"I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips Straining upon the start. The game's afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge”
From Shakespeare’s Henry V
So, yeah, Conan Doyle borrowed a phrase from the Bard. Haven’t we all? But obviously this treatise is not about the entomology phrases, but hockey. And so we shift our attention to a different Doyle. Our Captain #6 Shannon Doyle and her band of merry Pod. Ok, that’s a Robin Hood reference, but even Shakespeare references the legend several times in his writings. But back to our legendary Pod. As we now know, the NWHL Isobel Cup Playoffs have risen from the ashes of Season Six in Lake Placid. And on Friday Match 26th and 27th, in front of a national audience on NBC, and an in Canada on Twitch, Lady Isobel Gathorne-Hardy’s trophy, the Isobel Cup will be contested. And happily for all of the citizens of Cetacean Nation, one of the four teams still involved are our Whale, the Most Exciting Team in Hockey. And they are more than ready, "straining upon the start" as it were. Ready to bring Isobel to her proper home in Danbury. Here is how it looks on paper:
THE ISOBEL CUP PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Friday, March 26 – Isobel Cup Semifinals 5 p.m. EST – No. 1 seed Toronto Six vs. No. 4 seed Boston Pride 8 p.m. EST – No. 2 seed Minnesota vs. No. 3 seed Connecticut Whale
Saturday, March 27 – Isobel Cup Final 7 p.m. EST – Winners of Semifinals; higher seed designated home team
The games will be held at the Pride’s home facility, Warrior Ice Rink, with no fans still, due to Covid-19. However, the Fan Face Cut-Outs, who majoritively survived Lake Placid, will be traveling to Boston. And truthbe told, they should look even cooler in the cozy confines of Warrior.
WHO’s IN, WHO’s OUT
The Pod who will be on the ice seeking the Cup will be basically the same team that. we saw on the ice up in Lake Placid. Two exceptions are #24 Janine Weber and #11 Melissa Samoskevich. Janine will be unavailable at this time, because she is still is still rehabbing from an injury sustained at Lake Placid. However, Samo has re-joined the team after missing the Lake Placid series due to her coaching obligations at Penn State. And, our former #33 Coach Laura Brennan will be behind the bench again in Boston, after her work obligations also kept her from joining the Pod in Lake Placid last month.
OLD SCHOOL STATS
By dint of the continuation of Season Six into the playoffs, a couple of statistical events will occur as a matter of course. Shannon Doyle will add to her team career leading number of games played, which currently stands at 96. And Kaycie Anderson will move past Sam Faber into sixth place on the Whale’s career games played list. And as mentioned, Melissa Samoskevich will make her first appearance on the Whale career games played list. Other statistical standings that could be altered include the Pod’s playoff points scored list, where Kelly Babstock and Kelli Stack are the Whale’s all-time leaders with four points each. But Emma Vlasic and Katelynn Russ both have people three points apiece heading in, so that could change quickly. Emma is also just one goal behind Haley #karupa on the Whale’s all-time goal list, and that could change as well. And Abbie Ives an/or Brooke Wolejko stand ready to move up the list on the Whale all-time list games won in goal which looks like this:
Nicole Stock 7, Jaimie Leonoff 7, Sydney Rossman 3, Brooke Wolejko 3, Abbie Ives 2, Shenae Lundberg 2, Chelsea Laden 1.
FINS UP FOREVER, DANI
NWHL founder and first Commissioner Dani Rylan Kearney, has re-signed from her most recent position with the league. Details will be forthcoming in some shape or form, but for now all we know is an era has ended. There is a lot that has been said, and will be said about Dani, both positive and negative. Regardless, this league is here because of Dani, and in our opinion history will remember this chapter of her life favorably. We here at Cetacean Nation certainly will. And we will miss her smiling face and presence around the rinks when it gets back to that. And as we have told you in person at rinkside: “Thank you for all of this.”