The Toronto Six have re-signed veteran goaltender Elaine Chuli. Chuli, 27, returns to the Six after helping her team finish first in the regular season standings in Lake Placid with a .936 save percentage and a 1.61 GAA. The only goalie who started in at least three games with a better save percentage was Boston’s Lovisa Selander (.947).
In her five starts in Lake Placid, Chuli allowed just five even-strength goals and finished with a record of 4-1-0, earning her consideration as the NWHL Goaltender of the Year. It was a strong performance for the UConn alumna, who joined the Six after spending a year with the PWHPA and playing two seasons in China in the CWHL.
Chuli is the third player to re-sign with Toronto. She joins fellow veterans Shiann Darkangelo and Emma Greco as part of the team’s returning core. “It means so much, especially as you get older,” Chuli said in Toronto’s media release. “You never really know when your last season is gonna be, so I’m just trying to be in the present and I’m just grateful for one more season at least, and I’m training for it and excited and ready to go.”
All signs point to Chuli being Toronto’s starter next season. She has proven she can be a workhorse starter at the professional level and has definitely earned the trust of Toronto’s president and head coach, Digit Murphy.
“As a leader for the Six between the pipes, we are so excited to welcome back Elaine Chuli, who will help us inch closer to the Isobel Cup,” Murphy said in the release. “Chuli is a crucial piece of the puzzle who the team can rely on in all situations, and who leads by example both on and off the ice. We feel that re-signing a vet like Chuli was essential to bid for the championship.”
The question now becomes who will share the crease with Chuli in Toronto. Last season, the Six had Sam Ridgewell as its backup goaltender. Ridgewell, 24, only had one start in Lake Placid, an overtime loss to the Minnesota Whitecaps on Jan. 24, 2021. It would definitely be in Toronto’s best interest to bring back Ridgwell, who put up a .920 Sv% and a 14-6-0 record in the SDHL with Djurgården in 2019-20 after an outstanding collegiate career at Merrimack.
You can never have too many good goalies.