After four exciting weeks of NWHL play, the league is at the tail end of a two-week break but don’t fret. We’ve gathered up all the highlights from the first month of play for each team so you can still get your NWHL fix.
One big highlight from the Beauts this season actually comes in the form of something off the ice. At the beginning of the season, Buffalo defender Marie-Jo Pelletier pledged the team would be donating money to The Teacher’s Desk for each blocked shot she records this season.
Other players around the league have begun hopping on this train as well with their own variations of the pledge. Whale player, Shannon Doyle started #BlocksForBooks where she too will be donating money for her blocked shots to a different organization that focuses on childhood reading.
Brooke Stacey has been a big difference maker for the Beauts so far this season. The NWHL rookie has 8 points in 5 games, one game winning goal, and a .429 scoring percentage. She leads the team in almost everything. Adding the Canadian player has been huge for the team who seems to be riding in the middle of the pack in the standings so far. Stacey has a goal in every game this season.
There are quite a few rookies to the league this year but ones most notably making a wave this season so far is the Pride’s third line. Rookie trio Lexie Laing, Carlee Toews, and Tori Sullivan have combined for 24 points on the season. Though no relation to NHL player, Jonathan Toews, Carlee has also been dubbed #BestToews. She has not been letting the hashtag down either. She has five goals on the season so far and is leading the team in scoring percentage.
The Pride all around have been a highlight, going 7-0 so far in the season and rookie goaltender Lovisa Selander being nearly perfect in every outing, but one player who has been padding the teams stats is McKenna Brand, who is in her sophomore NWHL season. She leads the league in points with 13, goals with 7, and game winning goals with 3. She was named the NWHL’s first ever player of the month. She also had a hat trick in one period in the Pride’s 8-1 win over the Buffalo Beauts on October 13.
#ONBRAND— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) November 5, 2019
McKenna Brand (@mckenna_brand) has been named the @NWHL's Player of the Month for October!
: Michelle Jay#ThePack | #NWHL | #HungryForTheCup pic.twitter.com/Cep3GEzeuE
The Riveters currently sit at 1-4, and fourth in the league; however, their one win was a big one. An overtime win against the Whitecaps in Minnesota is something they can now claim after losing every previous matchup against the team since joining the league.
Riveters captain Madison Packer also broke a league record in her last game prior to the break. With her power play goal against the Pride, she became the first NWHL player in history to hit 10 power play goals, as well as tacking onto her all-time goals total of 32 which is just inches behind the Pride’s captain, Jillian Dempsey. The two are currently battling it out to see who will own that title at the end of the season.
The Whitecaps are not off to the same beginning as they saw last year, and that’s okay. They’re playing with a very different roster and some bright spots are most likely being overlooked. Nicole Schammel and Sydney Baldwin are two rookies leading the pack with nine points a piece and the highest goal differentials on the team. Baldwin is putting up great numbers for a defender. Here is them connecting for their first goal of the season together:
A lot happened when the Riveters took the first trip to Minnesota this season, but one thing that might be the most memorable is the creation of #Kiltman. Whitecaps play-by-play crew, Kelly Schultz and Alexis Pearson, noticed a man at the game in shorts and upon further investigation, discovered it was actually a kilt he was dawning along with his Whitecaps jersey. Thus, the Twitch stream chat created #Kiltman. We wish him well, and his legs warm.
The Whale currently sit in last place with no wins to claim but on October 19, against the Buffalo Beauts, the Whale scored three goals in the first 11 minutes of the game. Jane Morrisette opened the game with back to back goals, her first in the NWHL. Shannon Doyle tacked on after that, and though the team lost, it was arguably the best they’ve looked in a long time.
A unique stat that only a Whale player can claim thus far in the season is the amount of times they’ve been named a star of the game. Shannon Doyle has been named third star three times which is more than anyone else in the league. Her consistency has certainly shined through so far.
The league as a whole has had some pretty great highlight from their first month too. They released their Twitch streaming viewership numbers, are having tons of fun with their Dunkin’ and Chipwhich sponsorships, and celebrated Halloween, and the league’s fifth year anniversary pretty amazingly.
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Five years ago today, hockey icon Manon Rheaume dropped the puck for the NWHL's first game in Milford, CT. #NWHL #HockeyHistory⠀ ⠀ Today, on International Girls Day, we're tapping our sticks for the eight women who have been on the ice since day one: Madison Packer, Kiira Dosdall, Elena Orlando, Jordan Brickner, Shannon Doyle, Kaleigh Fratkin, Corinne Buie, and Jillian Dempsey.⠀ ⠀ : nwhl.zone
The NWHL gets back in action Nov. 16 with the Boston Pride hosting the Buffalo Beauts, and the following day the Connecticut Whale taking on the Beauts as well.