In the sport of hockey, the end to end aspects of the games engender plenty of stops and starts. And that reality has entered the Lake Placid Bubble here in Season Six. And the reason we are watching this season unfold in Lake Placid in the first place, Covid-19, is why there have been starts and stops off the ice as well. After members of the Riveters tested positive, the team withdrew from the bubble, for the safety of everyone. The Rivs were playing well, and everyone is saddened by their situation, and wish all effected, a speedy and full recovery. And we all look forward to engaging our frenemies again in Season Seven. Fins Up to that!
So pursuant to the Rivs departure, a restructuring of the schedule was initiated. The teams were seeded by their winning percentage thus far, and the Whale are the #2 team going up into the Seeding Round. They trail Minnesota and are ahead of Toronto. Those three play each other once to determine their seed, 1-3, going into the semi-final. Buffalo and Boston meanwhile play a best of three to determine the fourth seed. So bottom line is, regardless of the seeding, the Pod will officially be playing in the nationally televised Semi-Final Round. So Fins Up to that! So in the two key seeding games coming up, the Pod play the Toronto Six on January 31st, and the Minnesota Whitecaps on February 1st. Both games are on Twitch as we start up the season again and chart a slightly altered course to the Isobel Cup.
VOICES FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLASS
The popularity of the NWHL (and our Pod) has been steadily rising, and has really taken off this season. The fan base has grown too, and as we had from time to time, we like to introduce some. Find out a bit about them, and why they love the NWHL and the Pod. Obviously, their voices are pretty far back from the glass this season, as no live fans are at the game. The Fan Cut-outs are awesome, but generally silent. But there are ore and more voices to be heard, and here we feature a couple of them. The first voice is that of former collegiate hockey star, Jillian P. Nolan (@Jillian122105 Twitter) Jill told us a little about her amazing journey in hockey, saying
“My initial experience with playing hockey was when I put on my first pair of skates at the age of six, in a small town called Happy Valley Goose Bay, Labrador, Newfoundland in the Northern part of Eastern Canada. At the age of 14 I was recruited for a full hockey scholarship to leave my home town to play for the division one hockey team, the Berkshire Bears, a prep-school in Sheffield, MA. From there, it was during my senior year at Berkshire School that I was then scouted again and picked up for another full hockey scholarship to play for the NCAA Clarkson Golden Knights in Potsdam, NY. I played with the Knights for two years (2003-2005) with a solid scoring record. And I then transferred to Utica College, home of the Pioneers, from 2005-2007 at which I was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for winning the All-American Award for women’s ice hockey in 2008. That year I guided the Pioneers to a 18-7-3 record while making it to the finals for the ECAC Women’s West Conference Tournament. I was the only non-senior named a first-team All-American, while earning the ECAC Women’s West All-Conference status after leading the team with 23 goals. I was known at the time to have led the nation averaging 1.10 goals per game and ranked second in the nation averaging 1.81 points per contest as a junior. I currently live in Florida, and I’m playing in a Men’s league for the team the Ice Dogs in order to stay in active shape for each season to come. I will always have a love for the game and respect the players that work their way up to the top! Go Whale "
"The NWHL became particularly important to me when my best friend from Berkshire School played for the Boston Pride team in the National Woman’s Hockey League. Currently, Kacey Bellamy is an American ice hockey defender for the American Olympic Woman’s Hockey team and is #22. She was not only a dear friend, but a respectable and excellent player on and off the ice. That is when I took interest to the NWHL and started to support the different teams that play. Secondly, another small town girl, Amy Curlew, also from my hometown, had made it to the team TorontoSix, for the 2021 Isobel Cup as well. I particularly enjoy watching the Whale play above all else because I believe they have a lot of talent and work well together on the ice as a team. They seem to be well coached and have fun and that’s an important ingredient when it comes to the love and respect for the game. I wish the Whale all the luck in the world with the 2021 Isobel Cup. I know this team is capable of winning. They have a lot of talent and when they use it on the ice, the wins from their talent will follow. Good luck, Fins up! Go Whale! You got this ladies!”
Fins Up to that Jill! And another fan who recently offered content about the NWHL and the Whale is Andrea Cordova (@ang_dova) who told us this about her life in hockey
“Ever since I was a little kid, I was a fan of hockey. Street hockey ruled my springs and summers, with scraped knees and bruises to go with it. When rec hockey was an option as a club in middle school, I was there. In high school we played hockey on the weekends in empty parking lots until the sun went down or we were too hungry to go on. Those days were the best. Flash forward years, going to NHL games and still being crazy about hockey, I hear that a women's league is coming out. A women's league? And one of the teams is the Whale? They're nearby enough that I can go watch them play? And hello, did you see that cute whale with a hockey stick smile? BRILLIANT. I started following them on all social media outlets to learn about the Pod, the players, and started watching games on my laptop (Cheers to those who were watching on You-Tube like I was)"
"I finally made it to my first NWHL game, and was in love. Sitting in the stands, and seeing all of the signs posted up for the players and these young girls wearing jerseys and cheering for their favorite players, and then being able to meet these players afterwards. It was amazing. I wish that this league existed when I was younger. I wish I had these awesome women to look up to, because these are the role models that young girls should have. Now that I have a daughter, I can't wait until things normalize and I can bring her to a game so she can see how fantastic this league truly is. The NWHL has come in leaps and bounds since its inception, and it's been nothing short of fantastic to see how the game is growing. These players are inspiring. They're skilled. They're passionate. They're dedicated to growing a women's sport, and keeping it around for future generations. The Whale have had a rough few seasons, but I have a feeling this one is going to be one to remember!”
Fins Up to that Andrea! Perhaps we will be watching your little Future Draft Pick skating for the Pod one day! You can also find Jill and Andrea’s comments here on the site in “ Not A Whale, But...Voices from The Other Side Of The Glass” Volume II. We will continue to feature more of the citizens of Cetacean Nation. If you would like to have your voice from the “other side of the glass” heard, just let us know, and we’ll make it happen!