The IX Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala, September 27, 2019

Data, please! — Interview with Jessica Wong — Must-click women's hockey links

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Data, please!

College hockey starts TODAY! We’ve seen the first weekend of the #DreamGapTour take place in Toronto, as well as one-off games in San Jose and Boston. The NWHL drops the puck next week after a few local preseason tune-ups happening this weekend.

In other words, it’s hockey season!

Despite my elation, I’m still far from satisfied. Over the past year, many in the women’s hockey community have clamored for more data. As we enter the beginning stages of a huge shift in women’s hockey, I hope better and more consistent data points and data analysis becomes the norm.

At minimum, there shouldn’t be a women’s hockey game that is played without reported attendance on the box score. For one, these are the kinds of numbers I can manage. I’ll leave shot tracking and PIM to my good friend Mike Murphy (more from him later).

If the PWHPA and the NWHL truly want to take women’s professional hockey to the next level, we need to have a baseline attendance number. We need to draw back the curtain and be honest about what the in-person audience looks like. I’ve ranted in the Guardian and about a need for more transparency when it comes to attendance and funding, for that matter. I would also love the NCAA to start charging for women’s sporting events. This is a must longer equity rant for another day, but folds into building a sustainable future for women’s sports, in my strong opinion.

Okay, as far as the more advanced statistics, check out these links from stats experts:


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! erica@ericalayala.com.

Maura Crowell stands by her players, former and current, as they forge a new path for women’s hockey in North America and abroad.

The Founding 4 Podcast is back with an interview with Rebecca Morse aka Moose.

Team Poulin wins #DreamGapTour Toronto.

I AM NOT ENDORSING THIS HEADLINE, but more about Kelsey Koelzer’s new role as coach of Arcadia’s new women’s hockey program. The team will play its inaugural season in 2021-22.

Players weigh in on what’s is happening in women’s ice hockey.

Hayley Skarupa named as Washington Capitals Ambassador.

Courtney Szto with a great recap of the PWHPA #DreamGapTour in Toronto, though I disagree the divide between those in the NWHL and the PWHPA is “manufactured”. I do agree with Szto, who clarified that quote via Twitter, that sexism is the root issue.

Canada vs. USA Rivalry Series returns, first stop Hartford, CT.

BC Interruption spends Five Good Minutes with Katie Crawley.

2020 Women’s Worlds schedule released.

“[A]t some point, the PWHPA and the NWHL have to face their issues,” writes Tanner Rebelo.

Forbes on the Boston Pride being sold to a private owner.

“It wasn’t a hard decision for me even though I had an offer to return to the Riveters this coming year.” Kristin Lewicki on why she joined the PWHPA.


Tweet of the Week

It’s Our Time, say Hockey Canada as part of their IIHF Women’s Worlds 2020 campaign. Nova Scotia will host the April tournament.


Five at The IX: Jessica Wong

I had the pleasure of chatting with Jessica during the Aurora Games in August. Wong played for the KRS Team in the CWHL. She talks about playing professional hockey in the birthland of her grandmother, the move of the KRS team to the Russian League, and more.

How did you get involved in the Aurora Games?

Jessica Wong: Digit [Murphy] called me and said this event was happening and wondering if I was interested. Of course I jumped on it, knowing what it was all about, but also just how much fun we would actually have. I think we had a lot of laughs between, the Americans and, and also Team World. It was a great week.

It seems like Digit sometimes demands fun (laughs).

Yes, I’m aware of that. Yeah, I’ve had her as a coach in China. And we had a lot of fun that year.

I was talking to Rachel Llanes a little bit about KRS. You both have been in China for a little bit and now the team had to find a new league with the CWH unfolding. How has it been to be, you know, moving around so much, in the last few years?

Yeah, you know, it’s, it definitely was tough. I won’t lie about it. But it was also a great experience. We kind of knew that going in what we signed up for, this is what we will be doing, and there’s lots of travel, and there’s going to be hiccups because it’s brand new. We just rode with it.

I honestly have met a lot of my best friends in the last two years, so it to me, it means a lot and, and also the other side of it that’s my heritage, right? So I was able to do things and traveled to my grandmother’s village and my, you know, my family’s village back in the day. So it’s to me, some of those things mean a lot to me.

I remember reading that. And do you still have family and in China?

We have relatives, but none of you know, none of my immediate family are still there. Still there? They’re all in Canada. You know, I think it’s, it’s true. It’s, it’s just something that that means a lot to me. And it means a lot to my grandmother. And she’s she’s she was so excited that I was, you know, doing this adventure.

With the team making that move to Russia, is that something that you hope to keep going as a as an ambassador role?

Yeah, I mean, obviously, we would hope we hope that it was going to say, as a Canadian, or North American League, but, you know, things happen. And there’s things that have to happen for women to get, you know, better. And I think this is a good, good change and a good for, you know, China or KRS to join it and try something different. It’s good for the girls, it’s good for the team, and it’s a little bit closer at home.

There’s lots happening in women’s hockey right now. What are some of the main things that need to happen across the board, and that the people in charge need to take to heart as they see players start to utilize their voice more?

Well, we’re all trying, and it’s, it’s going to take a while, obviously. But I think everyone just needs to be on the same page and needs to be on the same board and … as Digit would say, you gotta, get out there and do things. Even if you don’t want to, to help. She’s always out there doing everything she can for everyone. And she says, we need us as young girls, to just to get out there and to do what she’s been doing. And, you know, it’s going to take time, obviously, but I think we’re on the right path.


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 PGA.com
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by Erica L. Ayala