For more than 100 years in New York’s Adirondack region, ice-out has been a much anticipated time of year for those suffering from cabin fever. And even those hardy sports who pursued activities like ice fishing, ice boating, skating, and even dog sledding, felt the tingle of spring on milder mid-winter days. And they knew from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, or their own diaries, logs, memories or instincts,, that at some point between mid-April and mid-May, ice out would occur. And the only element that commonly exists in three forms would complete it’s conversion from solid to liquid. But this year, ice out came early, at least in terms of the NWHL and it’s ultimately ill-fated “bubble season’.
And the malady that upset the apple cart wasn’t cabin fever, but Covid-19. It was a body blow to the league, but far from a knock out punch. If we’ve learned anything about this league and it’s players over the past six years, it is that they are resilient. The league lost a battle, but not the war. We saw some really great hockey, albeit briefly, in Lake Placid. And although Season Six may be completed at some point, Season Seven, a murky vision at best, will come into clearer view with time. And, that upcoming season will be when The Most Exciting Team In Hockey, your Connecticut Whale, will bring Isobel home to Danbury.
VOICES FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLASS
Despite the struggles of Season Six, the popularity of the NWHL (and our Pod) has never been higher, and continues to rise in the premature post season. And as we did last edition, we continue to highlight fans who are the backbone of the league. The relationship between the players and the fans is symbiotic, and they feed off of each other’s energy and passion. We all have enjoyed reading about the relationship between the Pod and their fans, and in this addition of Whale’s Tales, we meet another. Here are some comments by the remarkable Annie Kate Goggins (@anniekappleseed on Instagram), a citizen of Cetacean Nation who battles through her own struggles, and admires that kind of fighting spirit in our Whale. Annie shared with us
“I’ll start my story as I have for a few years now... Hi, I’m Annie, and I’m an addict. I’ve been in recovery from drug addiction for three years now. I’ve loved any type of sports my entire live. Growing up in Colorado, naturally I would be an Avalanche fan. #GoAvsGo! I had to put that out there. I love those guys! I have to say that if it weren’t my love for sports, particularly hockey, I might not be here today. Hockey is the best role model growing up. That might sound controversial as many think about the fighting and all. I have to say it’s quite the opposite for me. Hockey is the best representation of loyalty and teamwork. Hockey teams work together to pursue the same goal. They understand they need each other. Everyone on the team has a purpose. Players always seem to acknowledge teammates efforts and do not have self ambition. They preserve and do their best to keep a positive attitude. The sport of hockey has had that same influence on a little fan like me.”
"Furthermore, staying home like most of us here during 2020, has done a number on people battling with mental illness like addiction. To stay occupied I watched A LOT of YouTube. It was through there I discovered The Whale! And oh boy, things were taken to an entire different level. Women’s Hockey was becoming a national story. The inspiration the women brought to the ice is refreshing to my soul! These ladies not only show support to their teammates, they also are able to lead healthy lives at home as wives, mothers, teachers, sisters, friends and more. I find the NWHL to be an entire community of incredible people impacting hundreds of young women everywhere. When I read or watch how professional they are in their daily lives and with fans they truly make me want to be a better message to my friends and family. They inspire me to stay well, eat right, and remind me I have purpose on my “team” as well. Women coming together like The Whale will survive no matter what comes their way.”
“A Pod sticks together to protect one another. They help hunt for each other and even help to raise each other’s young. I have mad respect for all of the players. Their determination, and commitment is exactly the influence I had growing up with a love for hockey. Even though I went astray, I’m going to be okay. I have deep roots and know where I came from. This type of environment is what gets me through the day. Being a Whale fan makes me resilient!”
“I may be across the country and still navigating these uncertainties we are all dealing with. However, I will continue to share any small expressions of support and love I can. Whether it be simply liking or sharing a post on social media, or sharing the Whale and the NWHL to a stranger. I am a Whale! Fins Up! Love you!”
We thank Annie for shaRing these great thoughts with us,. In addition to appearing here in Whale’s Tales, Annie’s inspiring remarks can be found on the site here in “Not A Whale But::: Vol II Fins Up to that!