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01 November, 2008

MALLORY: ANOTHER REASON TO BE PROUD

She's skating with the best in women's hockey
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Congratulations to "almost kissing cousin" Mallory Johnston who is skating with the world's best in the elite Canadian Women's Hockey League this year. The seven-team CWHL is stocked with players from the Canadian Olympic and National teams and cream-of-the-crop graduates from American university hockey. The CWHL is the female equivalent of the National Hockey League and is the only professionally-run women's hockey league in the world.

Teams in the premier womens league consist of Mallory's Burlington Barracudas, Brampton Canadette Thunder, Ottawa Senators, Mississauga Chiefs, Vaughn Flames, Quebec Phoenix and Montreal Stars.

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One of Mallory's teammates on the Barracudas' defensive corps is Becky Keller, a 33-year-old mother of two who is a senior stalwart with the Canadian womens national hockey team. Mal says that after a couple of games she is finding the CWHL "competitive but a little more relaxed" than playing in the Eastern College Athletic Conference in the U.S.A. where she was a star performer with Colgate University Raiders for three seasons.
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At Colgate she quickly became a steady contributor to the Raiders blueline and was assistant captain of the team in her last two seasons. Possessor of a hard, accurate shot, she was particularly adept on the powerplay and scored a number of game-winning goals. Upon graduation this past spring, she was awarded the Marian LeFevre Memorial Coach's Award which was indicative of the coaching staff's appreciation for her performance and overall contribution to the team.
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Mallory will go down in Raiders' records as having scored one of the fastest goals in Colgate's Division 1 history, against nationally ranked Mercyhurst, just 30 seconds into the second period.
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Before collecting her athletic scholarship to Colgate, Mallory played for the Bluewater Junior Hawks team which won the Intermediate AA Provincial Championship in 2003-04. Previously she played for the London Junior Stangs and the Chatham Bantam Outlaws.
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She is currently living in Hamilton and hoping to find employment that will allow her to remain active in hockey with the Barracudas. Her major at Colgate was biology but she is prepared to be flexible in exploring options. Her proud parents, Dr. Curtis and Jennifer Johnston of Chatham, meantime, fully expect to see a lot of their daughter during the hockey season, what with normal magnets such as laundry facilities and a full refrigerator to pull a 22-year-old athlete home between games when the need calls for it.
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Mallory comes by her athletic ability naturally. Her dad Curt was a pretty fair Junior goaltender in his hometown of Dresden and he still swings a mean golf club on courses in the Chatham area. Her late grandmother Norma Johnston, a Dresden Sports Hall of Fame inductee, was a well-rounded high school athlete and standout softball player and oraganizer/coach of minor girls softball for a number of years.

Though Hell should bar the way, I have vowed to get to at least one of Mallory's games this season. I have yet to see her play.

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