The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, October 25, 2019

Survive and advance — Interview with Lovisa Selander — Must-click women's hockey links

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Survive and advance to your final destination

Below I lined to a story from BC Interruption about the Women’s NCAA Frozen Four bracket integrity being compromised by … flights.

Bracketology isn’t my thing, so it’s good fortune Grant Salzano is on the case. Here is a little history on bracket integrity by way of the 2016 and 2019 tournaments. In the article linked below, Salzano gets into the following NCAA rulebook language:

Pairings in the quarterfinal round shall be based primarily on the teams’ geographical proximity to one another, regardless of their region, in order to avoid air travel in quarterfinal-round games whenever possible. Teams’ relative strength, according to the committee’s selection criteria, shall be considered when establishing pairings if such pairings do not result in air travel that otherwise could be avoided. The NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee shall have the authority to modify its working principles related to the championship site assignment on a case-by-case basis.

For me, this (like the NCAA overall) boils down to a matter of competing interests. On the one hand, even the most average, uninterested student is stressing about looming project deadlines and final exams by March. That compounded with a trip to the Frozen Four is a lot.

However, the reason the pressure is immense is because a national championship is arguably one of the top career milestones for an athlete, especially one that is not in their national team system and happens to be a woman.

Programs spend upwards of a year crafting their schedules — pre-season, non-conference match ups, tournaments, etc. — to increase the odds of a top ranking. To think that an opportunity to host, or to be matched in the bracket by final record could be compromised by the convenience factor is brutal.

Especially because teams are flying across the country and back all season long. So even have the opportunity to compete abroad. Overall, perhaps the NCAA just needs to decide what is more important: the students or the athletes?

The hyphenated student-athlete term feels more like a catch-all in favor of the NCAA, as opposed to the athletes and students.

As I thumbed through the pre-championship manual from last year, this stood out to me, “In situations where a high-impact player is unavailable, the committee may consider this as part of its evaluation of the above criteria.

Another instance where the line between student and athlete is blurred, in my opinion. Not to mention, how exactly is this determined? Ah, a rant for another day.

This Week in Women’s Hockey

Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me!

Janya Hefford on entering the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame (video) and her role with the PWHPA (Q&A).

“We are currently living in one of the most exciting times for professional women’s hockey. Don’t let the opportunity to see the best players in the world fight for what they love pass you by.” Caroline Clink, The Knox Student.

BC interruption on the impact of flights on NCAA Frozen Four bracket integrity.

Minnesota-Duluth head coach Maura Crowell discusses first-ever women’s IceBreaker Tournament at HarborCenter this weekend. Mercyhurst, UConn, and Colgate are the other teams participating.

Lyndsey D’Arcangelo on the sights & sounds of the Buffalo Beauts opening weekend for The Athletic.

STEM, hockey and … ketchup? Kim Sass on her interwoven life.

Lovisa Selander says, “so far, so good” as her team is perfect through five games.

The LIU Sharks with a tough 12-0 loss to Wisconsin, but gains more exposure for the program.

Nate Oliver with a look into the coaching trajectory of Rhea Coad, new Buffalo Beauts assistant coach.

Tweet of the Week

Five at The XI: Lovisa Selander, Boston Pride

Rookie goaltender from Sweden discusses how she stays focused through a 5-game winning streak. The first several questions were asked by Marisa Ingemi in the media scrum.

Overall, how have you felt out there so far? Just your first professional experience?

I’m feeling pretty good. I think there’s some adjustments and I’ve played for the same team the past four years (in college). You have those systems in the back of your mind and I think it comes with a little more thinking … to make sure that you understand how (the Boston Pride) want to play, how you want to play and you know, keep up the talking. It’s a bit of an adjustment, but so far so good.

How much help do you feel like you get from the defense, especially the veterans?

A lot! They’re just solid and calm, you know. If they’re calm, I’m calm. I think we just feed off each other’s energy.

Head coach Paul (Mara) has been saying this team has a relentless style of play. When it comes to practice, how do you find ways to make sure you’re fitting into the style of play that the coach wants and what’s been established years prior?

I mean, it’s different because as a goalie, all the coach wants is for you to stop pucks. And you do it in whatever way you want to do it in. But I think we practice as hard as we can. And it’s a little hard (practice) being later at night and only getting to practice twice a week, but I think that also gets everyone motivated. Like we’re here practice we’re ready to go. And that’s just something you got to build over the season. And you know, listen to coach make sure you absorb everything he says.

Is it a good measuring stick of where you guys are at to sweep the defending champions this weekend?

You know, a lot can change over the season, but we go into every game wanting to win it. So, I mean, that’s the that’s going to be the goal for the whole season. And if your opponents come ready to play or not, that’s up to them. But our goal is to play as good as we can every single minute.

You were kind enough to pronounce your name for us broadcaster earlier. Another pronunciation of your name or interpretation on Twitch is Save-lander. If we say that would you be all right with it?

I’m alright with that!

My whole family is back in Sweden and I have a little cousin who’s six. He learned to say, “Save by Selander!” From from RPI broadcasters. I thought it was pretty cute.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Lindsay Gibbs, @Linzsports QUEEN OF ALL MEDIA
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by Erica L. Ayala