The NWHL announced today that the semifinal game between the Metropolitan Riveters and Minnesota Whitecaps that was postponed last Sunday due to inclement weather has been re-scheduled for Friday night at 8 p.m. ET and will take place at TRIA Rink in Minnesota.
The league has also announced that the 2019 Isobel Cup Final will be played on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET between the Buffalo Beauts and the winners of Friday’s game. So, if the Riveters pull off an upset on Friday night, the Buffalo Beauts would not have the home ice advantage that they earned with their play in the regular season, but the Beauts’ organization is giving that up in the spirit of league partnership.
The NWHL offered an uncommon but very welcome amount of transparency behind this decision in their press release. An excerpt from that press release can be read below.
TRANSPARENCY ON DECISION
The NWHL would like to share some background on decisions leading to Isobel Cup Weekend. We hope it shines a light on professional women’s hockey and the players and people involved.
- In the spirit of league partnership, the Buffalo Beauts selflessly agreed to play the Isobel Cup Final in Minnesota this coming Sunday – although they would have had home-ice advantage if the No. 4 seed Riveters defeat the No. 1 seed Whitecaps on Friday.
- Knowing this would be most ideal for the Riveters’ personal and travel schedules, the NWHL looked into having the Semifinal on Saturday. However, significant and justifiable concern was raised by players from both teams about the potential of playing for Isobel on Sunday on back-to-back-days against a well-rested Buffalo team. All voices were heard and the overwhelming majority of players were in favor of Friday.
- We are able to host the game on Friday night at TRIA Rink thanks to the cooperation of Minnesota Hockey, the governing body of youth hockey in the state, who were to hold clinics that night.
- Why end this weekend, as opposed to pushing everything back a week? Two primary reasons: many players would be unavailable after the long-stated season end-date of March 17. In addition, since 2017 and for the betterment of women’s hockey, the NWHL has an informal understanding with our friends in college hockey that we will always make best efforts to not host the Isobel Cup Final on the same weekend as the Frozen Four.
The NWHL is deeply appreciative of everyone working constructively to make this possible, and we look forward to a fantastic Isobel Cup Weekend in Minnesota.
With any luck, the Riveters won’t be grounded by another storm in their second attempt to get to their semifinal showdown with the Whitecaps. The odyssey of their first attempt was well-documented by members of the team on social media, especially goaltender Kimberly Sass.
Both Friday’s semifinal and Sunday’s Cup Final will be streamed live and free on Twitter. Ticket-holders from last Sunday’s game can use their tickets to attend Friday’s re-scheduled semifinal. Tickets for Sunday’s Cup Final will go on sale tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET and are expected to sell quickly.