The ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings have signed Mariah Fujimagari to a Tryout Contract.
Talented Female Goalie Lands Contract In ECHL
The ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings have announced the signing of Goalie Mariah Fujimagari on a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO). Fujimagari, 29, spent last season in Sweden's Women's league for AIK.
Kalamazoo, the ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, announced the signing of Fujimagari, who is the first Female Goalie to sign a Professional ECHL contract.
Fujimagari, who is 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 Vorva is the only currently signed Goaltender, having signed an extension in August, hinting that Fujimagari could be in line to earn a backup role. Wings HC 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 also thanked the K-Wings in a statement for the opportunity to try-out, with the hopes of playing for the team and getting to be apart of the Kalamzoo community.
"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 Inclusion Of Female Players
The ECHL has been leading the way in Men's Professional Hockey in fostering Diversity and Inclusion towards 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 Hayley Wickenheiser & Marie-Philip Poulin had been offered chances to play, but turned them 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.
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