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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Crowd-funding the WCHA

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Goalies are taking over the world, more NWHL signings and the CWHL goes golfing

Jennifer Harss in a crouch in front of her net, wearing the German uniform.
WCHA product and German national team goalie Jennifer Harss
Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Story of the Week

Gophers' women's hockey conference seeking online donations - StarTribune.com

The most interesting college hockey news this week was the announcement that the women’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association has set up a crowd-funding site in an attempt to raise money to cover some league-wide costs. The NCAA Division I conference was hit hard by the announcement that North Dakota was eliminating its women’s program. With the abrupt departure of one team from an eight-team league, the math gets a lot harder for the other seven, who have to make up for the loss of income from North Dakota. Crowd-funding might seem unorthodox, and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it (Nafio compared it to kids selling candy to buy classroom supplies, and I think the comparison is apt). However, I think Katie Million’s decision to try a proactive route with fundraising before the conference finds itself in trouble or loses another team to budget cuts is a smart one.

The usual strategy for this type of fundraising is to seek corporate sponsorships, and while that’s certainly not a bad idea, pro women’s leagues have shown that it’s not always easy to find and develop relationships with sponsors. At the very least, it takes time, while crowd-funding has the benefit of making money immediately. As of yesterday, the WCHA fundraiser has raised about $2,200 in less than a week.

Crowd-funding also has the advantage of a wider reach. The WCHA hasn’t only produced hockey players from the Upper Midwest, but has developed current national team players from Canada, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. WCHA grads currently playing for their national teams include marquee names like Natalie Spooner (Ohio State), Hilary Knight (Wisconsin), and Noora Räty (Minnesota). Those are the sort of names, and the sort of influence, that could be used to leverage an event like the Olympics in support of a crowd-funding initiative.

The WCHA is considered the premier conference in women’s college hockey, and for good reason—the only non-WCHA school to win a national title is Clarkson University, who’ve done it twice. There’s a wide-ranging base of women’s hockey fans who care a lot about the WCHA’s solvency, and it’s not limited to people who can attend their home games and help fund the program through ticket revenue. Thanks to Title IX, we frequently take adequate funding for women’s college hockey for granted—an effort to ensure financial security for the strongest conference in the NCAA is worth our attention.

International

Is Colorado Native Nicole Hensley Ready for Olympic Stage? - Mile High Hockey
The young Colorado native could be the starter for Team USA at the 2018 Olympics

Why goalies came together
First-ever IIHF Women’s Goaltending Development Camp in Granada a success

Goalies answer your questions
In this video 16 goalies reply to many of the questions posted on our social media channels from the 2017 IIHF Women’s Goaltending Development Camp in Granada. (autoplay warning)

Passing on the torch
From the net to goalie coach in Granada

Suddenly in the spotlight
Jessica Ekrt, 19, aims high with Austria

The 25 Greatest Goalies of Women's Hockey History - Giants in the Crease
Hockey history is littered with high end goalies and we have heard about the Hasek/Roy/Brodeur/Plante/Dryden/etc. debates for a long time now. Yet we haven’t seen anything of a debate or discussion regarding women’s hockey and the respective players.

Switzerland prepares for the Winter Olympics in a traditional way - swisshockeynews.ch
After an intense off-ice-training-phase, the Swiss women’s national team is starting the second phase of their preparations for the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

CWHL

Thunder GM says fan base not big enough in Brampton | BramptonGuardian.com
Moving the Brampton Thunder to Markham was done to aid the growth of women’s and girls’ hockey, according to the team’s general manager.

An actual quiet week in the CWHL? It was a week of golf rather than hockey with the Markham Thunder’s golf tournament on the Sunday and the league-wide Rinks to Links tournament on Tuesday

NWHL

3 Players Who Could Dominate The NWHL Next Season
League rosters are still taking shape, but the identities of the NWHL's four teams are beginning to emerge.

Transaction Tuesday: Boston Making Waves - The Ice Garden
ed note: since not all transactions have been written up over the last couple of weeks and some, people wanting to be up to date as of yesterday should probably have a look

Note for CWHL: "PyeongChang Bound" all intl players listed as such have indicated they are going to try and play in the CWHL this season while preparing for the Olympics

Adrian College Linemates Hope To Boost Buffalo Beauts
Despite a late start in the free-agent market, general manager Ric Seiling and the Buffalo Beauts have come in fast to put together a steady starting lineup heading into the 2017-18 season.

Signing 4 More Bolsters Beauts' Depth
Buffalo Beauts continue to add depth to their '17-'18 roster by signing four players from Syracuse, Northeastern, Mercyhurst and Penn State respectively.

It's Good To Be The Boston Pride
The Boston Pride have had the strongest roster in the NWHL in the league's first two seasons.

Courtney Burke Chats About Rebuilding The Riveters Defense
On July 19, the NWHL announced defender Courtney Burke re-signed with the New York Riveters.

Former first overall pick Kelsey Koelzer re-signs with Riveters - The Ice Garden
The Riveters blue line just added a huge weapon.

Connecticut Whale Lagging Behind In Free Agency
The next NWHL draft is set for August, but the Connecticut Whale still have plenty to figure out for the upcoming season.

NCAA

Ice hockey video review rule amended | NCAA.org - The Official Site of the NCAA
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee approved adjustments to video replay rules in ice hockey regarding reviews of goals scored after infractions involving offsides or too many players on the ice.

Minnesota's Annual Hockey Day To Showcase Women's Hockey Outdoors
At the 12th Annual Hockey Day, St. Cloud State will participate in the event's first-ever outdoor women's hockey game as part of the festivities.

AWIHL (Australia)

2017 AW2SCS: East Division – Series 2 | Ice Hockey News Australia
Series 2 of the 2017 Australian Women’s Tier 2 Show Case Series – East Division has finished with all three teams picking up at least one win.

AWIHL news: 26 July 2017 | Ice Hockey News Australia
Adelaide Rush - The Rush have announced Josef Rezek as their head coach for the upcoming 2017-18 season.