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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: CWHL playoff preview

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Markham and Toronto go up against Montréal and Calgary this weekend.

Sarah Nurse (#16) of the Toronto Furies fights off Halli Krzyzaniak (#21) of the Calgary Inferno. Chris Tanouye/Canadian Women’s Hockey League

The Story of the Week this week should rightly be focused on Zoë Hayden’s op-ed for the Victory Press about sweeping the issues in women’s hockey under the rug for the sake of growing the game. Zoë laid it all out there (as she often does) and we don’t have much to add, except to encourage you to read her critique alongside of the various sparkling profiles of Kendall Coyne Schofield that are available this week.

Meanwhile, the CWHL playoffs are upon us. The CWHL distributed their budget for streaming in such a way that only two of a possible six games—the pivotal second game of each series—will be streamed by the league. Toronto Furies GM Sami Jo Small tweeted that “Furies TV” would be present in Calgary to pick up the slack, but so far there’s been no report of additional streaming for the series in Montréal. Of course, the Thunder and Canadiennes are notoriously chippy when they go up against each other, especially in the post-season, so maybe it’s good that impressionable young hockey players won’t get to see more than a game of that series.

The Canadiennes have this season’s best goalie in Emerance Maschmeyer, top scorer in Marie-Philip Poulin (who the Canadiennes expect to be available despite a nasty fall in the last game of the season, also against Markham) and won the season series against the Thunder four games to two. But playoffs are a coinflip and Markham managed to pull off the upset last year, so who’s to say? They come in to the series with the same goalie tandem of Erica Howe and Liz Knox that won them the 2018 Clarkson Cup, an improved offense, courtesy of the league’s top rookie scorer, Victoria Bach and the return of Jess Jones, and one of the best defensive cores in the league, featuring team captain Jocelyne Larocque, Laura Fortino and Megan Bozek.

After last Tuesday’s win against Markham to clinch the playoffs, everyone wants to see the Toronto Furies keep rolling. Everyone, that is, except Calgary and their fans. Toronto will go up against the top team in the league. A five game win streak is a hell of a confidence booster and the Furies know they’ve beaten the Inferno twice on the road this season. Team scoring is well up not only from last season, when the Olympians were centralized, but from the season before. Along with veterans like Natalie Spooner and Carolyne Prévost, Sarah Nurse is a Fury, Mellissa Channell is a Fury, Brittany Howard is a Fury.... The deeper they went into this season, the better the team got. One major hurdle will be Inferno goalie Alex Rigsby, who has won the starting job back on Team USA this season. Rigsby’s availability to the Inferno was limited this season and Toronto hasn’t had a chance to play against her up til now—both of their wins came with Annie Belanger in net, who is a great goalie, but she’s not Rigsby. Not to mention, Calgary’s lineup is stacked with Canadian and US Olympians like Rebecca Johnston, Brianne Jenner and Brianna Decker. Toronto will have to lock down their defence and hope Nurse and Spooner can make good on any opportunities at the net.

Hockey Media

Editorial: White Supremacy and Bigotry Disguised as Feminism in Women’s Hockey
It has always been time to talk about this, but we have been fucking up.

Kendall Coyne Schofield Skating into New Opportunities NHL Network NHLN NWHL - Hockey Wilderness
During a highly successful season Kendall Coyne Schofield earned another feather for her cap when she landed a studio analyst position with the NHL Network.

NHL Now to feature all-female broadcast - The Ice Garden
Kendall Coyne Schofield joins Jackie Redmond, Jamie Hersch, and all-star cast of analysts

CWHL

Budget restrictions headline CWHL decisions to stream games - The Ice Garden
League talks about broadcasting decisions

Her or Me with Worcester Blades skaters Erin Kickham and Meghan Grieves - The Ice Garden
Can you pick out The Office quote?

Les Canadiennes raise $16,000 - and counting - for breast cancer - Eyes On The Prize
The annual Pink in the Rink game was another success.

NWHL

Beauts split the weekend, lose final regular season game - Die By The Blade
Semi-final to take place at HarborCenter on March 9

Minnesota Whitecaps are NWHL Regular Season Champions Connecticut Whale - Hockey Wilderness
A 4-1 win over the Connecticut Whale earns the Minnesota Whitecaps first place for the NWHL regular season and clinch the 1st seed for playoffs.

NWHL goaltender volunteers to wear mask featuring Burger King’s face so fans get free Whoppers
The relentlessly fun hockey site, hopelessly devoted to the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin. Our goal is to make hockey as fun about as it is to watch.

NWHL Stock Report: Playoff SZN - The Ice Garden
The quest for the Cup begins. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose...

NWHL Weekend Wrap: Regular Season
The NWHL wrapped up its regular season this past weekend, with all five teams in action at least once. Playoff seeding was up for grabs, with three teams - the Minnesota Whitecaps, Boston Pride and Buffalo Beauts - all striving for the top spot in the league.

NCAA

Polls: USCHO - USA Today - The Ice Garden

SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division I Poll: Uniquely unmoving - The Ice Garden
21 games remain, 18 teams left to take home a trophy.

GOAL BY GOAL: BC Women’s Hockey Wins 5-4 OT Thriller Against UConn To Advance To Hockey East Semifinals - BC Interruption
The Eagles came out ahead in one of the wildest games of the season

Lovisa Selander is the best goalie you haven’t heard of - The Ice Garden
The NCAA’s best goalie talks gear, international styles, and her unexpected choice of warm-up video

NCAA Year in Review: Brown, Dartmouth, Union, Yale - The Ice Garden
A look back at the 2018-19 season for these ECAC squads

Patty Kazmaier Top-3 finalists named - The Ice Garden
All three finalists are seniors

NCAA Fantasy Hockey Week 22: Post Weekend Standings - The Ice Garden
Final standings until the CHA mess everything up with their mid-week tournament

No. 4 Women’s Hockey Blows By RPI in Game 3 of ECAC Quarterfinals for Right to Host Championship Weekend | The Cornell Daily Sun
Games one and two didn't come easily. But a six-goal outburst in game three sent Cornell to championship weekend.

Top-ranked Gophers women are rested, happy to be home | Brainerd Dispatch
Imagine watching through the windows as some friends have a fantastic and fun party at your house. Only you’re not invited.

Badgers women's hockey sweeps St. Cloud State in WCHA quarterfinals | Wisconsin Badgers Hockey | madison.com
The nation's second-ranked team advances to next Saturday's WCHA Frozen Faceoff against No. 10 Ohio State in Minneapolis.

Women's D-I weekend wrap March 3: Cornell, Colgate survive three-game series, rest of favorites roll | College Hockey | USCHO.com
Cornell and Colgate faced red-hot goalies and survived their opening-round series in three games, while the rest of the favorites swept to advance to the semifinals of their respective tournaments. Robert Morris swept Syracuse to win the CHA regular-season crown.

International hockey

Stocking up on young guns: Team USA’s World Championship Roster - The Ice Garden
A crop of NCAA players return to Team USA’s roster after the Rivalry Series

Winter Universiade Women’s Hockey: Canada dominates China in opener — International — U SPORTS

Canada remains perfect with a 3-0 record — U SPORTS

European club hockey

SDHL (Sweden) Rebecca Stenberg will retire after the season | Aftonbladet
Rebecca Stenberg puts the helmet on the shelf.

Luleå forward ends the season after concussion | Aftonbladet
Now it is clear that Luleå forward Nathalie Ferno will miss the final series.

Linköping and Lulea to SDHL-final – besegrade Modo | Aftonbladet
Linköping defeated Modo by 4-0 in Sunday's semi-finals.

U Sports

Bujold looking for career bookend entering AUS women’s hockey final | Hockey | Sports | The Chronicle Herald
Sarah Bujold is a step closer to bookending her university hockey career with a conference championship.

Women’s hockey team’s tough season comes to abrupt end - The Fulcrum
The women’s hockey team was swept in round one of the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) playoffs at the hands of the Montreal Carabins.

Blues women’s hockey team earns spot in McCaw Cup Final – The Varsity
The Varsity Blues women’s hockey team is headed to the McCaw Cup Final after defeating the Western Mustangs 2–1 on Saturday at Thompson Arena.

Women’s hockey loses nail-biting first round series to Ryerson | The Journal
In playoff hockey, a single goal can be the difference between elation and heartbreak.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder | The Manitoban
Two years ago, U of M Bisons women’s hockey forward Natasha Kostenko almost left the game of hockey behind.

AWIHL (Australia)

AWIHL releases promo video ahead of finals | Ice Hockey News Australia
The Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League have released a short promo video for the upcoming 2019 finals.