Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the CHWL champion Markham Thunder to Parliament Hill on Monday.
“Not only was today an honour for us to be the first Clarkson Cup champions invited to meet with the Prime Minister, but it was another huge step in growing the game of women’s hockey,” said Markham Thunder general manager Chelsea Purcell in a press release.
“Our players do so much within our communities to work with youth and grow the game, but today provides another level of reach. Young girls from across the country have an opportunity to see professional women’s hockey players being recognized for their incredible achievements beyond the national program and it is an amazing thing to see.”
We upgraded the selfie a bit #FollowTheCup pic.twitter.com/rQUO97zlWa
— Markham Thunder HC (@ThunderCWHL) June 4, 2018
The visit marked the first time a CWHL champion had visited the Prime Minister. The team posed for photos with Trudeau, Markham-Thornhill MP Mary Ng and the Clarkson Cup.
“Prime Minister Trudeau has made professional equality a priority and it’s great to know that mission extends to women’s professional sports,” said Clarkson Cup MVP Erica Howe in a press release. “We have come so far over the past few seasons with the addition of full-time general managers, player compensation, and having our All-Star Games and Clarkson Cup Finals broadcasted across Canada. This trip today is another important milestone for our league.”
The Thunder won the title in their inaugural season after relocating from Brampton, Ont. in 2017. They qualified for the Clarkson Cup playoffs as the fourth seed but upset defending champion Les Canadiennes de Montreal in the semifinal. Then in the Clarkson Cup final, they beat expansion team Kunlan Red Star 2-1 in overtime to win the title.
Check out more pictures and reactions from this historic visit below.
For all the training @ThunderCWHL put in to finally win the #ClarksonCup, how fitting that @VIA_Rail is sending us to Ottawa Thank you for your support and professionalism #MakingHistory
— Kristen Richards (@k_rich19) June 3, 2018