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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Thunder rolls to Markham

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The CWHL’s offseason of change continues. Plus, Kelley Steadman retires, the Beauts sign new players, news from the AWIHL and a lot of history.

CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti pose with players and staff from the Markham Thunder. A Markham Thunder logo is painted into the ice in front of them.
CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti pose with members of the Markham Thunder
Chris Tanouye / CWHL

Story of the Week

CWHL team Brampton Thunder is moving to Markham | Toronto Star
Brampton Thunder are now the Markham Thunder - The Ice Garden
Press conference on Facebook Live

The history of the Brampton Thunder - Pension Plan Puppets

The Thunder move: what do we think?

Nafio: We suspected once the press conference was announced (and then Scott confirmed) that a move to Markham was imminent. One immediately obvious advantage is that getting to a Thunder game by transit just got a lot easier. I might actually go to the second half of one of the GTA home and homes.

Annie: Another obvious benefit is the improved facilities. More seating, better dressing rooms, and an upgraded gym have all been mentioned, standard perks of moving to a newer venue. Laura Stacey’s quote in Joe Pack’s piece for The Ice Garden verges on gushing—”We’re in awe” would imply that the players, at least, are really happy about their relocation.

Nafio: Yeah, I really like that, unlike the KRS announcement, this one didn’t seem to take the team by surprise. The Thunder’s new GM, Chelsea Purcell, got a lot of credit for facilitating the move during the press conference. It’s too bad she doesn’t seem to have been available to the press after the announcement, I would have liked to have heard her take on things.

The CWHL introduced its first new logo for a team since 2015, leaving the Inferno (whose logo is awesome) and the Blades (whose logo is not) with the oldest logos in the league.

Annie: As a side note: the Blades really deserve a new logo. Like, really. The Thunder redesign makes it look even more like the odd one out.

Nafio: Challenge to any graphic designers - how do you incorporate the Blades name (which is very hockey and probably shouldn’t change) into something resembling the Bruins logo?

Annie: Back to the Thunder: right now, there’s a poll on the team website for fans to vote on the new color scheme. They did not include purple as an option, so they can say goodbye to my potential fandom (which was not going to happen anyway).

We both agree the teal is the obvious winner.

Nafio: Except the players seem to be campaigning for green? Everyone should go vote and counteract that clearly bad choice. (If you vote for grey, you’re banned.)

Annie: Yeah, far be it from me to correct women who could probably break me in two with their bare hands, but the correct choice is teal.

Nafio: Maybe RealSports will do a sale on old merch? If you liked the old Thunder logo you might want to keep an eye on that site.

Before Scott’s tweet, one possible worry was that the announcement would be that the Clarkson Cup final (or playoffs) would be going back to Markham. Since the Clarkson Cup has historically been at a neutral location this keeps the door open for either continued partnership with the Sens or at the very least keeping the location to a larger rink with a capacity more suited to what we've seen for attendance for big events. 800 (the Thornhill capacity) or even 1,800 in the previous Markham rink, would be a major step back.

The CWHL only ever announces one thing at a time, so the Clarkson Cup venue announcement (and several others, including schedules, ticket prices and much more) are still to come. Don’t you love the offseason?

CWHL

Furies and Thunder welcome new GMs - Pension Plan Puppets
Nicole Latreille joins the Furies while Chelsea Purcell gets a promotion with the Thunder

Q&A with Former Blades GM Krista Patronick
On Wednesday, Boston Blades general manager Krista Patronick announced she would be leaving for a Director of Hockey Operations position with Colgate women's hockey.

Calgary Inferno Add Familiarity to the Front Office - Canadian Women's Hockey League
The Canadian Women’s Hockey League and Calgary Inferno are excited to announce Kristen Hagg as the General Manager for the 2017/2018 Season.

International

Sweden announces roster for South Korea camp, Pernilla Winberg absent - The Ice Garden
Winberg's Falun camp replacement also not on roster

The story of Pia Sterner's remarkable journey through hockey - Sportsnet.ca
In a career that spans more than 40 years, Pia Sterner coached elite men’s and women’s teams, bringing them to new heights, and caught the eye of some of the brightest minds in the game.

Hilary Knight: More Work For USA Women's Hockey - ThePostGame.com
Hilary Knight has used social media to give herself an advantage in creating progress for women's hockey in the United States.

U.S. women's hockey team on standing up for their country and themselves -- Body Issue 2017
For ESPN's annual Body Issue, six members of the U.S. women's national hockey team opened up about their world championship, taking care of their bodies and taking on U.S.A. Hockey for pay equity.

Meet Turkey’s first female hockey team - Daily Sabah
Founded by Umut and Hatice Çelik eight years ago, the Istanbul Buz Korsanları (Ice Pirates) Sports Club changes female hockey players' lives along with the faith in the sport in Turkey

Satan brings in Tomcikova - IIHF
Miroslav Satan made his first official act as head of the Slovak national team program by signing Zuzana Tomcikova as his counterpart on the women’s side of the game.

NWHL

Beauts’ Kelley Steadman hangs up the skates - The Ice Garden
The recent Isobel Cup champion retires to pursue a coaching career at her alma mater.

Developing Blue Lines And Key Unsigned Defenders Of The NWHL
Before the most recent signings by the Buffalo Beauts, only eight blue-liners had committed to an NWHL team for the fall. Here is a look at...

Rafter And Ketchum Key To Riveters Scoring Depth
Last season, the New York Riveters offense was considerably better than it was in the National Women's Hockey League's inaugural season.

Profiles

Q & A with Alexa Gruschow
Alexa Gruschow: I took the last face-off in our defensive zone & I think I won it-I don’t quite remember, but we can say I won it to enhance the story haha!

Lindsey Hylwa | Hockey Has Opened A Lot Of Doors For Me
As of now, the New York Riveters have stocked up on talent from last season to fill the 2017-18 roster. However, there was one rookie...

Signings

Beauts Add Key Vets And Sign Rookie Stopgaps
The wire has been quite quiet in the NWHL since mid-June, but the Buffalo Beauts got things moving again.

Beauts sign top-scoring line from Adrian College - The Buffalo News
Its not every day a team signs a complete line. But the Buffalo Beauts did that on Tuesday.

NCAA

Which teams will benefit the most from UND women's hockey players? | Grand Forks Herald
Nearly every player who was scheduled to be on the UND women's hockey team next season has found a new NCAA Division I home.

Penn State women's hockey, coaching staff, July 7, 2017 | Centre Daily Times
The Penn State women’s hockey team announced the hiring of two assistant coaches and a director of operations to first-year coach Jeff Kampersal’s staff on Friday.

The Unretirement Plan: SLU’s Marsh Intrigued by Working With Dartmouth Women’s Hockey
Joe Marsh was on the phone to discuss his recent appointment as interim coach of Dartmouth College’s women’s hockey team when he called out to two of his six grandchildren, who had ventured to the end of the dock at his vacation home in Fryeburg, Maine.

AWIHL (Australia)

Pirates claim three points in Canterbury double header | Ice Hockey News Australia
The Canberra Pirates have won and tied their two 2017 NSW Women’s League games against the Canterbury Eagles Women at the Phillip Ice Skating Centre.

Men’s Hockey

Origins: The story of Karen Koch, the first woman to be paid to play - The Ice Garden
The story of a little known 18-year-old woman who made history in Marquette, Michigan. ed note: there were women’s hockey players paid as far back as the 1920s. This article is being included because Koch’s story is interesting but it is factually incorrect.