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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Official recognition for USA’s Women’s Development Sled Hockey Team

Plus it’s Fall Festival time, the CWHL schedule is out and more!

36th Annual Salute to Women In Sports Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Story of the week

Roster Named for 2018-19 U.S. Women's Development Sled Hockey Team

Our options this week’s header picture were pictures like the one above of USA sled hockey star Kelsey DiClaudio that are three years old, or pictures from the most recent Paralympics, featuring the one woman in the tournament playing para ice hockey... who was not an American.

We’ve talked before about how para ice hockey (sled hockey in the US, sledge hockey in Canada) deserves more coverage and support. Today’s announcement from USA Hockey that their Women’s Sled Development team would finally become “fully part of USA Hockey” is definitely a step in the right direction.

While sled hockey is nominally a co-ed sport, the US National Team, like most national teams, has no women on this season’s roster. Putting 18 women squarely in the eye of USA Hockey may make it easier to change that in the future.

In the short term, an interview with DiClaudio from last year by Kirsten Whelan highlighted the differences between the US National team and the Women’s Development team, and gives a glimpse of what recognition will mean to these 18 athletes:

“They get all these snacks and all this chocolate milk and all this everything,” she laughed. “We just got a trainer. We don’t even have an equipment guy or anything like that. So it’s kind of ‘just get out there and play’ with the women’s team. You put on your jersey, represent your country, and get out there and play. You’re just playing for the love of the game, basically.

The larger goal however, is the recognition of women’s sled hockey as a sport on its own. Last week we linked to a few stories about tryouts for the Women’s National Para Ice Hockey Team, and their fight to be recognized by Hockey Canada. The Women’s Para Ice Hockey World Cup in May still featured a Team Europe. The Beijing Paralympics are four years away — let’s hope by then USA Hockey will be sending a full team of women to compete in a women’s para ice hockey tournament at the Games.

International Hockey

Canada’s National Women’s Team kicks off season in Dawson Creek, B.C.
Fifty-nine national team hopefuls invited to Fall Festival, Sept. 8-16, led by coaches Perry Pearn and Troy Ryan

USA Hockey releases roster and schedule for 2018 National Team evaluation camp - The Ice Garden
It wouldn’t be USA Hockey without a little bit of controversy.

Wasaga’s Vicki Bendus is off the ice, but not out of the game | Simcoe.com
Wasaga Beach native Vicki Bendus always had a love for the game of hockey, and she is still finding a way to stay involved.

Fredrik Glader become’s Denmark’s head coach | Aftonbladet
His SDHL club has confirmed Sportblad’s disclosure from earlier today.

NWHL

2018 NWHL Free Agency Tracker - The Ice Garden
Your convenient one-stop shop for all the NWHL signing news.

NWHL, SDHL Reveal Revised Champions Cup Details - The Ice Garden
Rosie, prepare to meet Stålmannen.

NWHLer Kelly Babstock hosts all girls’ hockey camp in Wiky
Wiikwemkoong’s own National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) athlete Kelly Babstock recently hosted her first ever all girls’ hockey school at her home community—something she’s excited to do again next year.

Behind the Mask to Behind the Plate: Fitzgerald Takes a Swing at Softball - The Ice Garden
Katie Fitzgerald and the Bandits showcase the mission of SheIS

A Q&A with Anya Battaglino - The Ice Garden
The NWHL Players Association Director talks her playing days, her plans for the NWHLPA

Prospective Beauts Depth Chart - Die By The Blade
With so much talent, where do the players line up?

Sam Walther wants to raise her game in the NWHL - The Ice Garden
The Whale rookie knows ‘you don’t get a win unless you play in the game’

Connecticut Whale Sign Russian Goaltender Maria Sorokina - The Ice Garden
Connecticut bolsters its roster by signing yet another international player.

CWHL

CWHL: 2018-19 Schedule, Broadcast Info, Pay Details
The league’s 12th season begins on Saturday, October 13 with all teams in action, as Les Canadiennes de Montréal host the Calgary Inferno, the Toronto Furies host the Shenzhen KRS Vanke Rays, and reigning Clarkson Cup champion Markham Thunder host the Worcester Blades.

CWHL News: Notable players attending Toronto Furies try-outs - Pension Plan Puppets
The rosters for the first intrasquad game contain more than a few interesting names.

NCAA

From Buckeye to Golden Knight: Goaltender Kassidy Sauvé transfers to Clarkson – The Athletic
Kassidy Sauvé leaves Ohio State as the most decorated goaler in program history. She holds records for most saves in a season and broke the record for overall shutouts last year. [Editor’s Note: this article is behind The Athletic’s paywall]

LIU Brooklyn adds women's hockey, will start play in 2019-20 as NEWHA member | College Hockey | USCHO.com
LIU Brooklyn announced Monday afternoon that women's hockey will be the Blackbirds' 20th varsity sport.

Announcing The Ice Garden’s NCAA Fantasy Hockey League - The Ice Garden
Pucks, picks, and the best laid plans... it’s time for some fantasy hockey.

European club hockey

WHL (Russia) Russian women’s league readying for new season - The Ice Garden
Changes abound in the Motherland, as Agidel Ufa looks to defend their title while six others seek to dethrone them

The Women’s Hockey League in 2018-19 | CONWAY’S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
The Russian Women’s Hockey League began it’s 2018-19 season on Sunday, as defending champions Agidel Ufa hosted their arch-rivals, and last year’s beaten finalists, Tornado Moscow Oblast.

SDHL (Sweden) Asserholt: "The body responded well after childbirth"| Aftonbladet
One day with Jenni Asserholt and Zoe, 7 months before the comeback in HV71

Sara Grahn om bytet till Luleå: ”Besviken på hur allt var” | Aftonbladet
After eight seasons in Brynäs, Sara Grahn chose to go to the ruling champions Luleå.

Klára Peslarová Excited to Be Back in SDHL, With MODO
After a year in which she returned to her native Czech Republic to play in a men's league, Klára Peslarová is back in the SDHL to play for MODO.

Jenni Hiirikoski Goes One-On-One & Shares Some Fun Facts
THW went one-on-one with Finnish great Jenni Hiirikoski as she begins her 2018-19 season with Luleå HF/MSSK. Jenni shared some fun facts too!