Brooke Henderson, Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Redblacks top sports stories of 2015

We look back at the top five sports stories of 2015 in Ottawa including great runs by three local teams, stand-out play by a young superstar and the return to a fan favourite.

Great runs by sophomore franchises mark sports boom in nation's capital

Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell, left, hoists the East Division trophy as players celebrate following their win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL East final at TD Place in Ottawa on Nov. 22, 2015. (The Canadian Press)

Ottawa Redblacks bounce back from dismal debut season to make Grey Cup

In year one, the Ottawa Redblacks lurched toward a woeful two-and-16 finish. Changes were made, and everyone acknowledged the long road ahead.

Little did most fans suspect that just one year later the team would reach the CFL's championship game against the Edmonton Eskimos.

While the Redblacks failed to win the big game, their 12-and-six regular season record earned them the East Division championship and marked the first time in 34 years Ottawa football fans weren't left watching from the sidelines while two other teams battled for Canadian football's biggest prize.

The Ottawa Redblacks punched their ticket to the Grey Cup on Sunday , defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-28 in the CFL East Division final. 0:30

Ottawa Fury FC also make final in sophomore season

In similar fashion, Ottawa Fury FC also made the North American Soccer League's championship final, known as the Soccer Bowl.

The team showed much improvement in the latter stages of its inaugural season, and that translated into success in its second year.

Like the Redblacks, the Fury fell in the final. The New York Cosmos took the trophy instead.

It might be difficult to repeat this success next season, though, with a new head coach and several key players departing in December.

Ottawa Senators make improbable playoff run, thanks to The Hamburglar

In mid-February 2015 the Sens were struggling. They looked well out of the running for a playoff spot, even after a coaching change.

Then all of a sudden, the team turned it around. An unknown goaltender named Andrew Hammond, signed as a college free agent, got the call-up and started playing the best hockey of his life.

His nickname, "The Hamburglar," captured the imagination of fans. At the same time, rookies Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman caught fire and sparked the team through an improbable run that saw them clinch a playoff spot in the final game of the season.

The Ottawa Senators are in the playoffs, and fans rejoiced after an unlikely run. 2:20

Brooke Henderson, teen sensation, gets LPGA tour card

In pro golf, membership has its privileges. But first you have to prove yourself.

Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., did just that. 

This year her success finally forced the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) to give Henderson her tour card, allowing her to play for money.

Henderson, now ranked 18th in the world among female golfers, turned 18 this fall. She continues to challenge the world's best.

17-year-old Canadian officially becomes LPGA member. 4:38

Daniel Alfredsson rejoins Ottawa Senators, but not on the rink

The rumours swirled for months before the Ottawa Senators made it official with a tweet from owner Eugene Melnyk.

Long-time captain Daniel Alfredsson was returning to the team as a senior adviser to the general manager, Bryan Murray.

Alfredsson had mended fences with the organization the year before, retiring from hockey in December 2014 and setting the stage for a move to the back office.

Now, with Murray's health a going concern, could Alfie soon take on a greater role within the organization?

Check back in a year, when we bring you our top sports stories of 2016.

The Ottawa Senators unveiled the former captain as the newest member of the management team. 0:50

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