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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Midseason coaching changes

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Miller steps down, Seiling and Muni are fired and Ouellette and Sauvageau step up.

Shannon Miller
Shannon Miller coaching Team Canada

Story of the Week

Shannon Miller steps down as Calgary Inferno coach | Duluth News Tribune

Shannon Miller has stepped down as the Calgary Inferno’s head coach - The Ice Garden

The big story over the past week in women’s hockey is coaching—mainly, former coaches.

Last week it was announced that Shannon Miller would be leaving her post as head coach of the Calgary Inferno. Miller, one of the most experienced coaches in women’s hockey, had made her return to coaching this season with the Inferno after winning a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her hiring was seen as an exclamation point on a team whose insanely stacked roster (Brianna Decker! Rebecca Johnston! Alex Rigsby! Brianne Jenner!) was already penciled in as a Cup favorite before the puck dropped on the season, and it was Miller’s influence that helped recruit some of those stars. According to Miller, she left due to “a difference of opinion” on team management with Inferno GM Kristen Hagg; there was no further clarity offered on what, exactly, the difference of opinion concerned. Assistant coaches Ryan Hilderman (another Miller recruit) and Mandi Duhamel stepped in to coach this weekend against the Markham Thunder, and at least on the ice, this didn’t seem to affect the team much—the Inferno rolled over the Thunder, scoring ten goals on the weekend and allowing only three. They’re still a juggernaut, but I for one still want to know what exactly led to a former Team Canada coach, whose hiring was proudly trumpeted by the CWHL, to leave abruptly midseason due to “a difference of opinion.” That would have to be quite a difference.

NWHL: Buffalo Beauts Make Coaching Change

Beauts Relieve Coaching Staff, McCormick is Interim

In surprise, Beauts fire coach Ric Seiling, assistant Craig Muni – The Buffalo News

There must have been something in the air, because the next day, on the other side of the continent, in another league, the Buffalo Beauts decided to clean house. They fired head coach Ric Seiling, who had served in the role since the team’s inception, along with assistant coach Craig Muni. Beauts GM Nik Fattey said that the firing was performance-based—Buffalo’s 3-3 record put them squarely in the middle of the NWHL standings at the time, and Beauts management had expected better results with their roster. Midseason firings are not really common in women’s pro hockey; midseason firings for performance when a team doesn’t even have a losing record are downright odd. Buffalo does have a great roster on paper, and I suspect Pegula Sports and Entertainment have some high expectations for on-ice product considering the investment they’ve made in the team. It remains to be seen if new head coach Cody McCormick can give management the results they expect—in their first game under new coaching, the Beauts beat the Connecticut Whale this weekend, which is a start.

Add in Dany Brunet leaving les Canadiennes de Montréal in late November for personal reasons—replaced this week by a combination of legendary player Caroline Ouellette and legendary coach Danièle Sauvageau—and it’s been a chaotic couple weeks for women’s pro hockey coaches. No one is safe! Or, it feels that way, at least.

Les Canadiennes add Danièle Sauvageau to coaching staff - Eyes On The Prize
The Olympic coach comes to the CWHL as Montreal announces their plan to replace Dany Brunet.

Les Canadiennes react to Caroline Ouellette as coach - Eyes On The Prize
As the team prepares for three games in China, the team reacts to their former teammate behind the bench.

Ouellette et Sauvageau aux commandes - La Presse+
Il fallait s’y attendre. Depuis le départ de Dany Brunet il y a quelques jours, les Canadiennes de Montréal n’avaient plus d’entraîneur-chef, et l’équipe a annoncé hier que Caroline Ouellette et Danièle Sauvageau agiraient à titre d’entraîneuses associées pour le reste de la saison de la Ligue canadienne de hockey féminin (LCHF).

CWHL

CWHL Recap: Furies beat Blades 5-1, Thunder lose 3-1 - nafio and mediajunkie
It was a night of firsts in Toronto, and a frustrating night in Markham.

CWHL Recap: Toronto Furies down Blades, Inferno smoke Markham Thunder - Pension Plan Puppets
Toronto is on a three-game win streak; Markham swept by Calgary

CWHL vs TML | Leafs Nation
On this week of Blue & White Week, the Toronto Maple Leafs partner up with the Canadian Women Hockey League and go up against each other in a need for speed: Skills Challenge.

CWHL names another 12 players to 2019 All-Star roster - The Ice Garden
Inferno and Les Canadiennes have 6 players each so far

CWHL announces final 11 All-Stars - The Ice Garden
All teams but the Blades are represented in the final group.

The international travels of Ailish Forfar - The Ice Garden
Learn about the Markham Thunder rookie’s adventures in hockey, journalism, and service.

Johnston on fire with Calgary Inferno | Regina Leader-Post
Decorated former Olympian named Gongshow Player of the Month for November

NWHL

Beauts fall to Team Russia in four-game series - The Ice Garden
Babstock piled up the points, but Russia bested Buffalo three times

NWHL Weekend Wrap: Week Eight
The Boston Pride moved into first place in the National Women’s Hockey League with a win over the Metropolitan Riveters, while the Buffalo Beauts beat the Connecticut Whale in other NWHL action this weekend. The Minnesota Whitecaps were off this week.

The Rise of the Pride - The Ice Garden
Is Boston the NWHL’s top team at the holiday break?

NWHL All-Star Teams Announced
The National Women’s Hockey League has announced its rosters for the upcoming 2018 NWHL All-Star Game, being held in February 2019 in Nashville, TN.

NWHL 2019 All-Star All-Snub Team - The Ice Garden
Burt, Elia, and four more big snubs from the 2019 NWHL All-Star Game

International hockey

IIHF - U18 Women’s Worlds go manga
Japanese art of comics integrated in logo for WW18 in Obihiro

Hockey Canada unveils roster for 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship
23 players set sights on gold medal in Obihiro, Japan, in January

Women’s Hockey Update: December 6th, 2018 | CONWAY’S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
This update is all about the international play! With the Women’s Hockey Hockey league on break for now (games resume on December 18th), two Russian women’s national teams headed out on their adventures this past week.

NCAA

Polls: USCHO - USA Today - The Ice Garden

Women’s hockey sweeps RIT 3-1, 8-0 in first away meeting – The Daily Free Press
The Boston University women’s hockey team played the Rochester Institute of Technology to a 3-1 win Friday and another 8-0 victory Saturday after making the six-hour bus ride to Western New York, concluding the two teams’ first meeting in the Gene Polisseni Center.

Watertown Daily Times | College women’s hockey: Giguere’s scoring streak against rival St. Lawrence continues in Clarkson victory (VIDEO)
In her first two seasons of NCAA women’s hockey, Clarkson’s Elizabeth Giguere has dominated against St. Lawrence University.

A Historic Inaugural Season for LIU Women’s Ice Hockey is Coming Soon : Seawanhaka Press | LIU Brooklyn
A Long Island University Women’s Ice Hockey will be coming to Brooklyn in the Fall of 2019 as the first NCAA Division I Hockey Program, men or women, in New York City. The new program that was first announced in September, will be introducing Head Coach Rob Morgan to Flatbush Avenue as he returns back from China, where he was overseas developing international women’s ice hockey.

No. 1 Badgers tame Huskies 3-1
The top-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team scored twice in the final seven minutes to take down St. Cloud State, 3-1, on Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

College hockey: Merrimack women make their mark – Boston Herald
Four years ago, the women’s hockey program at Merrimack didn’t exist. In its first three seasons, the team won five, 11 and 11 games. On Saturday, coach Erin Hamlen’s plucky group pulled off perhaps its best win ever, stunning No. 9 Boston College, 1-0, in North Andover. Defenseman Paige Sorensen scored in the second period,

Women’s Hockey East sweeps National Player of the Month awards | NCAA.com
Women’s Hockey East has swept the Women’s Hockey Commissioners’ Association’s national awards for November, marking the first time one league has won all three awards in the same month. Providence sophomore Maureen Murphy (Buffalo, N.Y.) has been named National Division I Player of the Month, while teammate and senior netminder Madison Myers (Colchester, N.Y.) was awarded top goaltender.

GOAL BY GOAL: BC Women’s Hockey Fights Out 4-3 OT Win Over Merrimack - BC Interruption
Back in the win column!

European club hockey

SDHL (Sweden) Wakefield enjoys cohesion and existence after the injury: "Fantastic" - Brynäs IF
Jennifer Wakefield has played three matches after the comeback - and as she delivered.

The Nordic News: How is it December already? - The Ice Garden
All-Stars, Independence Day festivities, and more.

AWIHL (Australia)

2018-19 AWIHL season: Round 6 | Ice Hockey News Australia
Round 6 of the 2018-19 Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League season has finished with the Melbourne Ice defeating the Perth Inferno in both games of their double header at the O’Brien Group Arena.