Behind the Glass: Minnesota Rising

The Whitecaps are 2-0, the NWHL has a sponsor in the hemp industry, and we one day away from Knight and Poulin the teammates

After a long hiatus, the Behind the Glass column is back. Let’s sink our teeth into some thoughts, stories, and rumors from the world of professional women’s hockey.

  • The Metropolitan Riveters were the NWHL’s highest-scoring team last season, but the Minnesota Whitecaps held them to just one goal in their two-game series last weekend. We knew the Riveters were going to miss Miye D’Oench and Erika Lawler, but I don’t think any of us expected the Whitecaps to out-score the reigning Isobel Cup Champions 7-1 over 120 minutes of hockey. /
  • Speaking of the Riveters, it was curious to see new head coach Randy Velischek break up the team’s top defensive pair from last season. Considering how little time the Riveters have had to practice, let alone adapt to Velischek’s systems, it seems counter-intuitive to break up the most productive defensive pair in the NWHL’s short history.
  • How great is it that Hayley Scamurra and Maddie Elia both had two-goal games against the Connecticut Whale, after a summer filled with fans and the media talking about all of the new faces in Buffalo? Scamurra got snubbed for Player of the Week honors./
  • Dan Rice got to the bottom of why the Whale were missing some noteworthy players in their opening weekend matchup against the Beauts. It sounds like visa issues are the reason why we haven’t seen a few of the Whale’s new international signings.
  • The NWHL has a new sponsor for its Player of the Week Award. The league is the first in professional sports to accept a sponsorship from a company in the hemp industry. This news comes about three weeks after The Ice Garden learned that the NWHL is going to keep an open mind to sponsors and partnerships. It will be interesting to see if there’s any anxiety from national team players about VEDA’s endocannabinoid nutrition. According to WADA’s list of prohibited substances, Cannabidiol (or CBD oil) is not prohibited, but many cannabinoids are./
  • The opening game of the 2018-19 CWHL season takes place tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. ET. It will mark the first time that Hilary Knight plays against Brianna Decker and Kacey Bellamy as professionals as well as the first time that Knight and Marie-Philip Poulin will be teammates. Fortunately, this is one of the 18 games that will be streamed this season by the CWHL.
  • As @nafio from Pension Plan Puppets pointed out, Sportsnet’s CWHL Weekend in January will feature all four of the league’s Canadian teams. Make sure to mark your calendars for Jan. 5 and Jan. 6.
  • Sophie Shirley, who won the CWHL’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2018 with the Calgary Inferno, is off to a solid start in her freshman season at the University of Wisconsin. She has two goals and an assist in her first four games for the Badgers.
  • The Worcester Blades have three Canadian rookie skaters on their roster this year: Alexis Crossley Miller, Lauren Williams, and Jennifer MacAskill. This is the first time since the 2015-16 CWHL season that the Blades Franchise has had more than two Canadians on the team./