“We may lose or we may win, But we will never be here again"
Take It Easy byJackson Browne, Glenn Frey
Well, we certainly hope so. As amazing as Season Six will be, we will all sorely miss not being there to watch it unfold in our home rinks. The ongoing pandemic has added the NWHL to it’s curiosity shop of “seasons like no other” that have become our new normal for sports. But, as we alluded, hopefully not forever. While we all want to have the opportunity to be there to watch our Pod on any given weekend, that has been replaced by a season in a bubble in Lake Placid. So the NWHL has taken an incredibly debilitating situation, and made us wild with excitement for what they’ve come up with. From the continuation of the great Twitch broadcasts to the national coverage of the Finals and Semi Finals by NBC Sports, to the Pod Pass with the Fan Face Cutouts, the postcards and the Zoom meetings, the build up has been electrifying. For both the long time fans and the most welcome influx of new fans as well. The NWHL has moved into a different spot in the world of sports, in terms of viability, sustainability and continued growth. In that sense as well, we will never be here again. And just as you cherish each stage of a child’s development, cherish this stage we are now in. It will continue to expand and amaze you, but it will never be here again.
MESSAGE FROM JESSICA KOIZUMI
The Whale's first Captain, the Amazing Jessica Koizumi, sent us some amazing thoughts to pass on to the Pod, heading into Lake Placid. Jess writes
"Looking forward to following and watching some NWHL games the next couple weeks in their bubble! I looked up the CT Whale roster and there's several players still on the Whale that I have played with along with some new rookie standouts. So fun to see original Whale Shannon Doyle and Alyssa Wohlfeiler back to lead as well as a couple players I have coached at Yale, Taylor Marchin and Emma Vlasik. What a nice treat to have the experience of international Austrian player Janine Weber who has played on the Boston Blades in the CWHL with me too! What an incredible opportunity to play the game you love during a global pandemic! Enjoy every second girls, it's an immense privilege being in your shoes and getting to play in historic 1980 Miracle on Ice Lake Placid Arena. Thank you for growing the game and there are so many of us alumni and fans rooting you on. Bring home our first Isobel Cup!"
MESSAGE FROM SAM FABER
Our former Season Three Captain, the Amazing #28 Sam Faber had these words for the Pod heading into the bubble.
"I would like to wish my old team the Ct Whale and my former teammates the best of luck in the bubble! The leadership of Shannon and Lando will provide the team with a culture of hard work and a never quit attitude. I predict a breakout performance from Kaycie Anderson on the offensive side! Best of luck ladies I’ll be following along, FINSUP”
And speaking of Amazing Captains, In the recent Zoom meeting for Pod Pass holders, Coach Colten Orr announced the Captain and Assistant Captains for the Whale. Yes that is correct. He referred to the Alternate Captains as Assistant. That is somewhat of a nitpick issue among some fans, but if Colten Orr says Assistant, that is good enough for us. Either way, it means there is an “A” on your sweater! And once again this season, an “A” will be worn by our veteran defender #14 Elena Orlando, a truly iconic figure in the NWHL. The other two players wearing the “A” are #11 center Emma Vlasic, and #24 wing Janine Weber. And wearing the “C” for the second year in a row is OW #6 Shannon Doyle. Shannon, who wore an “A” during Sesons Three and Four, becomes the first Whale player to wear the “C” for two years. During the aforementioned Zoom Meeting Shannon also announced that she will be retiring after Season Six. She will do so as a multiple time All-Star and the Whale All-Time leader in games played, blocked shots, and penalty minutes. And, most likely will retire as the third leading scorer in team history. So root hard for our amazing Shannon Doyle while you can. For it appears that she, like this unique bubble season, will never be here again.
MESSAGE FROM KIM TIBERI
Some words for the Pod from another of our Big Trains who came in on the Norwich Line, #5 Kim Tiberi from Season Four, who passed this along:
"Hey Pod! Best of luck to you all as you take on the first ever NWHL bubble! Best of luck, enjoy the ride and compete hard. Bring home the cup! "
Some unfortunate news for the Post regarding our Amazing #11 Melissa Samoskevich, who will not be accompanying the Whale to Lake Placid bubble. Because of the responsibility of her position as Assistant Women’s Hockey Coach at Penn State, Melissa has opted out of the bubble. The Nittany Lions are off to a great start, 6-1-1, and have four crucial games scheduled within the timeframe of the bubble. Her roster spot will be taken by forward Kenzie Lancaster, a former teammate of Samo at Quinnipiac. Fins Up to both! On the coaching side, our Amazing former #12 Jamie Goldsmith has returned to the Whale in a new role, and will be subbing for Laura Brennan, whose work obligations prevent her from joining the Pod in the Bubble.
Here are the schedule dates for the first five Whale games. Based on this, teams will be seeded for a round robin tournament from 1/31 to 2/3. There they will play two additional games per team to see which four teams advance to the semi-final round.