New pro league makes first public hire — Canada’s U18 Selection Camp begins — Must-click women’s hockey links

The IX: Hockey Friday with The Ice Garden, Aug. 11, 2023

Howdy folks! Another week has come and gone in the world of women’s hockey. My name is Alyssa Turner from the Ice Garden and I have the great pleasure in breaking it all down for you.

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New pro league makes first public hire

Burton Lee became the first public hire that the new pro league in North America has made. Lee was named as the league’s game operations and fan experience director. Burton Lee makes the jump to women’s hockey from the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. During his time with the Petes, Lee first started as the game operations and communications director back in 2013 and after two years in that role, he became the executive director of business operations. 

“I am looking forward to contributing to one of the most exciting projects in the sport industry,” Lee said in a Peterborough Petes press release. Lee also spent time with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL and the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. Earlier this month the new professional women’s hockey league posted and began the process for hiring for six general manager positions. The new pro league has a laundry list of things to complete and announce in the coming months before puck drop in January. The official league name, team info, locations and draft details are just a few that come to mind. 

USA Hockey’s Summer Festival begins in Lake Placid

The USA Hockey National Summer Festival has begun in Lake Placid with Team USA’s senior national, collegiate series and U18 team candidates all in attendance. While there are many familiar and also new faces in attendance at USA Hockey’s National Festival, the amount of absences and cuts is rather staggering. 

The rosters have been divided into four teams, with the White and Red rosters featuring professional players, those with national team experience and high-end prospects. The Blue and Gold teams are made up of NCAA players.

A camp roster led by Hilary Knight, Megan Keller, Jesse Compher, Aerin Frankel, Caroline Harvey and Taylor Heise certainly doesn’t lack any sort of talent. But a camp roster without Amanda Kessel, Lee Stecklein, Hannah Bilka, Kali Flanagan and Hannah Brandt? Now that’s concerning. The reasons for their absences and cuts aren’t at the moment public knowledge; however, those are massive names who have made impacts with and without Team USA over the last few seasons that would ultimately make not only the team stronger, but camp more competitive. 

Canada’s U18 Selection Camp underway

Team Canada’s U18 Selection Camp has begun in Calgary and wow is the future ever bright. Canada played their opening split squad game on Wednesday ahead of facing Finland’s U18 roster on Thursday. 

In the split squad game, Team White took home the shootout victory with a 5-4 win over Team Red. Newcomer and 2007 born defender Chloe Primerano turned heads as she was a threat on Team White’s blueline. Sara Manness, another 2007 player to watch, had a goal in regulation and a gorgeous shootout goal to follow as she looks to become a star. 

In their game against Finland, Team Canada dominated their way to a 5-0 win. Sienna D’Alessandro was all over the ice for Canada as she ended the night with a goal and an assist. 

First-ever Celly League Cup awarded to Team Ace Hardware 

This summer was the inaugural season for Minnesota’s new women’s hockey summer league. Celly League dropped the puck for the first time ever just last month with five teams battling it out in a six game regular season followed by a small playoff. Several professional, college and high school hockey standouts took the ice in Minnesota this summer. 

Earlier this week Team Ace Hardware won the first ever Celly League Cup as they defeated Team Traditional Mortgage 4-2 in the final. Liz Schepers, former Minnesota Whitecaps star, and Ella Boerger, a Minnesota high school hockey star, both led the way for Team Ace Hardware throughout the playoffs with six points in three games played. 

Goaltender Andrea Brändli named Swiss Woman of the Year

Andrea Brändli was between the pipes this past season for Boston University where she recorded a .928 SV% in 25 games played. She was also Team Switzerland’s starting goaltender at the IIHF World Championships where she started in five games and had a .916 SV%. At the end of Boston University’s season, Brändli’s collegiate career also came to a close. She signed her first professional contract with MoDo in the SDHL. Andrea Brändli was named Switzerland’s Woman of the Year at the most recent Swiss Ice Hockey Awards. 

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