The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, September 11, 2020

Returning to play, but at what cost? — Quiz Game with Audra Richards — Must-click links

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Returning to play, but at what cost?

There is not much happening in the hockey world, and I think that’s a good thing. Despite the return to sports, it is important to remember we are still dealing with a worldwide pandemic.

In some of the links below, you’ll see just a few of the most recent ways COVID has impacted the hockey world. Meanwhile, both fútbol and football will be playing games with fans in the stadium. At the college level, breakouts of COVID cases at places like UNC have been reported as students returned to campus. Additionally, the college football community reportedly lost 20-year-old Jamain Stephens.

In women’s hockey, both North American national teams have used video conferencing to stay connected in lieu of traditional August/fall development camps. In previous newsletters, I broke down what we know about the NCAA and women’s professional level. Now add the WCHA and Ohio State to the mix.

We’ve already seen COVID impact the 2020 Summer Olympics. What will no 2019 Four Nations, 2020 World Championships, and limited ice time since March mean for Winter Olympians?

It might be too early to tell. It is no secret athletes spend years training their bodies ahead of the Olympic Games. What will an already long break from the ice — #ForTheGame and PWHPA players also did not have a traditional professional season/consistent games and practice — mean for the expanded Olympic field?

It is safe to say if the United States and Canada are having problems, so will other federations. Women’s hockey already has to answer if the field is too top-heavy (it’s complicated). I foresee this conversation continuing as we get closer to 2022.

All that said, I continue to wonder if talking sports at all isn’t a bit silly. At 20, Stephens died while returning to sports. Since the initial report, it is now being determined the cause of death is unknown.

That said, we have seen athletes die in the name of sports before. I must admit, if we have a sports culture that is still subject to death by heatstroke, I have many concerns about sports amid a pandemic and no vaccine in sight.

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This Week in Women’s Hockey

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MORE COVERAGE FOR WOMEN IN SPORTS? Good, click these links and show decision-makers that if you post it, we will read it! If you have any hot tips for great stories or voices you’d like to see in The IX, email me:

NCAA 2020-21 season delayed due to COVID-19.

From the Archives: The 1990 IIHF World Championships. Mike Murphy takes us back to 1990 and white & pink Team Canada sweaters in his latest for The Ice Garden.

Australia withdraws from IIHF u-18 tournament.

Accursi Sisters sign with Buffalo Beauts.

Princeton forward Sarah Fillier among the athletes competing (?) in a Hockey Canada virtual camp.

Bemidji State standout Haley Mack signs with Minnesota Whitecaps.

Kelsey Koelzer joins Anson Carter on Hockey Culture.

Kayla Chilstrom joins St. Olaf women’s hockey team.

Michelle Jay & Mike Murphy have you covered with a 2020-21 SDHL season preview.

Tweet of the Week

I love a good crossover, especially when there is a new WoHo baby involved! Congrats to Anya & Madison Packer.

Five at The IX: NWHL Video Archives

Almost a year ago (look how close we were) I played Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader with PE Teacher Audra Richards.

Before clicking the video, try your luck with these questions:

  1. What is the main language spoken in the Canadian province of Quebec? 

  2. a2 + b2 = c2 is known as the… 

  3. What is the name of the sea bordered by Europe to the north and North Africa to the south? 

  4. What are the three states of matter? 

  5. The Earth has 4 layers, the thickest of which is the mantle. What is the thinnest layer called? 

  6. Animals without backbones are known as… 

  7. You collect 48 pieces of Halloween candy. Your parents say you can eat 2 pieces per day, plus an extra piece on Saturdays and Sundays. How many weeks will it take to finish all of your candy?

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by Erica L. Ayala