BREAKING: Vancouver ads first female player

Published September 19, 2023 at 3:47 PM

The ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings have signed female goalie Mariah Fujimagari to a tryout contract.

Former Sweden Women's League Goalie Lands Contract in ECHL

The ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings have announced the signing of goalie Mariah Fujimagari on a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).

The 29-year-old goaltender spent last season in the Sweden's Women's League for AIK.

In 14 games last season Fujimagari finished with a rough record of 1-11-0 with a goals against average of 4.52 and a 0.877 save percentage.

Kalamzoo are the ECHL affiliate for the Vancouver Canucks and announced the first female signing to sign a Professional ECHL contract.

5'11" has a chance to play for the K-Wings, who have been looking for depth additions in net. According to Kalamazoo's Depth Chart, Hunter Vorza is their only signed goalie, leaving a vacancy for Fujimagari to slide right into the lineup.

Wings Head Coach Joel Martin gave credit to Fujimagari in a team statement, giving credit to her ability to play at a high level.

"Mariah is an athletic goaltender that battles on every shot and reads the play well"

Fujimagari released this statement about how thankful she is to have the chance to play for Kalamzoo.

"I couldn't be happier to join the K-Wings. I'm going to make sure to set the tone from the start with a solid performance every day. I'm most excited to be a part of the Kalamazoo community and skate in front of the amazing fans."

The ECHL's History of Female Inclusion

The ECHL has been at the forefront from the inclusion and diversity for Women's Hockey, with female players having been invited to the ECHL's All-Star Game since 2020.

Former Women's Hockey stars Manon Rhéaume and Erin Whitten had also played in the ECHL in the past. Other stars such as Haley Wickenheiser and Marie-Philip Poulin had been offered chances to play, however they turned it down.

Molly McMaster, a stage II Colorectal Cancer Survivor, played a promotional game with the K-Wings in 2006 in order to raise awareness, having played for all 14 teams in the UHL, which Kalamazoo then played for.

As Seen on Markerzone - BREAKING: Canucks Affiliate Adds First Female Player
September 19   |   26 answers
BREAKING: Vancouver ads first female player

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