2020 NWHL All-Star Weekend to be held in Boston

Jillian Dempsey and Madison Packer to captain teams

Put on your hosting helmets, Boston, the 2020 All-Star Weekend is heading to you!

Today, the NWHL announced All-Star Weekend will be held at Warrior Ice Arena, the home of the Boston Pride. The skills competition will be Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. eastern, and the game - two 25-minute period of 4-on-4 play - will be Sunday, Feb. 9 at 2:30 p.m. eastern.

The league also announced that Commissioner Dani Rylan and the league office selected all eight original NWHL players will be All-Stars “[i]n honor of their extraordinary efforts for hockey.” The first eight All-Stars are Corinne Buie, Jordan Brickner, Elena Orlando, Shannon Doyle, Madison Packer, Kiira Dosdall, Kaleigh Fratkin, and Jillian Dempsey.

Packer and Dempsey will be captain this year as well. Teams will have 14 skaters and two goaltenders.

For Orlando and Dosdall, this will be the first appearance in an All-Star Weekend. Packer will be appearing for the fourth time, after she was the fan vote in the first and second season and picked last year. Buie, Dempsey, and Fratkin have all played in two with Brickner and Doyle appearing in one. Buie is the only player in this group to have won a skills event - the Dunkin Donuts Shooting Accuracy in the third season.

This marks the first time since the first season (Buffalo) that the league has held the All-Star Weekend in-market. Previously the league has used this event to test new markets (Pittsburgh in 2017 and Minnesota in 2018) or expand the brand (Nashville in 2019).

Boston makes perfect sense for the 2020 weekend. The league is celebrating its fifth season so returning to an original market, and one that’s been largely popular throughout the years, reflects that. While Warrior’s 800 seating capacity is a bit smaller than where the league has played in the past, well attended Pride games prove that when The Den is packed, its a great atmosphere for the players and fans alike.