The CWHL announced this afternoon that the two regular season games to be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet this season would each include a GTA-area team.
For the first time ever @Sportsnet and The CWHL are excited to bring you a weekend full of CWHL hockey! pic.twitter.com/uS45ZBTdJa— CWHL (@TheCWHL) October 9, 2018
Billed as a “weekend full of CWHL hockey”, the games broadcast will be on the weekend of January 5-6, 2019.
To start off, the Toronto Furies will take on the Canadiennes de Montréal in Montréal on the Saturday. Currently, the game is scheduled for 6:00 pm, without an announced location. There has been word that the Canadiennes will have a home game at the Bell Centre this season, so there’s a strong likelihood that this will be that game. It would mean moving puck drop to an afternoon slot to allow for a doubleheader with the Habs - Preds game that evening.
On Sunday afternoon, the Markham Thunder will host the Calgary Inferno at the Thornhill Community Centre at 12:30 pm. Having the defending Clarkson Cup champions on national television will surely be a big selling point.
At the draft Commissioner Jayna Hefford indicated she expected two regular season games, the All-Star Game, and the Clarkson Cup would be broadcast. While having both regular season games clumped together in two days has its downsides, this does have the advantage of showcasing all four Canadian teams in one weekend. If this is the Bell Centre game for the Canadiennes, Montréal will also get the opportunity to show off its large and enthusiastic fanbase.
This weekend also happens just two weeks in advance of the 2019 All-Star Game, which, as mentioned, should be televised as well. So Canadian CWHL fans, circle January on your calendars and set your PVRs!
The CWHL season begins this weekend, with the Toronto Furies hosting the Shenzhen Rays and the Markham Thunder hosting the Worcester Blades. Tickets are available online.