The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, December 20, 2019

Five Rivalry Series Takeaways - Interview with Abby Roque - Must-click WoHo links

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We are almost in a new year! So, now is the time to reflect of the year that was. Well, almost! We’ll be doing that next newsletter. What were some of your most memorable WoHo stories? I’m making a list (checking it twice – ugh, I’m not big on Christmas music, but clearly am not immune yet)!

CALL FOR TOP WoHo Moments: Send me a few words about your favorite women’s hockey moment in 2019 to, I’ll select a few entries to include in the next newsletter.

As for this week, I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the Rivalry Series vs. the United States and Canada. I have some great links from The Ice Garden, the AP, and the Founding 4 Podcast below. For this edition of The IX, I wanted to offer my biggest takeaways:

  1. USA Hockey has great young talent in the pipeline.

    Great part about the Bob Corkum era is, he’s not afraid to shake things up! Bringing back Bozek, Carpenter, and Shelly Picard, as well as including Hayley Scamurra for Worlds last year showed he’s serious about finding the best talent. In 2019, Corkum and USAH also tapped into the college ranks

  2. Hello, Abby Roque!

    We’ll hear more from and about the Wisconsin forward later in the newsletter. She scored two amazing goals in her first two Rivalry Series games. She has a good feel for the game. She knows when to be patient, she also knows when to move with haste. Her game IQ has stood out in the first two games.

  3. Oh, Canada?!

    After sweeping the U.S. in Pittsburgh, the Canadian National team got swept in the Rivalry Series. Not sure it’s time to be worried, but as it was mentioned on the Tuesday night TSN broadcast, Canada is coming off a silver at the 2018 Winter Olympics and a bronze at the 2018 World Championships. What I do like is that Hockey Canada has established minicamps for its players in wake of the NWHL boycott and the PWHPA showcase model. Canada will host the 2019 Worlds, so perhaps there is additional pressure to get things right.

  4. Changing of the guard?

    It’s worth noting that Canada skewed younger in November, while USA skewed younger in December. I wonder if both teams are due for a shakeup in the roster. Victoria Bach, Loren Gabel, Abby Roque, and Jesse Compher stood out in their last several national team games. Arerin Frankel had one heck of a game for the U.S. to earn the 2-1 win in Moncton.

  5. Where is Brianna Decker?

    On that note, Decker has not found her way to a USA Hockey training camp since the summer. She is currently in Slovakia with the U18 team, but did not participate in the Rivalry Series or in Pittsburgh. The TSN broadcast suggested an injury.

    However, I asked Bob Corkum for an injury update on the 2018 Clarkson Cup champion (Calgary Inferno) in Hartford before the Moncton game. He said, “I don’t have any information on that at all.”

    I have not heard back from USA Hockey to clarify her status with the senior national team.

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This week in Women’s Ice Hockey

“I was completely shook. It was the first time I had ever encountered racism on the ice. I remember feeling every negative emotion -- anger, embarrassment, sadness. I cried because, well, I am a crier. I also didn't really know how to handle it.” Bridgette Lacquette with a special to

Founding 4 Podcast: Rivalry Series Recap from USA Hockey perspective.

Alyssa Gagliardi is named the Carolina Hurricanes Girls’ and Womens’ hockey specialist.

Lyndsey D’Arcangelo with a great feature with Maine teammates & good friends Cailey Hutchison (Metropolitan Riveters) and Brooke Stacey (Buffalo Beauts) on their decision to sign with the NWHL.

Michelle Picard named NWHL Deputy Director, the role formerly held by Hayley Moore (now president of the Boston Pride).

The PWHPA is coming to Philly, Jonathan Tannenwald with the story.

ACCUWEATHER becomes new NWHL partner.

A recap of Hockey in 2019 featuring Kendall Coyne Schofield and the CWHL.

Sarah Nurse, Amanda Kessel, & Cayla Barnes talk about Rivalry Series, the challenge of playing fewer games, and the hopes for the future.

Changing on the Fly podcast featuring the most important person in hockey, Dr. Courtney Szto.

Rivalry Series in Hartford and Moncton goal-by-goal at The Ice Garden.

Mike Murphy with another Behind the Glass: NWHL Edition.

Megan Bozek on Rivalry Series, playing in China.

NWHL All-Star weekend is coming to Boston! I’ll be on the call with Kelly Schultz, Alexis Pearson, and Sam Fryman.

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Abby Roque Wisconsin/USAH

Wisconsin senior Abby Roque had a great start to the Rivalry Series, scoring two goals in her first two games with USA Hockey. I spoke to her after the 4-1 win in Hartford on December 14. I also added a few responses from Bob Corkum and Amanda Kessel on Roque’s first outing with the senior national team.

It was clear USA hockey was not thrilled with how the Pittsburgh series went down. What were some of the things you heard from the players and coaches as far as what to focus on ahead of this series against Canada?

I think a lot of it was just penalties. The coaches weren’t happy with how we played. (We lacked) discipline systems and Emily wise and I think today, we really took that to heart. We (only) took penalties that were necessary. We were just being physical, but they weren’t sticky or cheap. And then the other thing was we were really disciplined in our systems. We knew exactly what we’re doing. We tried to manage the puck and things like that.

Do you feel that the players particularly some of the younger players coming in, made a difference, and were able to impact that compete level throughout the camp and then on the ice tonight?

I think so! Through the camp, obviously we’re all competing for a spot and these young girls really just wanted to show themselves and show what they could do. And then you come in here and you want to prove yourself again, and I think that’s just kind of a boost. Obviously, we needed a second to get comfortable. It’s a fast paced game, but the team did a great job of helping us out being really supportive. And I think that was a big part of it.

You scored tonight. The required question: what did you see on that goal?

(Laughs) Annie (Pankowski) hit (the puck) down and it landed right to me. I went backhand and thought, ‘I better get it high and I better get it off fast,’ because they’re coming at you fast, Canada. So I tried to shoot as quick as possible and next thing I knew, everybody had their hands in the air. I didn’t really even, I kinda blacked out for a second there (Laughs).

Here is what Amanda Kessel had to say about Abby and the other players in their first series with the senior team:

They bring something different to the table and I think you could see the skill that they had. Abby Roque had unbelievable highlight goal in her first national team game.

Hilary Knight on young talent stepping up in the first game of the Rivalry Series:

Yeah, I mean, I think sort of Abby Roque encapsulates that with that nice backhander. But it’s just giving them the confidence, making sure they have the confidence to go out there and play their game. I mean, we’re all here for a reason. We had a very rigorous selection process. So it’s just making sure that we’re all together on the same page working.

Roque also scored in the 2-1 win over Canada in Moncton.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Stephanie Livaudais, @Livaudais
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