TORONTO - The Canadian Press has awarded Hayley Wickenheiser as Canada’s female athlete of the year. It is the first time a hockey player got the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award.
“It's a nice award, more for our sport, because it has gained a level of respect in the media,” the 29-year old forward told The Canadian Press after winning the survey of sports editors and broadcasters across the country. Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was voted the male athlete of the year on Wednesday.
Wickenheiser led Team Canada to win the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Winnipeg, Canada, as the tournament’s MVP with eight goals and six assists. She was also awarded as the most valuable player of the 2002 and 2006 Olympic women’s tournaments. She is the all-time scoring leader of Team Canada with 132 goals and 147 assists in 186 games.
Wickenheiser also got attention as the first woman to play professional men’s hockey. She helped the Finnish third-tier team Salamat to be promoted in 2003 with 11 points in 23 games but had to leave the team in the following season after 10 scoreless games in the second-tier Mestis Liiga.