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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Brianna Decker gets paid

Next year, instead of demonstration, why don’t we try inclusion?

NHL: All Star Game-Skills Competition Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Story of the Week

Brianna Decker Passed the Skills Test but the NHL Failed - Katya
The NHL only partly included four women hockey players in the All-Star Skills competition, and paid the wrong person $25,000.

The NHL All-Star Skills Competition and Settling For Less

Kendall Coyne Schofield speeds through NHL Skills Competition - The Ice Garden
Olympian and NWHL player begins NHL Skills Competition with big numbers

Our Story of the Week, obviously, is the NHL All-Star Game skills competition—from Kendall Coyne Schofield doing what Kendall Coyne Schofield does best in the Fastest Skater competition (she is, without question, the fastest skater I have ever seen live) to Brianna Decker “demonstrating” the passing competition by dominating it, women’s hockey was briefly center stage at a NHL event.

Clock disputes aside (for what it’s worth, I’m inclined to take Elliotte Friedman’s statement on behalf of the NHL regarding a video no one else has seen with several grains of salt), Katya hit the big takeaway point from the weekend in her piece on #PayDecker:

First, just invite these pros to participate next time. If the KHL can manage that, you can too. Leave the “demonstration” to someone else.

If the KHL can treat Tatiana Rafter and Nicol Cupkova as the professional hockey players they are, the NHL should be able to do the same. This is the second year the NHL has had women “demonstrating”, and if there was ever any novelty to this, it’s worn off. If they’re going to be present—which they should be!—let them compete. Whether Decker clocked in faster than Draisaitl or not, her run through of the drill (which she said was “casual”) definitely beat the rest of the field. She should have been properly timed in the first place, as Coyne Schofield was, and Coyne Schofield’s inclusion shouldn’t have been a last-minute move because Nathan MacKinnon needed a foot MRI. I can’t even find proper footage of the Furies’ Renata Fast demonstrating her drill. This could have been so much more than what it was.

From Rebecca Johnston making the cover of the Calgary Sun to Coyne Schofield appearing as a guest commentator on this week’s Wednesday Night Hockey, it’s definitely true (if irritating!) that proximity to the NHL gets women’s hockey exposure like nothing else. With both professional leagues in the final push before playoffs, and the Team Canada - Team USA Rivalry Series scheduled for mid-February, it’s still to be seen if that will translate into attendance numbers or TV ratings (the Rivalry series will be shown on TSN/RDS in Canada, and NHL Network in the US).

International hockey

‘I never expected to have that chance’ - Ann-Sophie Bettez talks about making Team Canada - Eyes On The Prize
Making her senior national team debut, Bettez looks forward to February’s series.

Up-And-Comers: Norway’s Kaja Ekle
Kaja Ekle is a talented young netminder from Norway who is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to her goaltending craft.

Hockey Canada announces roster for Rivalry Series vs Team USA - Pension Plan Puppets
Four CWHL Toronto Furies and five Markham Thunder players will join Team Canada

USA reveals roster for Rivalry Series - The Ice Garden
14 gold medalists highlight roster

USA Hockey’s New Trans and Non-Binary Guidelines Don’t Amount to Inclusion for Many Trans and Non-Binary Athletes

CWHL

Inferno Report: Clinching a playoff spot; Rivalry Series; #PayDecker – Flamesnation

Jill Saulnier leads Les Canadiennes to weekend split with Markham - Eyes On The Prize
Four goal performance helps avoid a second straight loss.

CWHL Recap: Markham Thunder lose to les Canadiennes in Clarington, 6-2 - Pension Plan Puppets
Stacey and Bach score one apiece but Saulnier scores four.

Inferno: Weekday Wrap - Matchsticks and Gasoline
CGY Officially Clinched A Playoff Spot This Week

The CWHL Playoff Race - The Ice Garden
Only four teams will battle it out for the Clarkson Cup

CWHL Recap: Thunder beat les Canadiennes 2-1 - mediajunkie
Two goals from Victoria Bach and an excellent performance from Erica Howe combined for the win!

NWHL

NWHL Weekend Wrap: Beauts Beat Boston
In the lone NWHL game this weekend, the Buffalo Beauts outpowered the Boston Pride en route to a 4-1 victory that evened the two teams in league standings.

Beauts Julianna Iafallo joins Buffalo natives making mark in Pro Hockey - Die By The Blade
Rookie forward giving boisterous family something to cheer about

NWHL MVP race is too close to call - The Ice Garden
Five players who have been indispensable to their teams this year

Behind the Glass: the NWHL’s top shooting duos - The Ice Garden
Stories, stats, trends, and observations from the world of professional women’s hockey

Her or Me with Minnesota Whitecaps skaters Lee Stecklein and Hannah Brandt - The Ice Garden
We put Whitecaps and Team USA teammates to the test

Q&A with Hayley Moore on her career in hockey - The Ice Garden
The NWHL Deputy Commissioner and Director of Girls Hockey at the East Coast Wizards discusses her management role in hockey

NCAA

Polls: USCHO - USA Today - The Ice Garden

RPI Engineers - Selander Earns Goalie of the Week
ECAC Hockey has announced its weekly award winners from women's hockey and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student-athlete Lovisa Selander has been named MAC Goaltending Goalie of the Week, after leading the Engineers to an unbeaten road weekend.

Women’s Hockey: Lauren Boyle becomes first Buckeye drafted to NWHL | The Lantern
As the saying goes: one must learn how to walk before they can run. For Ohio State women’s hockey senior defender Lauren Boyle, however, walking on land and skating on ice were abilities she acquired simultaneously.

With Vengeance on the Mind, No. 6 Women’s Hockey Picks Up Big Road Win at No. 8 Colgate | The Cornell Daily Sun
Cornell and Colgate appeared on their way to another contest that would be decided in the final seconds. But Amy Curlew's first goal of the season gave the Red the lead for good late in the third period.

Defensive Struggles Continue As Women’s Hockey is Swept by No. 2 Minnesota | Eleven Warriors
The seventh-ranked Buckeyes’ losing skid reached five games as the team dropped a second decision to the Golden Gophers.

Bemidji State-Michigan Tech: Frigid Hockey Day Game Sets A New NCAA Record
Bemidji State University and Michigan Tech faced off in the annual Hockey Day match, this time in frigid, record-setting low temperatures.

College women's hockey: Bulldogs' Rogge regains scoring touch | Duluth News Tribune
Minnesota Duluth's leading scorer from a year ago, sophomore forward Naomi Rogge, vanquished a 10-game goalless streak last weekend in convincing fashion by scoring two goals each night in a pair of wins over Ohio State.

No. 3 Northeastern Women’s Hockey Has Sights Set On National Championship | Hockey East | NESN.com
The Northeastern women's hockey team fell short of its ultimate goal a season ago, losing to Colgate, 3-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament But the Huskies entered the 2018-2019 season with their eyes solely on the goal of winning a national championship.

NCAA Fantasy Hockey Week 17: Post Weekend Standings - The Ice Garden
More movement at the top of our league, and NCAA teams slowly change the #narrative

NCAA Women’s Hockey Bracketology: January 29th, 2019 - BC Interruption
Projecting this year’s NCAA tournament

European club hockey

SDHL (Sweden) Luleå near the series victory| Aftonbladet
The ruling championship team Luleå storms against the series victory in SDHL.

SDHL team in bus accident: “We had angels” | Aftonbladet
Gothenburg HC was on the bus home after the SDHL meeting with Leksand.

SWHL (Switzerland) ZSC Lions defend their Swiss Women's Hockey Cup title - swisshockeynews.ch

AWIHL (Australia)

An Australian hockey analytics odyssey - The Ice Garden
Or, how to drag your barebones stats league into the analytics era