Montreal, September 25, 2017 – Les Canadiennes are bidding farewell to a player who has contributed tremendously to the franchise’s history.
Goaltender Charline Labonté is taking her retirement after a remarkable career in hockey.
“It’s sad to see her leave,” said defence Cathy Chartrand. “Having Charline behind you always gave us confidence. We grew up together and followed in each other’s footsteps. We want her to start the next stage of her life and we hope it will go well for her.”
Labonté leaves the team on a high after winning her first Clarkson Cup last season. She helped back-stop the team to two Clarkson Cup final appearances in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015.
Labonté was selected as one of the captains for the first-ever All-Star game in 2014 alongside Jessica Campbell of the Calgary Inferno. The netminder has been one of Les Canadiennes representatives at every All-Star game since 2014.
After joining Les Canadiennes in 2013, Labonté, 36, has consistently displayed impressive statistics and achievements over the course of her career. She was named goaltender of the year three times in a row in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Labonté’s leadership, professionalism and all around calm demeanor and sense of humour will be missed in the locker room.
“For someone like me, who is always excited, sitting next to her in the locker room really calmed me down,” said forward Emmanuelle Blais. “When times were hard last year, she stayed calm and composed. For the people around her, it helped a lot. It gave us confidence.”
Standing tall at five-foot-nine and 160 pounds, Labonté retires with a 1.78 goals-against-average and a 0.925 save percentage during the regular season.
Labonté’s illustrious career is marked by success at every level. The four-time Olympic gold medallist (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014) made history after she became the second female hockey player to play at the Canadian major junior hockey level after goaltender Manon Rhéaume. Labonté played two seasons with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan from 1999 to 2001.
While obtaining her undergraduate degree in physical education at McGill University, she played five seasons with the Martlets, where she shattered the all-time record for shutouts. She brought back three U Sports national championships.
“We are losing an important piece of the team on and off the ice,” said Blais. “She is a great person and great friend. She’s the full package. She is one of the pillars of the team.”
On behalf of the entire organization, Les Canadiennes would like to wish Charline a happy retirement and success in her future endeavours.
About the CWHL
The CWHL is the premier, professionally-run women’s hockey league in the world. It enables elite female hockey players to pursue their dreams of competing at the highest level possible while enhancing the lives of others through exceptional athleticism, entertainment and motivation. The league is centrally funded, with all participating teams in the CWHL receiving equal access to financial support and given the same opportunities to succeed. The CWHL is a not-for-profit organization, with every dollar going towards building a league that is dedicated to raising the profile of women’s hockey, providing a place for the best female players in the world to compete and inspiring the next generation of female hockey heroines.
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