The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, November 22, 2019

Which is it? — Interview with Jesse Compher — Must-click women's hockey links

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Which is it?

“(Julie) Stevens says the lack of meaningful investment thus far means either women’s hockey isn’t viable or a clear business case hasn’t emerged.”

-Jamie Strashin, CBC

  • Sustainable

  • Professional

  • Start-up

  • Non-profit

  • Canadian

  • American

  • For profit

  • Union

  • Boycott

  • Transparency

These are words you will likely read or have read about women’s professional hockey. Often the terms change meaning depending on how they are used and perhaps even by whom. Recently, any number of these terms appear to me as distractions or even excuses used to “justify” one’s perspective of women’s hockey.

I finally read through the CBC article that made its rounds on social media earlier this week (linked below). This is what I took from it: Women’s hockey needs to take control of the narrative.

I do think the PWHPA is trying to do that, as is the NWHL. However, there is a disconnect for those who are not diehard WoHo fans. #FutureDraftPick and #ForTheGame are aspirational, but not necessarily actionable.

What I’d love to see is women’s hockey entering into sponsorships and partnerships that help show the market for women’s hockey. Again, for me that goes back to analytics.

Pull a U.S. Soccer WNT (circa 1999 and again currently) and challenge companies to put women’s hockey in big arenas. Then work like crazy with fans, players, and other supporters to fill the arena.

Again, I think both the PWHPA and the NWHL have attempted these tasks, but with not much of a lead up to the event. What if the PWHPA spent the entire offseason heavily promoting one event? What if the NWHL announced the All-Star location in August and worked all season to fill that arena? Other showcases and regular season games would still take place, but I’d like to see the league/association really go whole hog on promotion for one large event.

Part of me believes it could work. However, I think we all know there would be some technicality used to diminish an overwhelming success. And, if the event isn’t a success, even better. There is a very real part of the equation that cannot be overlooked, the fact that society is preconditioned to see women’s sports on a small stage.

So where does that leave us? Honestly, I’m not sure. However, right now the reality is that the PWHPA and the NWHL are two sides of the same coin.

This Week in Women’s Ice Hockey

Here’s Jamie’s article! Nowhere to go: Girls can still dream in wake of CWHL’s collapse, just not too big.

The Ford Ice Center/Nashville Predators host the inaugural Country Classic Women’s Hockey Tournament. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Harvard, and Boston College this weekend. 

PWHPA to host largest event yet in Toronto.

Jared Clinton on how Victoria Bach stays game sharp.

My interview with Katie Fitzgerald about the PWHPA, the NHL, and more!

A deeper look at the Team USA Winter Camp roster.

Interesting quotes from Alex Carpenter & Bob Corkum in this piece. 

Northeastern hands Boston College it’s first shutout loss.

On the latest Founding 4 Podcast, Kelsey Neumann, Sonja Shelley, and thoughts on what/who women’s pro hockey needs 

“But nobody was stepping aside for the greater good of all. Why would they when money could be made?” Geoff Baker on the women’s hockey evolution double standard.

Nicole Hensley returns to Lindenwood coaching staff. 

Tweet of the Week


Five at The IX: Jesse Compher, Boston University/Team USA

Jesse Compher returned to hockey action about two weeks ago. When we spoke last Friday, she had just played her a game with the Boston University Terriers. Compher didn’t participate in the USA Hockey camp in Pennsylvania, but she was listed for the Rivalry Series stop in Hartford, CT December 14. Photo by Rich Gagnon, courtesy of BU Women’s Hockey

What did you think overall about the game (against Boston College tonight)?

Yeah they’re a good team for sure. I think when we play BC, we know it’s going to be physical we know it’s going to be fast and we know if we don’t show up what’s going to happen.

I think that we had them on their heels for a little bit but we’ve got to try to stay out of the box we’ve got to try to finish our chances. I think that next time will be will be ready to play them, the freshman kind of got a chance to see BC, so we’ll take (what we learned)this loss going forward even into our next game on Tuesday.

How are you feeling on the ice? Are you 100% yet?

I feel pretty good. Obviously, coming back into the lineup late you always gotta get your legs hungry, in hockey shape, it’s definitely different than being in shape like off the ice. So I think I gotta just focus on like bettering myself every single day take care of the little things and hopefully my game tries to get to full potential by as soon as it can.

You came back with BU at the same time that USA hockey hit the ice for that camp, was there a possibility that you would join up with USA hockey arena or just focused on being here with BU?

Yeah, obviously, I always want to put on the USA jersey, but I just tried to make sure I was fully set for my BU team and kind focused on my recovery.

You talked a little bit about the underclassmen and I’m curious now that you’ve had a few years under your belt, particularly with this rivalry. How have you seen your role change a little with the Terriers?

Yeah, as a freshman, your role is never as big as it is when you’re older. But I think that after my freshman year, we lost some big names. So I’ve tried to step up as much as I could. And now we have some younger kids for filling in roles and we got some good upperclassmen. So I think everybody knows where they need to be, that everybody’s … important. So it doesn’t matter what your role is, if you show up every day with 100%, that’s going to help our team get better.

Your coach is coming up on a milestone, it’s very likely that he get 300 wins this season. When you think about having one person be at the helm for this program, how special is it to be at this part of that career?

I mean, Coach Durocher is unbelievable. You can ask anybody who’s ever played for him, he just has this presence to him and he lives and breathes BU athletics and it’s truly something special to witness. And to hopefully watch him hit this milestone this year, it’s going to be incredible. So I’m excited for him, I think we all are.

Note: Brian Durocher is seven wins from his 300th-career win heading into a weekend series in Vermont.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
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Written by Erica L. Ayala