Your 2019-2020 Connecticut Whale! photo by Schuyler Meyer



Fins Up fellow Whale fans! Welcome to your website: Cetacean Nation! Here we try to augment the coverage of and news about, our Connecticut Whale, the most exciting team in hockey. We love our Pod and the amazing league they play in, the National Women’s Hockey League. The Whale  have now concluded play in NWHL Season Five, and we can’t wait to see what exciting hockey Season Six will bring!  Our player input is our main feature, along with NWHL and Whale news as it pertains to our team and fans, both on and off the ice. Especially in the  ”off seasons” we strive to rep the players, and the Whale as best we can. The Whale bring us such exciting  skillful, gritty and inspiring hockey as they skate through each NWHL season. Cetacean Nation wants to support them year round, introduce new fans, and help get everyone ready for the upcoming Season of the Whale.

Our site can be navigated by the menu button or toolbar, depending on what device you are using. Click on the players name to read their individual stories. In the cases where players have multiple stories, they are listed oldest to newest. Several named articles like Expanding Horizons or Days of Future Past which may feature input from multiple players are listed below the player's stories. Our most recent Whale’s Tales op ed and guest content feature will appear on the home page immediately below. All Whale’s Tales, listed chronologically, can be found under that heading on the toolbar or the menu, as well as content from coaches, fans, staff and other Whale centric hockey interviews.  Follow us on Twitter  @nation_cetacean or @CetaceanHockey Instagram cetacean_nation_hockey and  Facebook at Cetacean Nation Hockey, and online in the Danbury Patch Neighbor section. Fins Up! 





WHALE'S TALE'S 10/11/20: Jess Of A Thousand Days

In sports, just like in the Highlander, in the end, there can be only one. Part of what defines sports competition is the defeat of the many by the few, and finally the defeat of the few by the one. But just as in the end there can be only one, it is true in some beginnings as well. Like the NWHL for example. In the beginning, now five years in the past, there was only one team to win the first ever game. That one team was our Connecticut Whale. And there was only one player to serve as Captain of that squa. : And that one player was our #56 Jessica Koizumi. And in the beginning, there can be only one player who scored the first ever goal in NWHL history. And let it never be forgotten, that one player is also Jessica Koizumi.

So to celebrate the fifth anniversary of that historic game and moment, we revisited the interviews of those who have graced these pages with the accounts of not just their life in hockey, but their memories of October 11, 2015. And we will inundate our social media platforms on October 11, 2020 with their thoughts, reactions, and memories of this day five years ago. And to kick that all off, we went back to our conversation with Jessica about that first goal in that first game that we just mentioned. Jess told us

“The first goal certainly wasn’t the prettiest goal that I have scored, but it was top 2 most memorable. It’s hard for me to even put into words the feelings that I had when it happened because that whole game was a blur to me. The goal happened very early on in the first period. I can’t take much credit for it since Kelli Stack gave me a perfect open net rebound from her shot. I remember scoring and then everything including the rest of the game sort of went blank for me. It was one of those moments that you just wanted time to stop. But I do remember how emotional I was during the national anthem. I didn’t realize what that goal stood for until I had checked my phone after the game. There were tweets, messages, and footage on the news about the goal being the first in the NWHL. It’s definitely a fun fact I will always treasure, but I treasure it with my teammates and other pioneers that have paved the way to make professional hockey for woman a reality.”

Jess continued “The NWHL marketing did such a remarkable job filling that arena that the atmosphere was incredibly special for us players. Tickets were sold out including standing room. There were numerous media in attendance including friends and players I have coached. I focused on taking it all in and to enjoy the many moments during that day. I currently have the puck in my office at work and my stick was requested by the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.” “I try my best to follow the league whenever I can. Thank you NWHL, for the risks you took to create history for the first paid league in North America. And thank you fans, for the ongoing support, and thank you hockey for being the greatest sport there is! I will forever be thankful I was a part of it! “

It was 1,085 days after she left the Pod and the NWHL to coach, first at Ohio Stars, and then at her current home at the University of Vermont, that Jess the OW, became a “Once And Future Whale”. On February 24, 2019 our Season One legend pulled on a Whale sweater once again to join the play-off push in Season Four. When we talked to a smiling Jess immediately after the game, she admitted it was an incredibly tough two weeks to get ready to answer the call. But, we will never forget that she did. Once a Whale, always a Whale, Fins Up Forever Jess!

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