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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: We have winners!

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League play is mostly over — next stop, Worlds.

The Calgary Inferno gathered around the net prior to a game.
Your 2019 CWHL Clarkson Cup champions, the Calgary Inferno
Laine Schuck / Cwhl

Story of the week

Now that all the trophies are handed out (okay, except for in Russia, where they’ve paused between the semi-finals and the finals for Worlds, the weirdos) what comes to mind is the end credits of the Just for Laughs specials. “Mommy!” sob “It’s overrrr!”

The past week has seen the Calgary Inferno, the University of Wisconsin Badgers, Luleå HF, and the Espoo Blues all crowned champions of their respective leagues. It’s been a hell of a season and we want to thank everyone for your support.

We’ve got a very short break (a week, basically) and then it’s go-go-go for ten days of hockey in Espoo, Finland for the Top Level IIHF Women’s World Championships. In fact, all levels of the World Championships—Division IA in Hungary, Division IB in China, Divison IIA in Scotland, and Division IIB in Romania—will be played more or less simultaneously.

April 20 will then see the beginning of the league finals in Russia and then we’re officially in the off-season.

Because we’re gearing up for Worlds it’s debatable as to whether we’ll have a Women’s Hockey Wednesday next week. Whether we do or not, we’ll then move to our every-other-week offseason schedule, meaning that the next WHW after that one will be April 17. We expect to bring you plenty of Worlds coverage, with previews next week and daily recaps during the tournament.

Okay, on to the links!

CWHL

Calgary Inferno Claim Clarkson Cup After a Season That Was Harder Than It Looked
Seen from a distance, it might have seemed inevitable that the Calgary Inferno would win the Clarkson Cup this season.

Les Canadiennes are left wondering what could have been - Eyes On The Prize
They won’t use it as an excuse, but injuries defined Montreal’s season.

Inferno take down Canadiennes to win franchise’s 2nd Clarkson Cup | CBC Sports
Zoe Hickel had two goals as the Calgary Inferno defeated Les Canadiennes de Montreal 5-2 on Sunday at Coca-Cola Coliseum for their second Clarkson Cup title in franchise history.

Q&A with Jayna Hefford: Clarkson Cup arrives at defining moment in women’s hockey | The Star
Sunday’s CWHL final between Calgary and Montreal at Coca-Cola Coliseum follows significant strides toward mainstream attention for women’s hockey. Interim commissioner Jayna Hefford says it’s just the start.

2019 CWHL award winners - The Ice Garden
Marie-Philip Poulin wins three awards

CWHL Awards: Markham Thunder’s Victoria Bach is 2019 Rookie of the Year - Pension Plan Puppets
Thunder coach Jim Jackson was the only other GTA award winner.

Ten years later: Remembering the first Clarkson Cup Final - Eyes On The Prize
As Montreal gets set to return to Clarkson Cup glory, we look back at the first time the Cup was played for.

Hilary Knight - Un jour, les joueuses seront traitées comme les gars | ICI Radio-Canada.ca
Un jour, une jeune joueuse se fera repêcher et elle gagnera assez d'argent pour bien vivre et même en déposer dans un compte-épargne. Elle pourra poursuivre une carrière professionnelle en faisant ce qu'elle aime le plus au monde.

NCAA

SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division I Poll: On Wisconsin - The Ice Garden
Another season in the books, but a new team on top to end the season for the poll.

NCAA Fantasy Hockey Week 26: Final Fantasy - The Ice Garden
They said anything could happen... AND IT DID

NCAA Year in Review: Minnesota-Duluth and Ohio State - The Ice Garden
The best of the rest in the west

NCAA Year in Review: Robert Morris and Syracuse - The Ice Garden
A review of the CHA’s regular season champions and postseason champions

Kitchener’s Loren Gabel of Clarkson University wins Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award | TheRecord.com
Canadian forward Loren Gabel was named the winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award on Saturday.

Q&A with Clarkson’s Loren Gabel - The Ice Garden
The Clarkson senior was named a Top 3 Patty Kazmaier finalist for the second season in a row

Minnesota Gophers Beat Cornell Big Red, Will Play for 2019 NCAA National Title - Hockey Wilderness
Goals by Nicole Schammel and Sarah Potomak beat Cornell 2-0 and put Minnesota in 2019 NCAA National Championship game.

2019 USCHO D-I Women's Player of the Year: Elizabeth Giguère | College Hockey | USCHO.com
Rarely does USCHO pick a player who wasn't a top three finalist for the Patty Kazmiaer Award as our player of the year, but her phenomenal scoring and clutch performances have earned Elizabeth Giguère of Clarkson the USCHO nod as Women's D-I player of the year.

Wisconsin Badgers earn championship game matchup with Minnesota by blanking Clarkson in Frozen Four semifinal | Wisconsin Badgers Hockey | madison.com
Abby Roque's second-period goal broke a scoreless tie, Sam Cogan provided insurance and Annie Pankowski scored twice in the 5-0 victory over Clarkson in the national semifinals at People's United

U women have talent to rebound from NCAA title game loss - StarTribune.com
The Gophers will return much of their core next season, with several new faces coming onto a team that finished national runners-up.

Wisconsin beats MN Gophers 2-0 in NCAA women’s hockey championship game
Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 2-0 in the Women’s Frozen Four NCAA championship game Sunday at People’s United Center on the Quinnipiac University campus.

European club hockey

SDHL (Sweden)Back to Back: Luleå Hockey/MSSK wins SDHL gold - The Ice Garden
Three titles in four years for the reigning champions.

Rebecca Stenberg gold hero for Luleå – in her last elite match | Aftonbladet
Rebecca Stenberg, 26, completed her career with two goals.

Ronja Savolainen fainted during Luleå’s celebration in the SM final | Aftonbladet
It must be one of Swedish hockey’s most remarkable victory celebrations ever.

Linköping left the ice - in the middle of Luleå’s gold celebration | Aftonbladet
Luleå won the SM gold and was waiting to lift the trophy. Then Linköping left the ice.

Naisten liiga (Finland) The Espoo Blues are the 2019 Aurora Borealis Cup Champions - The Ice Garden
A clean sweep brings the title back to Espoo.

WHL (Russia) Clutch | CONWAY’S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
Our Universiade recap is on its way -- you will see it here in the next day or so -- but right now we need to talk about Olga Sosina.

International hockey

Hockey player Kacey Bellamy’s world championships playlist
A veteran on the U.S. hockey team, Kacey Bellamy has listened to the same song before every game since high school -- and will listen to it before worlds in April, too.

New coach sees good future ahead for Chinese women’s ice hockey - Xinhua | English.news.cn
The 65-year-old Swiss began as the head coach of the Chinese team less than a month ago. His task is to lead the world number 20 team to make a difference on their home court at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

NWHL

NWHL Announces Season-End Award Winners
The NWHL has announced the winners of its end-of-season awards, as voted on by players, media and fans. Here is the list of awards, finalists and winners.

2018-19 Season in Review: Riveters struggles were apparent, will they impact next season? – Erica L. Ayala
What a difference a year makes.

2018-19 NWHL Season Recap: Boston Pride - The Ice Garden
The Pride came roaring back this season, but they still have more to prove

NWHL: Buffalo Beauts Season Review
The NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts continued their streak of never missing an Isobel Cup Final, but found itself on the losing end – despite a strong regular-season effort.

NWHL: Minnesota Whitecaps Season Review
Coming into the NWHL season, it was expected that the Minnesota Whitecaps would be very good. It's little surprise that the team captured the Isobel Cup in their inaugural season.

What Gender Equality Month means to me: Blake Bolden
Blake Bolden is a professional women’s hockey player who became the first African-American player in the National Women’s Hockey League.

Fairy-tale season ends with cup for former Elk Curtis | Elk River Star News | hometownsource.com
Elk River’s Curtis leads Whitecaps to historic championship in rookie season

Kingston’s Amanda Leveille adds second pro hockey championship | The Kingston Whig-Standard
Leveille, 24, backstopped the Minnesota Whitecaps to the title, a winner-take-all, one-game, 2-1 overtime win over her former team, the Buffalo Beauts, on Sunday afternoon in St. Paul, Minn.

U Sports

City native helps make history with Gryphons | Owen Sound Sun Times
Ashlee Lawrence recently hung up her brand new U Sports national championship gold medal in her room at Guelph.It will now hang beside the bronze medal she won with the Saugeen Maitland Lightning AA midget club, and her three OUA championship medals.

U of W launches probe into allegations levied against hockey coach | Windsor Star
A probe was launched after five players came forward with complaints levied against first-year U of W women’s hockey coach Deanna Iwanicka.