Welcome to The Ice Garden era — The 2023 Worlds have arrived — Must-click women’s hockey links
The IX: Hockey Friday with Angelica Rodriguez, Apr. 7, 2023
Welcome to a new era for The IX’s women’s hockey newsletter! The Ice Garden is thrilled to be bringing you the skinny on women’s hockey every week. And what a week it’s been in the women’s hockey-sphere, as Worlds are underway and the PHF is announcing (ever so slowly) its award winners for the 2022-23 season.
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For those unaware, The Ice Garden (or TIG) is a now-independently run, subscription-based women’s hockey media site that launched back in 2015 as a member of SB Nation. Since then, we’ve established ourselves as the go-to source for women’s hockey news, features and analysis, giving you access from practice to post-season and beyond. As a casualty of the recent culling of multiple hockey sites from the SBN network, we have spent the past couple of months figuring out how we can keep bringing you the content our readers and women’s hockey fans across the globe want, and we’re thrilled that we’ve been able to go indie and keep our name and likeness. We’re so happy to be partnering with The IX in an effort to bring you all the WoHo news that’s fit for your consumption, and if you’d like women’s hockey content all day every day, please consider subscribing to support our work.
The Ice Garden, Black Rosie Media and others have you fully covered for all your Worlds needs. Of course, the USA and Canada won big against Japan and Switzerland respectively, and poor France was overwhelmed by Finland, the monster of Group B, on Day One.
Day Two has seen some interesting results as Germany stunned Sweden 6-2, Czechia triumphed over Japan in OT 2-1 and Hungary held on against France, 4-2.
Day Three sees most of Group A return to action, as the United States faces off against Switzerland at 11 a.m. Eastern and Czechia plays Canada at 7 p.m. The lone Group B matchup, Finland vs. Germany, is set for 3 p.m.
Check out your team-by-team primers for the 2023 Worlds here at TIG.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to read 10 pieces in a row, both Ian Kennedy at Yahoo! Sports and Elias Laradi at Black Rosie Media (BRM) have the teams and games at a glance, as does The Victory Press.
Ian also has a piece up at The Hockey News on Hilary Knight captaining Team USA for the first time ever, as Kendall Coyne-Schofield takes time away from the game to focus on being a first-time mom.
I broke down Day One’s Worlds action for BRM here.
If you want your PHF connection to some teams you might not be too familiar with, Dan Rice has a Q&A with Hungarian forward Réka DaBasi from the tail end of the regular season.
Also highly worth a watch (if you aren’t geo-blocked) is TSN’s video conversation with Team Canada’s Erin Ambrose and Sarah Nurse about allyship and the recent spate of refusals amongst NHLers to participate in or wear jerseys for Pride nights. Ambrose, who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and Nurse, a biracial woman, shared their thoughts and experiences within the sport.
In PHF news, as mentioned above, the end-of-year awards are being announced, and the Fed is making sure you are hanging on as they painstakingly leak the winners… one… by… one. So far, the big story here is Defender of the Year going to Boston’s Kali Flanagan (seriously, justice for Kati Tabin who didn’t even make the ballot and should have for the Toronto Six). But it was hard to argue against Loren Gabel winning Newcomer of the Year and her teammate Corinne Schroeder taking home Rookie of the Year honors; both have been electric for their squad and already set records that’ll be hard to top.
For those of you a bit confused: there is a definite difference between Newcomer and Rookie of the Year. “Newcomers” are players coming to the PHF for the first time, but who have played elsewhere professionally (so players like Gabel, Brittany Howard and Ann-Sophie Bettez, who all played in the PWHPA, or Emma Nuutinen who played in the Naisten Liiga, would qualify). “Rookies” are true-blue first-year pros, fresh out of college/university or potentially National Team programs.
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Still to be announced by the league are Most Valuable Player (as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association’s women’s hockey chapter), Outstanding Player (voted by members of the PHF Players’ Association), Goaltender of the Year, the PHF Foundation Awards (one from each team) and the Denna Laing Award (for the player who most exemplifies sportswomanship, perseverance and dedication to the sport of hockey, as selected by Denna herself and her family). Based on the nominations, we could see Gabel and Schroeder both walk away with multiple trophies, but who really knows?
And finally, because I just couldn’t resist — if you need a little giggle to start your weekend, here’s a video from the Toronto Six participating in the Rosie’s Burgers hamburger relay race during intermission at the Mississauga Steelheads’ playoff game against the North Bay Battalion April 4. The Six also participated in the ceremonial puck drop, but it’s safe to say this had an even more lasting impression.
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