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The Wraparound: an introduction

An intro, a story of the ‘week,’ and links!

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 10 - Canada v OAR Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Welcome to The Wraparound, our new weekly feature of links, thoughts, standings, and (maybe) more.

The top space (aka right here, where you’re reading assuming you haven’t scrolled away from my words) will probably change a bit week to week. I’ll have thoughts, other people might have thoughts, maybe no one will have thoughts. I’m not sure. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t. I swear I’m not making this up on the fly, just trying to see what’s going to fit the needs of the reader and the site best.

We’ll always have links and standings below though, organized by league. If I have my own thoughts on the links, you’ll see them in italics. Hang tight as I work out some of the kinks of finding links.

I didn’t intend to have a Story of the Week this week. But then I realized I had some thoughts on an extremely interesting piece by Kristina Rutherford at Sportnet - Inside the hardest, most underappreciated comeback in sports.

Rutherford’s look at “how do the world’s best come back and compete after giving birth” talks to various athletes but Canadian Meaghan Mikkelson’s story anchors the piece. Mikkelson had her first child in 2016, Calder - who some might remember from his time in the Clarkson Cup when the Calgary Inferno won the CWHL championship. She returned to play with Team Canada an insane six months later at Worlds. According to Rutherford, Mikkelson is only the second player of in the history of Canadian’s national hockey team to return to Worlds or the Olympics after having a child.

The reader is walked through what Mikkelson had to do as a new mom physically — including an amusing antidote about pumping in front of Amy Potomak and Sophie Shirley — and how tough emotionally it can be for an elite athlete to have to make such major changes in her life.

Mikkelson is honest and open about how tough it was for her to come back physically, and how she might have rushed the process, especially as she goes through it again with her second child, a daughter born in 2018.

It’s even more interesting as we look at how federations, leagues, and player associations build maternity leave into contracts with players. Tuesday, the WNBA announced a new Collective Bargaining Agreement which included maternity leave and other fertility related help. In 2017, the US National Team’s boycott of USA Hockey included asking for maternity leave. They won paid leave plus child care help and invites to the next two evaluation camps, according to AP.

We watched Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson benefit from this immediately as they had their sons after winning 2018 Olympic gold. Meghan Duggan is following in their footsteps as well as she’s currently expecting with plans to return, as she said on Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy.

Coming back from having a child is often not talked about, and this is a great, frank look at how elite athletes handle it.

PWHPA

Secret Women’s Hockey Showcase

This weekend the PWHPA held its largest showcase to date: the six-team, 120-player Dream Gap Tour stop in Toronto. In addition to six games (in three different locations), there were also two off-ice events: Closing the Gap and Dream Gap documentary screening.

Saturday
Game 1 in North York // Team Larocque beat Team Kessel; 5-4
Game 2 in North York // Team Daoust beat Team Bellamy; 6-3
Game 3 in North York // Team Coyne beat Team Spooner; 6-3

Sunday
Game 4 in North York // Team Bellamy beat Team Kessel; 1-0
Game 5 in Vaughan with Hometown Hockey // Team Coyne beat Team Larocque, 5-2
Game 6 in Toronto // Team Dauost beat Team Spooner, 8-0

Montreal’s undefeated PWHPA Showcase is bittersweet - Eyes On The Prize
The chapter is playing their best hockey of the season.

Keeping the Dream Alive: Toronto Dream Gap Tour 2020 | Hockey in Society
The PWHPA’s Dream Gap Tour rolled into Toronto for another showcase on January 11th and 12th, this time sponsored by Secret deodorant.

PWHPA sees progress in ‘doorbell cam’ furor | The Star
This is honestly so riddled with errors I’m not entire sure why I’m including it. They use PHWPA through most of the article and, according to a tweet by Kirsten Whelan, totally misquote Brianne Jenner.

Video - Nurse, Fast encouraged by Dream Gap Tour’s progress: ‘We’re making this sport better’ - TSN
Though the PWHPA skills competition was cancelled due to inclement weather in Toronto, Canadians Sarah Nurse and Renata Fast showed up to update the status of the Dream Gap Tour, which aims to raise visibility of women’s hockey across North America. Kristen Shilton has more on the encouraging progress made and the growing support from fans.

PWHPA’s Buffalo Players Continue to Fight for Women’s Hockey - Victory Press
The PWHPA’s Buffalo region players continue to fight for women’s hockey, and they’re in it for the long haul.
We haven’t heard much from the PWHPA Buffalo region, and this was a good look at the six players in that region who regularly attend practices.

NWHL

The biggest storyline of the weekend is by far that the Connecticut Whale won a game! Their overtime win against the Metropolitan Riveters was their first win in over a calendar year. The Boston Pride remain undefeated while the middle three teams are really a toss up at this point.

Standings as of 1/13

Team GP W L OTL PTS ROW GF GA PIM
Team GP W L OTL PTS ROW GF GA PIM
Boston 18 18 0 0 36 17 96 33 181
Minnesota 16 10 4 2 22 10 63 36 118
Metropolitan 16 7 8 1 15 6 47 65 212
Buffalo 18 6 11 1 13 6 53 86 246
Connecticut 16 1 13 2 4 1 29 66 147
ROW = regulation and overtime wins

Don’t Worry, Be Cappy: Whitecaps unveils new mascot - The Ice Garden
New Whitecaps mascot makes waves.
I promise I won’t put a lot of our own links in here (especially ones that I write), but I love Cappy’s story.

Opportunity allowed Taylor Accursi to fall back in love with the game – and turned her into an NWHL all-star - TheHockeyNews
“I literally was like, ‘Holy crap, we tied it up,’” Accursi laughed. “After that split second, I was like, ‘Holy crap, I also scored four goals.’”

‘I just want to play’: Behind Jordan Juron’s decision to switch sides in battle over future of women’s hockey – The Athletic ($)
After sitting out as part of the PWHPA’s boycott, Jordan Juron has decided to return to the NWHL and the Boston Pride.

Jordan Juron joins Boston Pride from PWHPA - Boston Herald
Jordan Juron added an assist in her first game as a member of the Boston Pride last week, but her impact overall can’t be measured just by that. Along with adding depth to the already-deepest team in the league, the addition of Juron for the Pride is significant because she’s the first player to have played in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association and defect back to the NWHL.

NWHL’s Marketing Flexibility Continues To Resonate With Brands - Front Office Sports
The league’s new partnership with AccuWeather will provide fans with real-time updates about inclimate weather that may impact commutes to and from games.

NCAA

Polls: TIG // USCHO // USA Today

Weekend wrap: January 13 | College Hockey | USCHO.com
Top-ranked Wisconsin was upset by Bemidji State while Clarkson fell to Yale and Cornell tied Union.

Wisconsin Badgers hockey: Daryl Watts is going to score on you - Bucky’s 5th Quarter
The Badgers junior forward may be soft spoken but she carries a big stick.

Women’s hockey: What to look for in the second half of the season | NCAA.com
The second half of the 2019-2020 women’s hockey season is underway. Here’s everything you need to know, from players to watch to games that might have national title implications.

USport

Top 10 Tuesday: Reigning champion Gryphons open at No.1 in track and field — Women’s Hockey — U SPORTS

Hockey Notebook: April Clark finishing U Sports career with a flourish | Stratford Beacon Herald
It will be difficult for April Clark match the offensive numbers that made her a First Team All-Canadian a year ago, but the Western University women’s hockey captain is still one of the top players in the province as she nears the end of her U Sports tenure.The fifth-year forward from St.

U of A women's hockey coach first to reach 600th win | CBC News
Edmonton’s Howie Draper has become the first U Sports women’s hockey coach to reach 600 wins.

International

The telling tale of two junior hockey broadcasts - Power Plays
New year, same old shit.
Lindsay Gibb’s newsletter is free right now and we’re lucky it is so we can read her great thoughts on the U18 Worlds streams.

Perry Pearn out as head coach of Canadian women's hockey team - Sportsnet.ca
Perry Pearn is out as head coach of the Canadian women's hockey team.
Ryan, the new head coach, was at the helm for the Nov. series where Canada won both games. Pearn was back for the first two Rivalry Series games where Canada lost both.

The NHL’s best and worst this week - On women’s hockey at the All-Star Game
There is a new wrinkle for women’s players at this year’s event. Plus, three stars, games of the week and Pekka Rinne’s new, self-applied nickname.

Report: US, Canadian National Team players to play 3-on-3 tournament during NHL All-Star Weekend - The Ice Garden
A new event at the men’s All-Star Weekend will reportedly be just for the women.