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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Welcome to the pre-season

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Exhibitions everywhere, a new logo for the Pride and a new arena for the Canadiennes

Carolyne Prevost (#27) in a 2016 pre-season game vs the UOIT Ridgebacks
Toronto Furies Carolyne Prevost (#27) in a 2016 pre-season game vs the UOIT Ridgebacks
Chris Tanouye / CWHL

Story of the week

Okay so for some leagues — Russia, the SDHL in Sweden, probably a couple of other leagues I have trouble tracking because there’s not a lot of English-language coverage— the actual season has started. But here in North America, the post-secondary leagues, the pro leagues, and even the Canadian National Team are starting their pre-season.

This weekend both Annie and I will return to a hockey rink for the first time in months. I’ll be at both the GTA CWHL games and Annie will be at a Boston University vs Concordia game. If you’re looking for games to attend, the NWHL released their pre-season schedule this week or check out the schedule of your local NCAA or U Sports team. As for the CWHL, they’ve never been very good at publicizing pre-season games, so we’ve collected a list for your convenience (all times are local, some games may be available for online viewing and now updated with correct days of the week!):

Saturday September 23 7:30 pm Toronto Furies @ Markham Thunder

Sunday September 24 1:00 pm Markham Thunder @ Toronto Furies

Tuesday September 26 7:00 pm Kunlun Red Star @ UBC Thunderbirds

Friday September 29 7:00 pm Canadiennes de Montréal @ UdeM Carabins

Saturday September 30 3:30 pm Markham Thunder @ UOIT Ridgebacks

Monday October 2 7:00 pm Vanke Rays @ UBC Thunderbirds

Thursday October 5 7:00 pm Canadiennes de Montréal @ UdeM Carabins

Friday October 6 7:00 pm Canadiennes de Montréal @ McGill Martlets

Saturday October 7 3:30 pm Toronto Furies @ UOIT Ridgebacks

The Calgary Inferno have their training camp September 29-October 1 and the Boston Blades are keeping things very quiet indeed.

Meanwhile the other thing that’s been quiet is the CWHL regular season schedule, although the Québec press suggests it will come out today. We know all the North American home openers by now, and that Opening Weekend is October 14-15, featuring Markham at Toronto and Calgary at Montréal. Plus, there’s no All-Star Game and there have been rumours the league will go dark for the Olympics for the first time.

Why has the league been so quiet? Well for one thing, they were without a communications manager for a chunk of the offseason and when the new person arrived she likely had a number of fires she may still be putting out. Plus, a few GMs weren’t announced until just before the draft — notably the Boston GM, who may have found herself with a need to book ice in the Boston area for a dozen or more games on short notice, which is no small feat. I also have to wonder with the National Team and the Calgary Inferno sharing space, perhaps the National Team gets preference when trying to book games?

But the announcement this week of a new home arena for the Canadiennes for the 2019-20 season suggests things may be looking up. It’s true that Commissioner Brenda Andress was at a meeting about Verdun rink even before the expansion to China was announced, but if nothing else it means something is close to set in stone for the 2019-20 season. And to have a rink where the CWHL is the principal tenant - the Thunder can maybe say that, Kunlun and Vanke share facilities, Toronto and Calgary are secondary tenants at best and Boston definitely can’t say that. It’s a sign of stability.

There’s no doubt there will be a 2017-18 CWHL season, perhaps with a few bumps in the early weeks. Still, with the turnover of staff this past summer and the resulting delays in communication, seeing a fixed point in the future is something that CWHL staff and likely CWHL fans should be glad to see.

International hockey

South Korea has big plans for the Winter Games – and hockey | Ottawa Citizen
Is Korea the next hockey hotbed?

S-SM girls hockey welcomes familiar faces in Korean exhibition game | Sports | southernminn.com
Once the final horn sounded, a smile never left Grace Lee’s face.

Women's Hockey - Wisconsin Athletics - Badgers blank Korea in exhibition
Six different Badgers score Saturday night at LaBahn Arena

South Korea Tours WCHA in Exhibition Series - Hockey Wilderness
The South Korean Women’s National Team will play a series of exhibition games with select WCHA teams in September.

USWNT Builds Chemistry At Residency Program
The build-up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea has begun for the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team.

AMALIE Arena to host Four Nations Cup championship game in November
U.S. Women's Hockey team to also play exhibition game on September 24 after Lightning game

Meet Noor Jahan, an Ice hockey player in winter, art restorer in summer | Free Press Kashmir
What do you do when there is a frozen water reservoir next to your home? You step on it, you slip, and you fall, and you get better at slipping.

Canada’s National Women’s Team announces schedule for Where the Journey Begins, presented by the Esso Brand
Canada’s National Women’s Team has announced the complete schedule for its Where the Journey Begins series presented by the Esso Brand – a 24-game schedule that features opponents from across the Alberta Midget Hockey League.

Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 | Number 11 - Halli Krzyzaniak - The Ice Garden
Just 23 by the time of the Games, the second-youngest defender in Canadian World Championship history will be among the most experienced youngsters in PyeongChang.

CWHL

CWHL salaries: 10 years of history into one year of pay - Pension Plan Puppets
Paying the players is great! But it’s not that simple.

Brenda Andress Advocates For Patience to Guarantee CWHL Success | Sports – The Link
During her stop in Montreal to assist the unveiling of an agreement to bring Les Canadiennes de Montreal to the Verdun Auditorium, Canadian Women’s Hockey League commissioner Brenda Andress doubled down on her process of moving slow.

Les Canadiennes to return to Bell Centre - Eyes On The Prize
The Kunlun Red Star will be their opponents in November

Les Canadiennes to move into the Verdun Auditorium in 2019 | Montreal Gazette
Les Canadiennes de Montréal, the women's hockey team, will begin using the Verdun Auditorium as its home arena in 2019.

Les Canadiennes à Verdun | Métro
L'Auditorium de Verdun sera la prochaine résidence des Canadiennes de Montréal.

Les Canadiennes éliront domicile à l'auditorium de Verdun | Simon Drouin | Hockey
Les Canadiennes de Montréal éliront domicile dans un auditorium de Verdun complètement rénové en 2019.

Chinese hockey team to take on the Markham Thunder | Markham Review
On Saturday, October 21, the Markham Thunder hockey team of the CWHL, newly relocated to Markham from Brampton, will engage in a historic battle against an elite women’s hockey team from China for the first time.

Furies first-round pick Capizzano will not join team this season - Pension Plan Puppets
Furies General Manager Latreille confirmed she has pulled out from the CWHL.

NWHL

2017 NWHL pre-season schedule set
The Connecticut Whale have about three and a half weeks to find a second goalie

Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 | Number 16 - Kelsey Koelzer - The Ice Garden
Back for her first full season in the NWHL, the former Tiger has lots of room to grow

The Boston Pride’s New Logo is Awesome - The Ice Garden
The Pack is back with a new look

NCAA

College women's hockey: Bulldogs lose Schugel for season | Duluth News Tribune
The Minnesota Duluth women's hockey program held its first official practice of the season Saturday, but Brooklyn Schugel wasn't on the ice.

With experience, Minnesota state women's hockey team could move up in WCHA | Sports | mankatofreepress.com
Saturday was the official start day for the 2017-18 NCAA Division I women's hockey season.

Boston College Has Women’s Hockey’s Slickest New Locker Room - BC Interruption
Beauty.

Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 | Number 13 - Annie Pankowski - The Ice Garden
Pankowski one of top young stars prepping for her first Olympic Games

Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 | Number 12 - Nicole Hensley - The Ice Garden
Look out, USA, there's a new goalie in town.

Naisten Liiga (Finland)

Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 | Number 17 - Susanna Tapani - The Ice Garden
One player. Three sports. Boundless potential.

SDHL (Sweden)

Q & A With HV71’s Jenni Asserholt - The Ice Garden
SDHL star looks ahead to motherhood and more.

Women’s Hockey League (Russia)

Women’s Hockey Update: September 18, 2017 | CONWAY'S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
The 2017-18 Women's Hockey league season got underway on Saturday, as champions Tornado Moscow Oblast hosted defending bronze-medalists Dynamo St. Petersburg

AWIHL (Australia)

AWIHL news: 19 September 2017 | Ice Hockey News Australia
The Goannas have signed Smile Time Dental as a new sponsor for the upcoming 2017-18 season.