National Women’s Team captain Hayley Wickenheiser has been named the Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year, the first hockey player to win the award in its 74-year history.
'It's a nice award, more for our sport, because it has gained a level of respect in the media,' Wickenheiser told CP. 'You see a lot of male hockey players win it so it's great that a female has.'
The Shaunavon, SK native captained Canada to a ninth gold medal at the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship in April in Winnipeg, MB – scoring eight goals and adding six assists in just five games – and was named Top Forward and Most Valuable Player.
Wickenheiser also led Canada to a gold medal at the 2007 4 Nations Cup in November in Leksand, Sweden, scoring four goals and adding three assists in four games, and her club team – the Calgary Oval X-Treme – won the Western Women’s Hockey League championship and the gold medal at the 2007 Esso Women’s Nationals in Salmon Arm, BC.
With 279 career points (132 goals, 147 assists), Wickenheiser is the all-time leading scorer for Canada’s National Women’s Team. She finished first in a vote of sports editors and broadcasters from coast-to-coast, finishing ahead of speed skater Cindy Klassen, the 20 winner.
Cole Harbour, NS native Sidney Crosby was named CP’s Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday. Crosby was a member of two National Junior Teams (20), winning gold in 2005, and led the 2006 IIHF World Championship in scoring as an 18-year-old.