[The Women’s Hockey Top 6 is a list of the key storylines coming out this past weekend’s games.]
— Taylor Holze (@taytwofour) November 17, 2015
1) The NWHL announced a ground breaking partnership in the arena of women’s hockey in the United States, especially for a first year league – a local television deal.
New England Sports Network (NESN) is partnering with the NWHL to broadcast eight games of the star-studded Boston Pride team. Neither side is discussing the financial details. As crucial as bringing in money from outside sources in is, the exposure matters just as much, if not more.
Here are the games that will be on New England area NESN and NESNplus stations:
11/22 vs. New York Riveters 3PM (ET) – NESN
11/29 vs. Connecticut Whale 3PM (ET) – NESN
12/6 vs. New York Riveters 3:30PM (ET) – NESN
12/20 vs. Buffalo Beauts 3PM (ET) – NESNplus
1/3 vs. Buffalo Beauts 3PM (ET) – NESNplus
1/10 vs. New York Riveters 3PM (ET) – NESNplus
1/17 vs. Connecticut Whale 3PM (ET) – NESN
2/14 vs. Connecticut Whale 3PM (ET) – NESNplus
For everyone outside of NESN reach, the games will still be available on the NWHL website.
2) The CWHL was the first league to partner with You Can Play. On January 2, the two organizations will come together to celebrate and champion the partnership with two games: Boston Blades vs. Montreal Les Canadiennes and Brampton Thunder vs. Toronto Furies.
The crosstown Brampton/Toronto matchup will be broadcast throughout Canada on Sportsnet. The exposure to millions of hockey-mad eyes is huge for the league, as Sportsnet continues to further its relationship with the CWHL.
CWHL games can also be viewed through their subscription package on CWHL Live.
|Connecticut Whale (4-0-0) @||0||2||1||3|
|Buffalo Beauts (0-4-0)||0||0||2||2|
|Boston Pride (3-1-0) @||1||0||1||2|
|New York Riveters (1-3-0)||2||0||1||3|
3) The New York Riveters handed the Boston Pride their first loss of the season. This was due in big part to outstanding goaltending by Nana Fujimoto of the Riveters. In the first win of the season for the Riveters, the netminder faced 44 shots on goal, 7 of which came from the always dangerous Hilary Knight, and turned all but one from the aforementioned Knight away.
— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) November 16, 2015
After the game, Fujimoto, who comes to the NWHL via the Japanese national team, gave a wave and a bow to the crowd as she exited the ice.
— NWHL Gifs (@nwhlgifs) November 16, 2015
Scary moment in the Riveters-Pride game. Brooke Ammerman and Emily Field collided on the ice in what appeared to be a knee-on-knee hit.
The Pride’s Field took the worst of the hit and was helped off the ice. The Victory Press had the post-game update on Field’s condition.
Emily Field, we heard, does not have a concussion. Bruised knee though.
— The Victory Press (@thevictorypress) November 16, 2015
Finally, if all this playing forward stuff doesn’t work out for Ms. Knight, she might want to try her hand at goaltending. She had a go at the position during Sunday’s game.
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) November 16, 2015
4) The Buffalo Beauts are still seeking their first win of the season and came up against the undefeated Connecticut Whale. In the second period, the Whale took a 2-0 lead on goals from Kelly Babstock (short-handed) and Kelli Stack.
53-seconds into the third period, the Beauts began their comeback as Devon Skeats picked up her first goal in her first game of the season for the team. A few minutes later, Kourtney Kunichika tied the game at 2-2. It was a fluky goal (credited to Danielle Ward) with 55 seconds left in the game that gave the Whale the victory.
As Eddie O says, “to all you young hockey players out there” one thing is always true: don’t mess with the other team’s goalie:
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) November 15, 2015
|Brampton Thunder @||0||0||2||2||Brampton Thunder (4-2-0) @||1||1||2||4|
|Boston Blades||0||1||0||1||Boston Blades (1-7-0)||0||1||0||1|
|Montreal Les Canadiennes @||1||2||1||4||Montreal Les Canadiennes (5-1-0) @||1||1||3||5|
|Calgary Inferno||1||4||0||5||Calgary Inferno (5-1-0)||0||0||0||0|
5) Coming into this past weekend, the Montreal Les Canadiennes and Calgary Inferno were the only two teams left in the CWHL without a loss. The teams split the series 1-1.
By far, the two games were dominated by Montreal’s Marie-Philip Poulin. She had seven (7!!) points total in the series. Saturday’s game featured a penalty shot after Calgary’s Aina Takeuchi fell on the puck in the crease:
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) November 16, 2015
The following day Poulin decided to up her game and score a hat trick plus an assist. Friends of the blog, Eyes on the Prize, chronicled (via GIF) the forward’s massive offensive output on Sunday.
6) The Blades and Thunder are going to know each other really, really well between November 14 and December 6. The teams will have played 6 games against each other in that time period. For the Blades, it’s six straight games against the Thunder with a break mixed in. The Thunder will face the Inferno during the bye-weekend of the Blades.
This could be a good thing for the Blades. With the exception of Toronto, Brampton has provided Boston with the most competitive games as they’re continuing to get more comfortable playing with each other. This goes a long way to building confidence in a team that needs it.
The one steady piece for the Blades is their goaltender Genevieve Lacasse. She had yet another weekend of 45-plus shot games. She has yet to take a game off. The scores don’t reflect how well Lacasse has played for the majority of inexperienced teammates in front of her.
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