K-Wings Sign First Female ECHL Player in History
The K-Wings are no stranger to doing things outside the box, and setting the trend of acceptance. They were the first to paint the ice Rainbow for LGBTQ+ NIghts.
And this week, they became the first team to sign a woman player in ECHL history.
Mariah Fujimagari has signed a professional tryout contract with Kalamazoo for this upcoming season, which makes her the first female goaltender to sign a contract in the league.
In fact, if she passes the initial tryout, she could be the first ever female goaltender to start for a team.
Fujimagari is from Markham, ON, Canada, and will be entering her rookie season with the K-Wings. She spent last season with the AID in the SDHL (W), and played 14 games. She had a 4.52 GAA, and a .877 SV%.
Two seasons ago, she was between the pipes for the Connecticut Shales for five games, where she went 5-0-0 with two shutouts at 1.40 GAA and .938 SV%.
NOT K-Wings First Female Player
As monumental as this occasion is, it's actually not the first time a woman has played for the K-Wings. In the 2006 season, The K-Wings brought in Molly McMaster to play one game. She actually played for multiple teams that year to raise awareness for Colorectal Cancer.
At the time, the K-Wings were in the UHL, and McMaster played for all 14 teams in the league as part of her awareness plan, with the K-Wings on March 18, 2006.
K-Wings 2023-24 Season
Should Fujimagari make the team, she'll likely still backup Erik Bradford, who is a 9-year veteran of the ECHL and AHL.
The K-Wings kick off the season Oct. 21 against the Toledo Walleye.
You can find their full schedule on their website.