PWHL weekend viewing guide — U-18 competition underway

The IX: Hockey Friday with The Ice Garden, Jan. 12, 2024

It’s Simon here from The Ice Garden bringing you this week’s edition of Hockey Friday. It was another exciting week in the world of women’s hockey! The PWHL continues to excite in front of big crowds, and U-18 women’s teams are competing around the world in international play.

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Ottawa staying positive ahead of second game — The Ice Garden

Ottawa lost their first-ever PWHL game in front of an electric sold out crowd. Despite the loss, there was nothing but positive energy radiating from head coach Carla MacLeod. The team was keeping it light on the ice at practice ahead of their next games.

The Poulin Special: Montreal 5, New York 2 — The Victory Press

Poulin found her touch after going scoreless in her first few games. The Montreal captain had a hat trick in the team’s first ever win.

South Africa steps on U-18 world stage for the first time — The Hockey News

In an exciting sign of hockey’s development, South Africa sent a U-18 women’s team to the tournament for the first time. The group is competing in the lowest division of U-18 women’s hockey at the tournament in Bulgaria. They lost their opening three games but have upcoming matches against Mexico and Iceland.

Czechia rising, will play for a U-18 Medal — The Hockey News

The top division of the U-18 tournament is into the elimination stage. Canada and the USA are favorites but Czechia and Finland have also advanced to the semifinal round. The rising Czech program will play Canada for a chance at the finals.  

St. John Fisher University announces new NCAA Division III Team — The Hockey News

The newest collegiate women’s hockey team entering the NCAA’s Division III will be from Rochester, NY. The school has existing club teams but will add two NCAA-level teams beginning in 2025.

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PWHL weekend games

Saturday Jan. 13 — Ottawa @ Toronto 1 p.m. EST

This battle will be the first meeting of the Ontario teams. It will be just Ottawa’s second game after their trip to Boston was cancelled in the face of a winter storm.

Both teams have shown offensive upswings as they begin to get their legs under them. Ottawa controlled the early stages of their opening game against Montreal but struggled to put the puck in the net. The team has focused on screening goaltenders in practice and will be looking to get a few past Kristen Campbell.

Toronto has found their scoring chops after being shutout in their opening game. Their big power forwards will be challenging to contain and will test Ottawa’s defensive depth. I think this game will be high scoring with the teams trading rush chances.

Saturday Jan. 13 — Boston @ Montreal 3:30 p.m. EST

Neither Boston nor Montreal has had the strong start to the season they were hoping for. Montreal won their opening game in overtime against Ottawa before being shut out by Minnesota. Marie-Philip Poulin found her scoring touch with a hat trick in New York, her first three goals of the season.

Boston has only played one game, but it was a loss to Minnesota. These two teams should be evenly matched with top goaltending and stars like Hilary Knight against Poulin. This is an historic rivalry that’s bound to produce a fiery game.  

Sunday Jan. 14 — New York @ Minnesota 4 p.m. EST

New York will face off against Minnesota’s undefeated group. The 3-0 squad from the State of Hockey has the most goals for and least against through their initial games. This matchup will be their second at home following the record-breaking crowd at Minnesota’s home opener.

New York won their opening game, followed by two losses. They’ll be looking to bounce back and break their streak. Corinne Schroeder, New York’s elite goaltender, will have her work cut out for her against the Minnesota shooters.

I expect this game will feature a Minnesota onslaught, with New York looking to capitalize on counterattacks.

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: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by The Ice Garden