hockey advocate.