Some NWHL news coming out of Toronto on Wednesday, as the Six are bringing back another player for Season 7. Forward Taylor Woods is coming back for her second year on the team and second year in the league.
The forward had a very impressive rookie campaign, in which she played 6 games for the club. In those 6 games, she scored 4 goals and added an assist too, for 5 points on the year. 1 of her 4 goals also came via the power play. She will look to build on those numbers during her sophomore season.
You can check out the full press release here:
A VERSATILE ASSET ON THE ICE, TORONTO SIX ANNOUNCE RE-SIGNING OF TAYLOR WOODS
by Justin Levine
Toronto, ON- Balancing the weight of the world on her shoulders, the Toronto Six added their fourth player on Wednesday with the re-signing of Taylor Woods, who returns for her second season.
Entering the league’s seventh year, Woods said a number of factors helped this decision an easy one. “We started something really good, it’s turning into something big,” the 26-year-old said. “You can just see that now we have the opportunity to play at home, there’s a full season, and you start to see things changing shape. So of course, why wouldn’t I want to come back to the T6 under that great atmosphere. That’s where I saw it being a no-brainer for me.”
A native of Morden, Manitoba, Woods returns to a city where she’s played five pro seasons. Upon graduating from Cornell University, the righty began her path to the pros as a fifth-round selection in the CWHL Draft.
Chosen by the Brampton Thunder, she stuck with the team, as they re-located to Markham, and won a Clarkson Cup Championship in 2017-18. For Woods, that was her grand introduction, as they made it the next season to the semifinals against Montreal.
When the league suddenly folded after Calgary won the cup, Woods joined the PWHPA for 2019-20, playing with GTA West. While taking part in the Ontario showcase events, she had a larger vision to keep moving the game forward. That led her to talking with Digit Murphy, and soon after that, to signing a contract with the newest expansion team.
The second top-scorer behind Mikyla Grant-Mentis, Woods, who stands at five-foot-three, took the ice in six games during Lake Placid competition. During the shortened campaign, the Canadian racked up five points, recording four goals, while adding one assist.
A lethal force to opponents on the blue line, she helped Toronto in their run toward the top of the standings. Woods was among the Founding Five players who signed with the Six for their inaugural 2020-21 season. Joining her was Emma Greco, Shiann Darkangelo, Kristen Barbara and Elaine Chuli.
“Taylor Woods is a talented player, who brings her strength and tenacity to the ice everyday,” said Digit Murphy, President of the Toronto Six. “She is a hard-working two-way player, who can be relied upon to play forward and defence. In either situation, she excels and can be depended on by her team to get the job done. She’s a team-first minded player and the type of player a coach loves to have. We’re thrilled she’s chosen to return to the Six for Season seven.”
Prior to beginning her pro journey, Woods played collegiate hockey in the NCAA with the Cornell Big Red. Through four seasons, she played 131 games, scoring 33 goals, while adding 48 assists. In her Senior season, she was named an alternate captain and played alongside the likes of captain Cassandra Poudrier.
Woods also has experience with the Canadian National Team, winning gold at the 2012 U18 Women’s World Championship, where she helped guide her team through five games in the Czech Republic.
Off the ice, she’s a multi-sport athlete, with a focus on weightlifting, where she’s in pursuit of a world record this winter.
Missing the game day atmosphere, Woods can’t wait to have fans back in the stands for Season seven.
“I can just picture it now. Coming out of the locker room, seeing all the T6 jerseys, doors open and we’re ready. Then they hear our name getting called, music coming on, and we just blast out that door with all the fans around. That’s the vision in my mind. That’s the image. Just the energy, the impact that we’re going to have on the hockey community and in women’s sports, too. All that I think about when it comes to Season seven is that door and us exploding out onto the ice.”
News coming out of Buffalo today, as the Beauts are adding a defender to their ranks. Emma Keenan, a two time NCAA champion will be joining the team as a rookie.
The defender from Mission Viejo, California played 4 years of NCAA hockey at Clarkson University. There, she would play 156 games for the program, where she would tally 4 goals and add 35 assists for a total of 39 points. After her time in college hockey, she would take her talents to Sweden, and play 2 years in the SDHL with Göteborg. During her 2 years there, she would play 66 games for the club, scoring 11 goals and adding 11 assists, for 22 points. She did in her first year, play in a relegation round. She would play 3 games, and add 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points.
You can check out the full press release here:
BEAUTS ADD 2-TIME NCAA CHAMPION EMMA KEENAN
Buffalo, NY-The Buffalo Beauts announced another major addition to their roster by signing defender Emma Keenan. The 5-foot-7 blueliner is a 2-time national champion with Clarkson University, and has played the past two seasons in the SDHL with Göteborg HC. She returns to North America to play her first season in the NWHL.
“I chose to sign with the Beauts because I feel the program has a great culture with tons of support and a strong fanbase,” said Keenan. “I’m excited to live in Buffalo and for the opportunity to play in the NWHL. I think the Beauts have a lot of potential for this upcoming season, and I’m excited to be part of a program that has big aspirations.”
Keenan played 66 games across her two seasons with Göteborg. She tallied 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points during that time. In 2019-20 Keenan was part of a three-way tie for most points for Göteborg when she went 9-8-17 in scoring across 36 games.
“Emma is about as steady as they come for blueliners in our game, and she can play forward too if called upon to do so,” said Beauts General Manager Nate Oliver. “She played at a very high level collegiately and won two NCAA Championships with the Clarkson Golden Knights. Factor in her two solid seasons in the SDHL, and Emma has been playing with and against some of the finest players in the world for a while now. To be able to add her to our Beauts roster is a huge win for us for sure.”
Keenan played 156 NCAA games during her 4-year career at Clarkson. During that time, she was 4-35-39 for scoring and finished her collegiate career with a tremendous plus-76 for plus/minus rating. Keenan helped anchor the Golden Knights to NCAA Championship victories in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Her plus-40 as a senior in 2018-19 was the best on the Clarkson blue line and was the third best in the entire nation among defenders.
Beauts fans will enjoy Keenan’s robust style of play and her versatility.
“Fans can expect my game to be simple and reliable defensively, but with the ability to jump up in the rush. I’m a physical player who loves to battle in the corners and block shots. I pick my chances to join the offense and I am able to adjust my game in all situations.”
It was announced that the funding for the Division 1 Men’s and Women’s hockey programs of Robert Morris University was cut. Here is the statement from RMU:
If you have the time, please consider signing the petition to help save RMU’s hockey programs, link provided:
TXHT will continue to provide NWHL coverage as more signings and news are announced.