The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, October 4, 2019

A new chapter — Interview with Kendall Coyne Schofield — Must-click women's hockey links

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New Chapter

With the PWHPA, SDHL, and NCAA back in action, the time has finally come to see what the NWHL’s fifth season will look like. Although the end of the WNBA season promises to be exciting, I am truly looking forward to getting back around the rink.

I’ll have an opportunity to see both the Boston Pride and the Connecticut Whale up close this season. I also hope to take in more NCAA games this year. I’ve made some personal and professional changes in order to commit more time to writing about women’s sports. I’m excited to see where my storytelling journey takes me this winter.

A few things are on my list:

What games do you have circled as the 2019-2020 season gets underway?

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!

Hockey Canada hinted they’d offer more support to their players since the CWHL folded in the spring. This week, they announced a multi-million dollar sponsorship for the Canadian national women’s team, the national development team and the women’s under-18 team.

Wisconsin entered the season as the reigning NCAA Champions, so what can we expect from the Badgers in 2019-2020?

Emily Janiga and Hayley Scamurra team up once again, writes Lyndsey D’Arcangelo for The Athletic.

Audra Richards joins me on the Founding 4 Podcast to discuss her move from the Riveters to the Whitecaps.

“If a league like the Alliance of American Football fails, it’s on the administrators. If a women’s sports league fails, it’s on the product … there is no margin of error. Any failure, whether it is poor attendance, or cutting salaries, or folding altogether is seen as proof it will never work.” Shanna Martin on the #DreamGapTour

The NWHL drops the puck on its fifth season this weekend. Here are several NWHL rookies to watch this season. Check out more coverage ahead of the 2019-20 season over at The Ice Garden.

Get to know Riveters goalie Sam Walther in this interview with TXHT Podcast.

Tweet of the Week

PWHPA teases a documentary is in the works

Five at The IX: Kendall Coyne Schofield

Kendall spoke with me for The IX on Monday about the PWHPA, her return to the broadcast booth, and the #WNBAFinals (she wants to see a Game 5 like the rest of us)! Photo Credit: Matthew Raney

How did the opportunity to join the San Jose Sharks broadcast team come about?

Kendall Coyne Schofield: Ever since I was in college, I’ve had an interest in broadcasting. I did a little bit of sideline work at Noetheastern University while I was a student-athlete there. I would play in my game and then try to work a men’s game if they were at home. So, I’ve always had an interest in broadcasting, it’s always something I’ve wanted to do and I really wanted to get into it while I was still playing.

I know it’s a difficult path, but I think it’s important to be able to do multiple things while playing and broadcasting is something that has been an interest of mine. So, I started to do some NBC games last year and then … the San Jose opportunity came about this summer and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I’m really excited to be able to really focus in on one team this year. To live, breathe, talk San Jose Sharks hockey, and get to know the players, the organization, and the fans.

You mentioned the importance of working while still playing. Why is that a focus for you?

Yeah, it’s really important to me because I’ve grown up knowing I can’t make a living playing this game. I knew I needed to get the best education I could get. I knew I needed to focus on a career and a life because I knew I couldn’t make a living playing this game. Unfortunately, that’s still the case. So, it’s always been my mindset to make sure that I’m doing something other than hockey.

While I wish I could simply focus on hockey, it’s always been my mindset to handle several things at once. So, ever since I went into college, I’ve always wanted to do broadcasting while playing. I’m happy to be able to do it now and with an organization like the San Jose Sharks.

You are also taking part in the #DreamGapTour and the PWHPA. As you mentioned, players are not paid for these opportunities right now, which might seem counter to moving women’s hockey closer to a livable wage. What are the immediate and long-term goals for the PWHPA? How does the current method help achieve those goals?

The immediate goal is to put the best talent on the ice every single day this season. The long term goal is to fight for a sustainable league that we know is going to provide an infrastructure that we know is not going to fail, that’s going to provide a livable wage, and that’s going to provide resources to be professional athletes every single day.

I would encourage people to go to our website. You can see our mission right there, you can see our events, and you can see the players that are competing. I think at the end of the day, it was easy for me to put aside $5,000 to fight for a better future. It has nothing to do with the leagues that were currently standing. No leagues that we’ve had in this game have been sustainable enough or professional enough to consider.

That’s what is so strong about our group. We know that no one has been treated right. If we want to keep looking these young girls in the eyes who say, ‘I want to be you one day,’ and say I want [the same] for you,’ shame on us! We need to figure it out, and we’re going to figure it out as players in the PWHPA.

You’ll be playing in the Chicago showcase. That is a city with the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL, they also have the Chicago Sky in the WNBA. Does the PWHPA have plans to partner with other women’s leagues?

Yeah, I think that’s something that’s extremely important, us as women supporting other women’s sporting events. I try to get out to a Red Stars game when I’m home in Chicago, I’ve been to a few Sky games. When I go to those games, I leave there always wishing, saying, “I wish hockey was like this.”

I remember going to WNBA games when Elena Delle Donne was on the Sky and just seeing the resources, how the event took place, and the amount of people in the building, and how professional it was. I’d sit there and just dream that women’s hockey gets there one day.

It’s important that we continue to support other women’s sports and I encourage everyone to support women’s sports as much as they can. We saw an incredible Game 1 of the WNBA Finals last night, it was sold out. It’s awesome to see that on TG.V and just shows the long way we have to go for women’s hockey.

So, who are you pulling for in the WNBA Finals?

Washington. I like Elena Delle Donne! I watched her play in college while she was at Delaware. She was in the same conference as Northeastern (and now Elon, IJS), the CAA. I would try to get to the games when Delaware was at Northeastern because you were seeing one of the best of all time right in my backyard!

You think we’ll get five games?

I hope so, the more the merrier, right?! I’m sure if I was playing, I’d see it differently (laughs). But as a fan, I’d love to see five games!

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