MONTREAL FORCE ANNOUNCE FIVE PLAYER SIGNINGS
PHF expansion roster reaches 21 with De Serres, De Sousa, Gélinas, Hoerr, and Jardin
MONTREAL, QC – (October 12, 2022) – The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) in association with the expansion Montreal Force have announced that forwards Deziray De Sousa, Maude Gélinas, and Laura Jardin, along with defenders Gabrielle De Serres and Sally Hoerr have signed 2022-23 contracts. The salary terms of the agreements will not be disclosed. The five new players bring the expansion roster to 21 with training camp underway ahead of opening weekend, November 5-6, 2022.
“We are very excited by the start of our first ever training camp and the players who have committed themselves to our team,” said Kevin Raphaël, Team President, Montreal Force. “Everyone is working hard to get better and raise the Force to a higher level. We can feel their passion and energy and know how much this means to all of our players, which is inspiring for the season ahead.”
De Serres has spent the past five seasons at the University of Toronto where she developed an impressive career with the Varsity Blues. The 24-year-old defender from Mont-Royal, Quebec started out on the 2018 U SPORTS All-Rookie Team, and capped her tenure with recognition as a 2022 U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadian and finalist for Player of the Year. Last season she tallied 13 points in 16 games, leading the OUA conference with 10 assists while earning East Division MVP honors.
De Sousa is a 24-year-old from Montreal, Quebec and was most recently a member of the PWHPA during the 2020-21 season. The forward attended Boston University from 2016-20 where she was a three-time Hockey East All-Academic Team honoree. She produced her most successful offensive campaign as a senior for the Terriers, with 20 points including eight goals and 12 assists in 36 games.
Gélinas has four years of professional experience counting three as a member of the PWHPA, plus the 2018-19 CWHL season where she played for Les Canadiennes alongside Force teammates Ann-Sophie Bettez, Catherine Daoust, Kim Deschênes, Marie-Soleil Deschênes, and Sarah Lefort. The 30-year-old from St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec also played four seasons with the University of Montreal Carabins, winning the 2016 U SPORTS national championship on a team that included fellow Force forwards Catherine Dubois and Alexandra Labelle.
Hoerr is a 25-year-old defender from Colchester, Vermont who joins the Force after competing as a graduate student with the Liberty University Lady Flames. This past season she recorded seven points in 15 games and then captured a second straight ACHA Division I National Championship while named to the 2022 ACHA National All-Tournament Team. She played her undergraduate career at Grand Valley State.
Jardin was a member of the McGill University graduating class of 2022 alongside fellow Force forward Jade Downie-Landry and goaltender Tricia Deguire. The 22-year-old forward from Calgary, Alberta spent four seasons as a member of the Martlets, scoring 13 points with seven goals in 15 games during her final U SPORTS season.
The Force roster of 21 players now includes 13 forwards, six defenders, and two goaltenders. The group includes 12 who have professional experience, mixed together with nine recent collegiate graduates. The full complement of forwards includes Bettez, De Sousa, K. Deschênes, Downie-Landry, Dubois, Gélinas, Alyssa Holmes, Samantha Isbell, Jardin, Labelle, Lefort, Kristina Shanahan, and Brooke Stacey. Defenders are Daoust, De Serres, Christine Deaudelin, Hoerr, Kaity Howarth, and Brigitte Laganière, plus goaltenders Deguire and M-S. Deschênes. Last month the team also announced its inaugural coaching staff with head coach Peter Smith, associate coach Pierre Alain, and assistant coach Katia Clement-Heydra.
The Force will play preseason games on Oct. 23 against the Boston Pride at the University of Vermont, and Oct. 29 when they host the Toronto Six at Laval’s Complexe Sportif Guimond where admission is free and donations will be accepted to support Breast Cancer awareness. The team will open the regular season on the road against the Buffalo Beauts Nov. 5-6, with the first home game in Force history slated for Nov. 26 against the Metropolitan Riveters at Centre 21.02, the team’s training facility based at the Verdun Auditorium. The teams will then play a Nov. 27 contest at Montreal’s Aréna Raymond-Bourque. The Force have six home weekends and will showcase professional women’s hockey across the province of Québec to celebrate their inaugural season. Subsequent matchups will be played at Aréna Conrad-Parent in Sept-Îles (December 3-4 vs Connecticut), Colisée Financière Sun Life in Rimouski (January 7-8 vs Toronto), Centre Premier Tech in Rivière-du-Loup (January 21-22 vs Boston), Aréna régional de la Rivière-du-Nord in Saint-Jérôme (February 4-5 vs Minnesota), and Pavillon de la jeunesse in Québec (February 25-26 vs Buffalo). Click here for tickets, or for more information visit ForceMontreal.ca and follow along on social media at @LaForceMontreal.
About the Premier Hockey Federation
The PHF is the home of professional women’s hockey in North America. Established in 2015 as the National Women’s Hockey League, the NWHL rebranded to become the PHF in 2021 and provide opportunities for elite athletes to earn a living playing the game they love while fueling the continued growth of the sport. The league is made up of the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, Montreal Force, and the Toronto Six who all compete annually for the Isobel Cup. As part of a two-year agreement with ESPN, live coverage of the 2022-23 and 2023-24 PHF seasons is available exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States, and provides international rights for games which includes TSN in Canada. For more information visit premierhockeyfederation.com.