23 Mar

Association Success at Regions

Both the Bantam AA and the Bantam B1 teams finished with very respectable 2-2 records at Regions. 

Bantam AA beat Cottage Grove, lost to Eden Prairie, beat Elk River, and then lost to Wayzata on Sunday to end their season.  Bantam B1 beat Rodgers, lost in OT to Elk River, beat Mahtomedi, and then lost another heartbreaker in OT to Champlin Park to wrap up a great 20-21 campaign.

Head coaches Dane Erickson (Bantam AA) and Dave Rust (Bantam B1) lead their respective teams to great seasons and were regularly competitive with the best programs in the state.  Great accomplishments by the top two teams in the program and great way to end youth hockey for those second year Bantams.  Go Caps!

17 Mar

State of Hockey puts sticks out for Woodbury Teens

March 16, 2021

A community is showing its support for the five teenagers who were involved in a fatal crash in Woodbury on Saturday night.

The car they were in hit a tree and split in half just after 11 p.m. on Settlers Ridge Parkway near Sundance Lane. One of the boys was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene, while the other four had to be extricated from the car.

The crash killed Garrett Bumgarner, 17, and injured four other 17-year-old boys, who are said to be in serious but stable condition. At least some of the boys go to East Ridge High School, where support services have been made available for students.

Read more here

The St. Paul Capitals encourage families to put a stick out in support of the Woodbury hockey community.


15 Mar

Bantam B1 wins District 2!

With wins over Roseville, Stillwater, and Mahtomedi Bantam B1 claims the District 2 Tournament title.  Congrats!

Read more

15 Mar

Mite B - Mavericks win the River Falls Shamrock

Mite B - Mavericks won the River Falls Shamrock Mite 3 level with victories over River Falls, Farmington, Rosemount and Centennial.

12 Mar

Stick in the Ground: Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association

Video: Stick in the Ground

Toronto, ON – February 26, 2021 – Billie Jean King, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Patrick Chan, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, and Mayor John Tory, among others, have officially pledged their support for the Professional Women’s Hockey Association (PWHPA) and the best female hockey players in the world. They are all featured in a new video for the PWHPA #StickInTheGround campaign, which calls for everyone to put a #StickInTheGround for women’s ice hockey. The PWHPA—comprised of the world’s best hockey players— is advocating for a sustainable and viable professional women’s hockey league, and a future that includes more opportunities for young female athletes.

The goal of the PWHPA #StickInTheGround campaign, which will roll out over the next four weeks, is to highlight that the time is now to bring business and sport together to rally for a league that showcases the best professional women’s hockey in the world. It is intended to demonstrate that there is support—and demand—for the PWHPA’s vision of a professional league, which would include more than 43 medal-winning Olympians, 60+ members of Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, and National Champions from four countries including Finland and Russia.

The release of the #StickInTheGround video, featuring more than 30 high profile athletes and celebrities who generously gave of their time and endorsement, will coincide with the first-ever PWHPA Secret Dream Gap Tour Game at Madison Square Garden in New York, February 28, 2021. The video will be broadcast on the NHL Network in the United States and on Sportsnet in Canada, available on the PWHPA Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and is being widely shared by PWHPA athletes and friends on social media platforms.

If Boys Can Dream of a Professional Hockey Career, Why Can’t Girls?

“Basketball with the WNBA, soccer with the NWSL and tennis with the WTA have all proven that fans are interested in watching the best athletes complete, regardless of their gender. Now is the time for hockey to have a truly professional league of its own,” says Jayna Hefford Operations Consultant of the PWHPA, four-time Canadian Gold medal Olympian and honoured member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. “Currently, there is no true professional league where women can earn a living wage and it’s time, we put our stick in the ground to fight for that opportunity. The world is ready and so are we.”

Learn More: PWHPA Rallie's Sports Community


7 Mar

Sled hockey women are fighting USA Hockey for recognition

Video about USA Women's Sled Hockey

March 19, 2019

On Sunday in Pyeongchang, the U.S. sled hockey team defeated Canada in a thrilling overtime game to earn Team USA’s third straight Paralympics gold.

But for 20-year-old Kelsey DiClaudio, one of the best sled hockey players in the world, watching this triumph was bittersweet.

“I’m very happy for them, I’ve played alongside those guys, I know every single one of those guys and they deserve to be there,” DiClaudio told ThinkProgress. “But at the same time, it can be very difficult to watch.”

It’s been a historic year for women’s hockey in the United States — last March, the U.S. women’s national team (USWNT) successfully held a boycott and earned a historic contract from USA Hockey, which providing the women with a level of wages, perks, and accommodations equivalent to their counterparts on the mens’ team. Last month in Pyeongchang, the USWNT matched their victory off the rink with another win for the ages, defeating Team Canada in an overtime shootout to win its first Olympic gold since 1998.

Unfortunately, these monumental victories for women in the sport have not yet trickled down to the women competing in sled hockey. Women’s sled hockey is not an official Paralympic sport, and although there is a U.S. women’s national sled hockey team, it is not officially recognized by USA Hockey.

“It just sucks, when we see the guys who have been coming to the Paralympics since 1994, and we haven’t even been recognized,” DiClaudio said.


A coed sport in name only

Only two women have ever played sled hockey in the Paralympics –Brit Mjaasund Oejen was a goalie for Norway in the sled hockey’s first appearance in the Paralympic Games, back in 1994, and Lena Schroeder, also from Norway, competed this year.

Technically, sled hockey is a coed sport. Currently, each team is permitted to have a roster of up to 17 men, but are permitted to have an 18th player if that spot goes to a female. In other words, each team competing in the Paralympics could have a woman on its roster without taking a way a single roster spot from a man. It’s telling that only one team has decided to do that.

DiClaudio began playing sled hockey when she was nine years old, and instantly fell in love with it. Like most girls in the sport, she grew up playing with the boys. It’s never bothered her. She’s been participating in USA sled hockey camps with the guys since 2011, often as the only female. In 2014, she became the first woman ever named to the U.S. Men’s National Development Sled Hockey Team, and for the next couple of years she juggled her time on the women’s national team and the men’s development team, working twice as hard as everyone else so she could keep her Paralympic dreams alive. But things didn’t turn out like she had hoped....

Read the rest of the article here

5 Mar

Gigi Marvin: Olympic gold medalist, Gophers standout joining Fox Sports North's Wild broadcasts

By Randy Johnson

March 5, 2021
Gigi Marvin played 152 games in her Gophers hockey career, but the two she missed because of injury are having a big influence a dozen years later.

"In those two games, I went upstairs and did the color in the press box,'' said Marvin, a broadcast communications major at Minnesota. "I really enjoyed doing that.''

So much so that the Warroad, Minn., native, 2005 Minnesota Ms. Hockey and Olympic gold medalist is ramping up her career in broadcasting. Fox Sports North on Monday announced that Marvin will join the network's Wild broadcast crew. Marvin, who lives in the Boston area, has worked as a color analyst on Northeastern University hockey broadcasts. She will make her debut on March 14 with Mark Parrish during the "Wild Live'' pregame and postgame shows and in the booth with Anthony LaPanta and Ryan Carter. She'll also be on the March 16 "Wild Live'' shows and will work more games once FSN's schedule is finalized.

"I'm very excited to do more games and be part of the broadcast team officially,'' said Marvin, who turns 34 on Sunday. "It's so fun and they're playing so well. It'll be nice to actually witness them in person.''

Marvin is ready to use her experience as a player to hone her broadcasting skills.

"With the Olympic teams, I've been on camera quite a bit,'' said Marvin, who won gold in Pyeongchang in 2018 and silver in Sochi in 2014 and Vancouver in 2010. "I've been on the interviewee side for so much of my life that talking in front of a camera has gotten to be second nature, but it'll be really enjoyable to learn a new skill like breaking down the game and providing more in-depth analysis. It'll be a little bit new, but it will be really fun.''

She hasn't given up on her playing career, though. Marvin moved to the Boston area in 2011 and splits time between New England and Minnesota. She's still playing hockey for the New Hampshire region of the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association, the group of high-level players across North America that is trying to start a pro league that will be on better financial footing than the NWHL. Marvin played in both Dream Gap Tour games in the New York area last weekend, including Sunday's first-ever women's professional game at Madison Square Garden. The tour moves to the Chicago area this weekend, and Saturday's 2 p.m. game between Marvin's New Hampshire team and the Minnesota region of the PWHPA will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

"We're really grateful that we're able to play some games officially and that the Dream Gap Tour has started,'' Marvin said. "We're very excited for the Chicago weekend coming up. … The whole purpose is to get a league, and a sustainable one, so we're hopeful all this is going toward that.''

A week after the Chicago tour stop, Marvin will be at Xcel Energy Center to start her FSN duties. She sees parallels between being a player and a broadcaster.

"It'll be like I always feel on game day,'' she said. "There's always some nerves – that nervous excitement. Once the puck drops, you're ready to go. I'm fully aware that's how I compete, and I'm sure that's how it's going to be when I'm broadcasting.''



3 Mar

The current state of professional women’s hockey, explained

January 19, 2021
By Alex Azzi

Later this week, the only professional women’s hockey league in North America – the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) – will begin its sixth season. All games will be played in a bubble environment at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York, the site of the iconic 1980 “Miracle on Ice” game.

But it seems unlikely that any player who competes in Lake Placid this month will travel to next year’s Beijing Olympics as a member of either the American or Canadian Olympic team.

Of the 23 players named to the U.S. roster for the 2020 World Championships (the event was ultimately called off due to COVID-19), zero are currently playing in the NWHL. Instead, 16 are members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), five are still in college, and the remaining two are playing abroad in the Zhenskaya Hockey League. Canada’s current roster tells a similar story.

So how did we get to the point where the only professional women’s hockey league in North America doesn’t include any American or Canadian Olympic hopefuls? Here’s a brief history of the saga:
Recent women’s hockey timeline:

    - Following the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics – where the U.S. women’s hockey team defeated Canada to win its first gold medal in 20 years – most American and Canadian players returned to either the NWHL (founded in 2015) or the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (founded in 2007).
    -In March 2019, the CWHL announced that it would be ceasing operations on May 1, 2019.
    -On May 2, 2019, over 200 female hockey players – including every post-grad member of the U.S. team that won Olympic gold in 2018 – announced via twitter that they would not play in any North American professional league during the 2019-20 season, essentially boycotting the NWHL. The statement pointed to low wages and lack of insurance coverage as the motivating factor: “We cannot make a sustainable living playing in the current state of the professional game. Having no health insurance and making as low as two thousand dollars a season means players can’t adequately train and prepare to play at the highest level.”   
   - On May 17, 2019, the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) filed its articles of incorporation. In an announcement, the PWHPA said its goal was to “provide financial and infrastructure resources to players; protect and support their rights and talents; provide health insurance; and work with companies, business leaders, and sports professionals worldwide who already have voiced support for women’s hockey.”
  - Beginning in September 2019 and continuing until March 2020, PWHPA players competed in a series of exhibition tournaments called the “Dream Gap Tour.”
  - On October 5, 2019, the NWHL began its fifth season. Each of the league’s five teams played 24 games (up from 16 the previous season). The championship game between Boston and Minnesota, originally scheduled for March 13, 2020, was ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19....

Learn More: The Current State of Women's Professional Hockey Explained

1 Mar

March is Women's History Month

In celebration of Women's History Month, SPCHA will post articles & links focusing on women who have impacted the great sport of hockey.

Our aim is to highlight leaders & change-makers in our sport that may be overlooked. If you know of such a girl or woman you'd like to see highlighted, please send an email to Gina at spcha.dei@gmail.com.


History of Women's Ice Hockey

Video: This is who I am

Most  people  are  surprised  to  learn  that  women’s  ice  hockey  has  a  history  that  dates  back  more  than  120  years,  beginning  with  the earliest known film image of women involved in a game of ice hockey — featuring Isobel Preston, daughter of Lord Stanley Preston (of Stanley Cup lore), playing hockey on a flooded lawn in the winter of 1890.

There  is  little  doubt  that  women  played  the  sport  well  before  the  first newspaper account of a game between two unnamed women’s teams appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on Feb. 11, 1891. After much research, that game, which was played in Ottawa, Ontario, is now regarded as the start of women’s ice hockey.

Over the span of more than a century, girls and women have pursued their interest in the sport, and today that segment continues to be one of the fastest-growing in USA Hockey.A look back at the history of the women’s game reveals an amazing evolution, with the best yet to come for females involved in the sport.

GRASSROOTS ICE HOCKEY

During  the  1990-91  season,  5,573  female  ice  hockey  players  registered with USA Hockey. Since then, that number has increased more than 10 times with nearly 73,000 registered girls and women playing ice hockey across the United States today. While the number of  girls’/women’s  teams  has  grown  significantly,  some  females  continue to play on mixed-gender teams.

THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE

As far back as 1916, women’s ice hockey teams from Canada and the U.S. have competed against each other. The 1980s, however, propelled  women’s  ice  hockey  into  the  future.  In  April  1987,  the  Ontario  Women’s  Hockey  Association  hosted  the  first  World  Invitational Tournament, which proved to be a resounding success. During that tournament, representatives from participating nations met to discuss the future of women’s ice hockey and to establish a strategy to lobby the International Ice Hockey Federation for the creation of a Women’s World Championship.

Those  discussions  led  to  the  first-ever  IIHF  Women’s  World  Championship, which was held in March 1990 in Ottawa. In 2005, the U.S. defeated Canada in a shootout to win its first-ever world title. Team USA has won seven of the last eight world championships.

Learn More: USA Hockey Play Girls' Hockey Brochure


6 Feb

Jay Sharrers: First Black NHL Official

Jay Sharrers didn’t set out to make history; he just wanted to be part of the game he loved. When, as a teenager, it was clear that he wouldn’t make it to hockey’s elite level as a player, he simply vowed to get the NHL anyway he could.

At 16, he traded his hockey sweater for pinstripes. Six years later — after rising rapidly through the minor-hockey ranks, officiating in the Memorial Cup and at the World Juniors, and advancing through the minor pros —  Sharrers stepped onto the ice at the Boston Garden as the Bruins took on the Quebec Nordiques. It was Oct. 6, 1990. Sharrers, just 22 years old, became the first black official ever to work in the NHL. At the time, he didn’t think too much about it. When his thoughts strayed from the game itself, he was mostly focused on the fact that his boyhood idol, Guy Lafleur, was on the same ice as him, playing with the Nordiques in his final NHL season.

“For those first couple of years — being young and making the jump as quickly as I did — I really had to focus on not being star-struck by the guys I was on the ice with,” Sharrers says. “You had to try to not be a spectator and remember that you still had a job to do.”

Learn More: Whatever It Takes

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