The IX Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, April 16, 2021

Hockey still trying to get COVID safety right — Nina Rodgers is ready to #SayHerName — Must-click women's hockey links

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Hockey still trying to get COVID safety right

It’s not often that I speak about the MNHL, but when I do it’s because there are things I HOPE women’s hockey can learn from — as in what not to do.

My women’s basketball podcast actually got me hip to what was happening with the Vancouver Canucks. I was preparing to fill in for a colleague on the Locked on Today podcast and wanted to get a hockey story in the show.

Unfortunately, this was the same week the Canucks added 16 players to the COVID-19 protocol list. I began following Emily Kaplan’s reporting on Vancouver and COVID and whew, it was a lot.

Flash forward to this week when JT Miller spent most of his media availability talking about not feeling ready or fully safe coming back and playing a lot of games in a short amount of time after weeks in quarantine.

The NWHL rightfully came under fire for a lack of COVID protocols that eventually suspended the 2021 regular season in Lake Placid. The PWHPA had a more successful start to their 2021 campaign from a COVID perspective, but also offered little to no information on protocols, testing, and/or positive tests during their two Dream Gap Tour stops nor their training camp in Florida.

We did see the PWHPA postpone the St. Louis event — the first expected to welcome fans — because one of the teams “suffered a Covid-19 exposure”. The organization is expecting to honor tickets for the April 11th date once the tour is rescheduled.

Overall, the United States — be it the NWHL, PWHPA, or the MNHL — is much keener on returning to the ice and having fans in the arena. Vancouver and the increasing numbers of variant COVID strains seemed of little consequence to the MNHL, not even as reports surfaced that Canucks players were being placed on IV drips. Eventually, the MNHL decided to pause hockey activities for Vancouver.

All this of course has me wondering what Nova Scotia has planned for the 2021 IIHF Women’s Worlds that is set to drop the puck next month. The CBC has reported everyone involved in the upcoming tournament will have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Halifax. Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang is anticipating the admittance of spectators, but that like everything is subject to change.

“If for some reason, things go completely sideways, we will adjust as necessary, like we did a year ago when we actually, on short notice, actually canceled the same tournament.

“So we have that ability and we’ll always put the protection of Nova Scotians first, ahead of any event, including an international hockey tournament.”

Dr. Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Nova Scotia

The tournament is also set to use TraceSafe technology for all players and staff to eliminate any contamination, should a COVID case arise after the strict quarantine.

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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:

Must-Click Links

Poulin and the rest of Hockey Canada are ready to return to the ice.

Angela Ruggiero teams up with Chris Evert on a new gaming group that seeks to amplify women in esports.

Alina Mueller named to the Forbes Europe 30 under 30 list.

Vicky Sunohara and Kori Cheverie join the Hockey Canada coaching staff.

The new coaching staff for Hockey Canada will look to overcome bad Worlds juju as they host the Women’s Worlds in Nova Scotia later this year.

“Everyone believes Dempsey is the face of women’s professional hockey in the United States. Except for the humble Harvard hockey hero herself.”

An interesting take, but I won’t argue that Dempsey deserves her flowers. In fact, I wrote about it earlier this year for The Athletic.

Katie Gaus will host a three-part special of NWHL Open Ice, including the 2021 awards show

Original host GamerDoc announced she stepped away from the show amid a lack of support for the trans community.

The NWHL hasn’t announced media voting for awards, but The Ice Garden is on it!

BOOKMARK THIS: A directory of WoHo data!

Hockey Canada names 47 players to the selection camp roster.

TV4 retains exclusive domestic broadcasting rights to SDHL.

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Tweet of the Week

YOU are crucial! Are you acting on it?

Five at The IX: Nina Rodgers is ready to #SayHerName

I’m honestly getting tired of making a case for equality, or even just basic human decency. I know I’m not the only one fatigued by more killings of unarmed black and brown bodies.

Please, whatever you do, don’t comment with I’m so sorry.

I’m sure you mean it, but I respectfully ask that you show me you mean it rather than telling me something that, if we’re being real, won’t save my Black ass from racism.

Also important to note before you watch this clip, I do not believe wearing shirts or kneeling will do any better at stopping bullets. I am hopeful that they represent an arrival to the conversation and the real work.

I’ve offered resources before and I will continue to do so, but not this week. This week, I’d love for you to share with me what you are committed to doing to ensure:

  • Black people

  • Indigenous people

  • Asian and Pacific Islanders

  • Trans and non-binary people

  • and indeed ALL PEOPLE

are treated as people, not moving targets, punching bags, or targets for any other form of racism, sexism, bigotry, or hate. Please, tell me what you will do, maybe that will inspire me on the days I fall into deep despair.

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 Sarah Kellam @sarahkellam, The IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By Jessica Taylor Price, @jesstaylorprice, Freelance Gymnastics Writer

Written by Erica L. Ayala