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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Moving forward

As development camp approaches women’s hockey players at all levels are looking to the future.

 Kristin O’Neill #10, Emma Maltais #17 and Codie Cross #2 of Team Canada celebrate a goal by teammate Ashton Bell #26 in a semifinal game against Team Russia during the 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships at the Meridian Centre on January 14, 2
Kristin O’Neill #10, Emma Maltais #17 and Codie Cross #2 of Team Canada celebrate a goal by teammate Ashton Bell #26 at the 2016 U18 Women’s World Championships. O’Neill, Maltais and Bell will all participate in the National Women’s Development Team camp next month.
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks in women’s hockey.

The NWHL has signed exactly one player since the last WHW, ostensibly because teams are holding or about to hold free agent camps and want to hold their signings til after that. Meanwhile the league is quietly building a pre-season schedule. Things are mostly quiet on the Buffalo front, except that the team is not holding its free agent camp at the PSE-owned Harborcenter, but that’s not really surprising.

The PWHPA has not made any new announcements but players continue to reach out to media outlets and stay in the news. Leafs fans will be particularly interested in Kristina Rutherford’s piece on former Thunder player Laura Stacey, who she’s training with in the offseason and what she anticipates when looking ahead to the 2019-20 season.

Toronto Furies coach Courtney Birchard-Kessel is moving forward with her career, joining the Princeton Tigers as an assistant coach.

Birchard-Kessel will also continue with her position as an assistant coach with Canada’s Women’s National Development Team as they assemble for camp in a little over a week’s time. The WNDT, or the U-22 team, and the U-18 team will both have camps in Calgary starting August 2, followed by a series at each level against their American counterparts starting August 14 in Lake Placid. (Team USA has not announced their rosters yet.)

Games will be streamed online at Hockey Canada’s website. (If you’re in Calgary, games are open to the public.) Along with top NCAA and U Sports prospects, U-22 camp will involve the senior national teams from Japan and France, and the U-18 Russian team seems to be slated to participate in both the U-22 and U-18 camps. For some of the U-22 players, and some on the U Sports squad, this may be the last few games they play at this level all season. They finished their university eligibility and we would have expected to see them in the CWHL draft this summer. Whether some of them will pop up at a PWHPA showcase or join the NWHL is yet to be seen.

International hockey

Canadian women’s hockey selection camps set to take WinSport ice | Ottawa Citizen
Hockey Canada kicks off the 2019-20 season with 89 of the country’s top under-18 and development team talents on the ice for selection camps at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Aug. 2-11.

Alberta’s Poznikoff headlines U SPORTS Women’s Hockey All-Stars headed to Hockey Canada Summer Showcase — U SPORTS
Reigning national Player of the Year Alex Poznikoff of the Alberta Pandas highlights the U SPORTS Women’s Hockey All-Stars roster announced Wednesday, set to compete at Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase in Calgary, Aug, 2-11.

2019 Four Nations Cup schedule announced - The Ice Garden
The tournament heads north.

The Lamoureux Twins are dedicated to leveling the playing field - The Ice Garden
The gold medal-winning twins discuss the Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux Foundation and more

PWHPA

Women's hockey players staying optimistic despite uncertain future - Sportsnet.ca
Laura Stacey will admit this off-season is “a little bit scary.” It's a sentiment many elite women hockey players on the planet would probably agree.

Editorial: The Undecided - The Ice Garden
Reflecting on the state of professional women’s hockey

Why the National Women’s Hockey League should fold
More than 200 women will sit out of professional hockey in North America this season. Some believe closing the NWHL could save the sport’s future.

PWHPA solidifies leadership group, plans for future - The Ice Garden
Two board members talk about updates, challenges

NWHL

2019-2020 NWHL Signing Tracker - The Ice Garden
Grace Kleinbach is the only player to have signed with the NWHL over the last four weeks.

Boston Pride name Karilyn Pilch general manager - The Ice Garden
All five of the league’s teams now have a general manager in place for the 2019-20 season

NWHL preseason schedule coming together - The Ice Garden
At least four of the league’s five teams will play local schools to prepare for the 2019–20 season

Beauts to host free agent camp at Northtown Center – The Buffalo News
The Buffalo Beauts will have a free agent camp Saturday and Sunday at the Northtown Center at Amherst in Williamsville.

NCAA

Princeton names Courtney Birchard-Kessel as new Assistant Coach - The Ice Garden
The former Team Canada player and last year’s Toronto Furies coach will round out Princeton’s coaching staff

St. Cloud State names Macdonald new women’s coach, promotes Siergiej, hires Engstrom | College Hockey | USCHO.com
St. Cloud State announced recently the appointment of Steve Macdonald as the new head coach of the Huskies women’s team (photo: St. Cloud State University Athletics).

Emily West hired as assistant for Ohio State women’s hockey
Ohio State women's hockey has added Emily West as an assistant coach per a release from the university.

European club hockey

SDHL (Sweden) Chiho Osawa seriously injured | Aftonbladet
Luleå’s Japanese star will sit out most of the season after an injury at national team camp.

SWHL (Switzerland) EV Bomo Thun hires Köbi Kölliker as their new head coach - swisshockeynews.ch
The 65-year-old thus takes on a new task after having worked for the Chinese federation last season.

ZhHL (Russia) Women’s Hockey Update: July 14th, 2019 | CONWAY’S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
There was big news for the Women’s Hockey League in the past few days!

AWIHL (Australia)

Adelaide Rush 2019-20 team staff | Ice Hockey News Australia
The Adelaide Rush have announced their team staff for the 2019-20 AWIHL season.