Four members of the Boston Blades joined other players from across the CWHL for the league's 2016 All-Star Game on Jan. 23.
Blades first round draft pick Kristina Brown joined veterans Dru Burns, Genevieve Lacasse and Tara Watchorn in Toronto for the game. Turnout was high for the event, with nearly 7,000 fans in attendance to watch the CWHL's best.
"The All-Star Game was an experience I feel most of us will not forget," said Brown. "It was an extremely humbling and unique experience to play at the Air Canada Centre in front of nearly 7,000 fans. Hopefully in the future of women's hockey this will be a regular experience."
Blades blueliner Dru Burns was also struck by the turnout. "Playing in front of a crowd close to 7,000 is something women athletes don't get to experience often and I'm happy I was able to be a part of it." she said. "The All-Star Game was an all around amazing experience to be a part of. Being able to play with some of the best players in the world was something I'll always cherish."
Players were split into two teams selected by fan voted captains: Julie Chu of Les Canadiennes de Montreal and home crown favorite Natalie Spooner. While Burns joined Lacasse and Watchorn on Spooner's Team White, Brown lined up against them on the Chu-lead Team Black.
"I was actually quite excited," Brown said of playing against her teammates. "When you go to these events, it is so cool to play with new people and meet new people. I did not want to have to go against my own teammates, but I was also super excited to not have to take a face-off against Pou [Montreal's Marie-Philip Poulin] or block a slapshot from [Montreal's Caroline] Ouellette and [Montreal's Cathy] Chatrand. Overall it was a humbling and truly special experience."
The situation worked well for Brown, as her Team Black defeated Team White, 5-1.
Joining the four players in Toronto was General Manger Krista Patronick, who took part in the ceremonial puck drop with the four other GMs in the league.
"Dropping the puck with them at the All-Star Game was an amazing experience, it's always nice to be appreciated and we are all thankful we have the opportunity to work in pro hockey thanks to the CWHL," she said.
The Blades play their final game against the Furies today in Toronto before finishing up the season with two in Montreal at the end of the month.