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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: CWHL finale

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Interesting things happened in other areas of women’s hockey this week and we have those links. But oh, our hearts.

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Kelli Stack of the Kunlun Red Star holds the CWHL MVP trophy and Jamie Lee Rattray of the Markham Thunder holds the Jayna Hefford trophy
2018 CWHL MVP Kelli Stack and 2018 Jayna Hefford Trophy winner Jamie Lee Rattray. The Jayna Hefford Trophy is on its way to the HHOF. The MVP trophy? No idea.
Seyran Mammadov / CWHL

How did it get this bad? That’s about the only thing Annie and I can think, lately. We try to look to the future, to hope that we’ll soon be hearing what decisions the CWHLPA and NWHLPA members, particularly the Canadian and US National Team players, are starting to make about the future of elite women’s hockey in North America.

We try to be hopeful about the fact that when the CWHL put its trophies up for sale, fans answered the call and attempted to coordinate so that important pieces of women’s hockey history would end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame or otherwise publicly accessible, and potentially available to a future league. At least part of that campaign was outbid on the last day. By whom? We’re not sure. Cool, cool.

The NWHL is planning to expand its season to 24 games per team. They’re hiring general managers for every team. They still seem to think Toronto and Montréal teams will happen. That sounds great but all we can think is where’s the money coming from? The CWHL seemed well-established, stable. Up until a season or two ago it was fairly easy to get ahold of their annual report, which seemed to indicate the expenses weren’t outstripping the resources coming in. Hell, the CWHL was criticized for going too slow, for emphasizing sustainability over paying players. We’re still not sure who all the NWHL investors are, they have very few sponsors, only one team is touted as in the black. So what’s the source of this money to add extra staff, more players, more travel time, more food, more hotel rooms? Is it sustainable, or will it too disappear in a couple of years?

Hilary Knight is optimistic about the future of women’s hockey. She knows a hell of a lot more than us about what’s going on right now. We hope she’s right.

CWHL

Player Perspective: The latest CWHL disaster
CWHL player Ailish Forfar provides a personal perspective of the league’s latest disaster.

CWHL Jersey Funds Won't Go Directly To Players
With the closure of the league coming May 1, the dissolution process -- including liquidation -- is in full swing, and assets are going up for auction.

Trophies Matter: Women’s hockey and the politics of memory | Hockey in Society
It’s Friday night. I worked all day, had a 5:30pm tournament game, and came home from the rink to a text that read: “Why are the CWHL trophies on sale? Disgusting.”

Trophies Matter – But Women Don’t
As part of the month-long liquidation process leading up to the official dissolution of the CWHL on May 1, the majority of the league’s trophies went up for auction this week.

GoFundMe Campaign: Supporting former CWHL players
Jared Book and Kirsten Whelan are converting their fundraiser initially aimed towards buying one of the CWHL trophies to one supporting former players.

Calgary celebrates Inferno’s championship season as the CWHL shuts down - The Globe and Mail
The Inferno were saluted in Calgary council chambers two days before the CWHL officially ceases operations Wednesday

Players demand say in women’s hockey future after CWHL folds
Hilary Knight put aside the jet lag and fresh memories of helping the United States win its latest world hockey championship to begin looking ahead to next season.

Hilary Knight happy to be the face of women’s hockey in the United States
Hilary Knight hopes to be remembered for her on-ice legacy, but equally for what she’s done off the ice. Sparking change, not just in hockey but other industries.

Hilary Knight optimistic about future of women’s hockey | SI.com
Team USA star Hilary Knight reflects on her recent gold medal, the future of women’s hockey and what comes next.

Questions and new options abound as CWHL set to officially fold - Sportsnet.ca
A run-down of the state of the nation of pro women’s hockey on the last official day of the CWHL.

Discussions underway about future for professional women’s hockey: ‘The foundation needs to be sustainable’ – The Athletic (SUBSCRIPTION)
Continued equivocation from players (apart from Victoria Bach who has ruled out playing in the NWHL) as they weigh their options. Anya Battaglino gets super patronizing on behalf of the NWHL, which is weird because she’s supposed to be advocating for the players, not the league.

Earning her stripes
Erin Zach stayed involved in the game after retiring by becoming an official and hopes to help other former players do the same

International hockey

Team Finland prize money increased for World Championship performance - The Ice Garden
Player bonus goes up 2,000 euros each

Excess bonus money delighted Naisleionjat, but Noora Räty wonders for the team’s planned celebrations - “I don’t want any pity prizes” | Yle Sports | yle.fi
The World Championships in Women’s Lions have attracted wide international attention. Goalkeeper Noora Räty says that the disciples do not need pity on their silver.

Team Canada’s bronze at the World Championship was a long time coming - Eyes On The Prize
Finland’s wonderful performance was a great story, but Canada’s slide continues.

USA Hockey announces 2019-20 U18, U22 coaches - The Ice Garden
Maura Crowell and Joel Johnson have been named head coaches for the 2019-20 women’s teams

Challenge Cup of Asia IIHF - Thai women write history
Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia goes to Thailand

Challenge Cup of Asia Div I Philippine Women’s Ice Hockey team bags gold in Asia tourney | Philstar.com
The Filipinas were unstoppable in the tournament held from April 14 to 19, closing out the eliminations without a single goal against them.

What the IIHF Challenge Cup gold means for Philippine women’s ice hockey
ESPN5 caught up with Kayla Herbolario to ask about the Philippine women’s ice hockey team’s experience in the IIHF Challenge Cup and what’s next for them.

‘Hockey in Heaven’ - The New York Times
In a remote Himalayan town in northern India, a women’s ice hockey team comes together.

Beauts’ Bolden and Chesson to compete in Aurora Games - Die By The Blade
The inaugural festival features over 175 female athletes. For more details see the official site. The hockey rosters look badass so far.

Gold medal mentality on, off ice - Times Union
Skarupa, 25, will be one of the hockey headliners when the Aurora Games take place Aug. 20-25 at Times Union Center.

NWHL

MeiGray Group nets nearly $10,000 in NWHL charity auctions - The Ice Garden
You Can Play, DIFD benefit from donations

Report: NWHL to expand season to 24 games per team for 2019-2020 - The Ice Garden
Teams will play eight more games next season

Riveters name Kate Whitman Annis as general manager - The Ice Garden
All teams will have general managers this upcoming season

Connecticut Whale name Bray Ketchum as general manager - The Ice Garden
Ketchum played 3 seasons with the Metropolitan Riveters

NCAA

BC Women’s Hockey Forward Caitrin Lonergan Transferring To Clarkson - BC Interruption
The forward was a 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award finalist

‘Scars of battle’: The stories behind these marks for Ohio State women – The Athletic (SUBSCRIPTION)
“It represents the sport and how hard hockey is and how physical it is. It’s badass.”

College hockey alters recruiting landscape with new rules - StarTribune.com
Earlier this month, the NCAA's Division I Council approved changes to hockey recruiting timelines as a way to keep early commitments in check.

Hanover's Olivia Soares making an impact on and off the ice at Ohio State - Sports - Hanover Mariner - Hanover, MA
Hanover native Olivia Soares recently finished her third season with the Ohio State Women's Hockey team.

Women's hockey head coach dismissed after five losing seasons - Lindenlink
Lindenwood women’s hockey head coach Scott Spencer has been relieved of his coaching duties.

European club hockey

WHL (Russia) Agidel! | CONWAY’S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
Another season of the Women’s Hockey League in Russia is in the books, and, as in 2017-18, it is the team from the Republic of Bashkortostan that has emerged on the top step of the podium.

SDHL (Sweden) Brynäs recruits Michaela Cava | Aftonbladet
Brynäs knocks on with a large enlistment. Honorary winner Michaela Cava is ready for the club.

Naisten liiga (Finland)Kiekko-Espoo absorb Espoo Blues, rejoin top tier - The Ice Garden
The Blues are back in the Kiekko-Espoo fold.

U Sports

Springdale hockey player ends final season with numerous awards | Hockey | Sports | The Western Star
Abby Clarke, 22, is completing a social work degree at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where she is coming off her fifth and final season as goaltender for the women’s hockey team, the St. Thomas Tommies.

Star goalie Taraschuk leaving Bisons - Winnipeg Free Press
University of Manitoba goaltender Lauren Taraschuk, a major star on the Bisons’ run to a national championship in the spring of 2018, is leaving the team after her sophomore season with no firm plans for her future in hockey.

Mount Allison coach, Amherst native part of silver medal-winning Team Canada at world university games in Russia | Hockey | Sports | Truro News
Sackville, N.B.’s Abby Beale played with Team Canada

AWIHL

Brisbane Goannas 2019 player awards | Ice Hockey News Australia
The Brisbane Goannas have announced their player awards for the 2018-19 AWIHL season