Q&A with PWHL Ottawa goalie Sandra Abstreiter — Must-click women’s hockey links
The IX: Hockey Friday with The Ice Garden, Nov. 24, 2023
Happy Friday and happy Thanksgiving to our American friends! It’s Simon from The Ice Garden, back for another women’s hockey newsletter.
It was a slow news week, with all six PWHL teams putting their heads down and getting to work on the ice. But across the women’s hockey world, there were games and dramatic happenings you need to know about!
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Women’s hockey must-reads
One of the surprise players left undrafted into the PWHL was former Toronto Six and Buffalo Beauts star Mikyla Grant-Mentis. The forward chose Ottawa as her try-out destination and has been skating in Canada’s capital all week. Check out the great feature piece by Karissa Donkin.
I’ll summarize this one more than usual because it’s in French, but it’s worth a read if you can. Stan Kasten of the PWHL advisory board confirmed earlier this week that the PWHL season start is scheduled for the beginning of January. He admitted the tight timeline challenged the league and forced it to de-prioritize things like jerseys and logos.
Another PWHL staffing update came this week out of Boston. The Swedish assistant coach and former Olympian is coming to Boston.
University of Ottawa Gee-Gees Start to Find Their Feet – The Ice Garden
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees seem back on track after a few weeks of shaky play. The team was undeniably impacted by the sudden departure of its head coach for another job. The team beat its rival, Carleton University, in a tight game that gave Ottawa breathing room in its current playoff position.
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Q&A with Sandra Abstreiter
Ottawa drafted its second goalie, Sandra Abstreiter, in the 12th round of the PWHL draft. The 25-year-old is from Germany and played most of her youth hockey in the Munich area. She attended Providence College in Rhode Island, where she had a .931 save percentage over 104 games. She returned to Germany in 2022 for one season before being drafted to Canada’s capital.
The Ice Garden caught up with Abstreiter after a PWHL practice on Nov. 22.
The Ice Garden: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
Sandra Abstreiter: When I started watching the NHL, I really liked Henrik Lundqvist. Before that, I watched a lot of German players.
TIG: Do you have a favourite hockey memory?
SA: I played boys’ hockey for a long time — until I was 18 — so it was always fun to hang out with the guys in the locker room. We played in a pretty low league, but one year we won the championship. That was really fun.
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TIG: Are there any players on PWHL Ottawa you’re excited to play with?
SA: Honestly, everyone. I’ve played against a bunch of them before, and it’s really exciting to step on the ice together with some of the USA and Canada girls.
TIG: Is there anyone you’re glad you don’t have to play against?
SA: Probably everyone — they’re just so skilled. I’m glad they’re all on my side.
TIG: What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming season?
SA: Just having a lot of fun with the team. I think we have a really good group. We’re already having a lot of fun together. Obviously, we want to be successful, and I think having fun together and working well as a group is going to help us do that.
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