The Wraparound: the ongoing broadcast conundrum

Rivalry Series links, some thoughts about broadcasts, and more

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: did you know Meghan Agosta is a cop or that Meaghan Mikkelson has two children or that Laura Stacey is the great granddaughter of King Clancy or Alex Carpenter is Bobby Carpenter’s daughter or that the Lamoureux are twins who just each had babies or Kendall Coyne Schofield’s husband is a Super Bowl champion?

For longtime fans of women’s hockey, these are the tidbits we hear over and over and over again every time the National Teams are on a national broadcast, sometimes in place of actual play-by-play or color commentary. To be honest, it’s tiring.

Maybe some of it stems from the fact that women’s hockey isn’t on television nearly enough (which is its own issue), so every single game broadcasters have to reintroduce the players to the viewers. But why is their outside of hockey profession, motherhood, or male relatives how potential new fans are introduced to players?

If the broadcaster is really searching, why not take a Pierre approach and talk about where the players come from. There’s often one off references to college or if the player was a Patty Kazmaier winner, but let’s hear more of that. Talking about college programs can only help grow the sport as a whole. It’s especially important as the current college players are the up and comers for both national team programs (though both countries left them off this roster because the NCAA season is in full swing).

Or talk about the play on the ice or their stats, the stuff we’re watching. How much of an NHL game or any men’s game is spent talking about their off ice lives versus what’s happening on the ice? I’d wager to bet that the majority is on ice whereas in women’s hockey national team broadcasts, it skews heavily on off ice discussions.

This isn’t a new issue either. Melissa Burgess wrote about this very same topic nearly a full 365 days ago. We at The Ice Garden wrote about it in December 2018.

So, how does this change when USA and Canada only meet a few times a season? Assume that women’s hockey fans are just hockey fans and broadcast like it’s a men’s game.

Rivalry Series

The final three games in the 2019-2020 Rivalry Series are this week. The US won the first two games in December. Canada took Game 3 in Victoria, BC, but the US won the series with a win in Game 4 in Vancouver. They head to Anaheim for the final game on Saturday.

10 years on: USA and Canada clash again in Vancouver | The Ice Garden
Team USA and Canada will meet in Vancouver for the first time since the 2010 Olympic gold medal game

Jessie Eldridge thrilled to play for Canada in Rivalry Series |
When Jessie Eldridge was growing up in Barrie, Ontario watching the Canadian women’s national team on television, she didn’t dream of a specific game or moment, but simply the chance to wear the same jersey her idols wore.

The Canadian women’s hockey team needed a change. The return of the Rivalry Series will be the first major test | The Star
Troy Ryan, promoted from associate coach, will step behind Canada’s bench Monday night in Victoria, where the host team will try to dig itself out of a hole in the five-game Rivalry Series against the United States.

Column: Laguna Hills’ Annie Pankowski relishes another shot at making U.S. Olympic hockey team | LA Times
Annie Pankowski understood why she was one of the final cuts from the 2014 U.S. Olympic hockey roster, even if she disagreed with the decision when she was told a few weeks before the team left for Sochi, Russia.


The next Dream Gap Tour stop is at the end of February in Philadelphia.

The organization has two other events on their calendar in February so far. On Feb. 16, “20+ PWHPA members” will play 3-on-3 in Winthrop, Mass., at 2:30 p.m. On Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m., Team Jenner will play Team Fast in Oakville, Ontario.

“Whatever it took, that’s what we were doing”: Reagan Rust Was All-In From The Start | Victory Press
By the fifth grade, Reagan Rust had it all mapped out. She’d drawn up a 10-year plan, which included such casual objectives as playing college hockey at Harvard University and becoming a brain surgeon.


The NWHL was off last weekend so the standings remain the same. This weekend is the All Star Weekend in Boston.

Shatalova emerging as a star for the Riveters | The Ice Garden
The youngest player in NWHL history is developing in front of our eyes.

Emma Ruggiero doing double duty as Buffalo Beauts player, girls hockey coach | The Buffalo News
A rookie forward for the local National Women’s Hockey League franchise, Ruggiero also is in her first season as an assistant coach for Kenmore/GI.

Giant killer Allie Thunstrom is at the center of the Minnesota Whitecaps’ resurgence | The Hockey News
It took one shot – and the kind of blast she’s not known for taking – for Allie Thunstrom to put the brakes on the longest winning streak in NWHL history, and the league’s top sniper is leading the charge for a Whitecaps team that looks ready to defend its crown.


Polls: TIG // USCHO // USA Today

Alva Johnsson Is Long Island Sharks’ Most Complete Player | The Hockey Writers
From her hockey acument to her size, and from her leadership skills to her ability to score, Alva Johnsson is LIU’s most complete hockey player.

Women’s D-III: Endicott looking to return to NCAA tournament | College Hockey |
Having reeled off a 17-2 record to this point in the season, Endicott has moved into the poll and is hoping to return to the NCAA tournament.

Wisconsin Badgers bid to host NCAA championships in volleyball, women’s hockey, cross country |
Madison last hosted the volleyball tournament in 1998 and cross country in 2018, while UW is seeking the Women’s Frozen Four for the first time.

Guardian at the gate: Northeastern goalie Aerin Frankel proves a staggering stalwart for the Huskies | The Boston Globe
The 5-foot-5-inch junior has the No. 3 Huskies (23-3-1) poised for Beanpot success as the best goalie in Women’s Hockey East (20-3-1, 1.06 GAA).

A thoughtful leader and high-reward defender, Princeton captain Claire Thompson continues to flourish | At Even Strength
Whenever Princeton head coach Cara Morey and her staff are drawing up a new drill for practice, they take the same approach. They devise the best strategy for what they want to achieve. They figure out what they want their players to do for those 10 or 20 minutes on the ice. They get it…

The Takeaway: New program records, Hall of Fame inductees, and Hockey Humanitarian Award nominees | The Ice Garden
Robert Morris has a new all-time leading scorer; four women are nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award


Top 10 Tuesday | U SPORTS
U SPORTS is the national governing body of university sport in Canada.


Why isn’t the ‘Wayne Gretzky of Women’s Hockey’ better known? |
Angela James was women’s hockey’s first superstar and remains the only black player to captain Canada at the senior level. So why isn’t she a household name?

How Chateauguay's Kim St-Pierre broke barriers for Olympic dreams |
Despite being a target as the only girl in Chateauguay minor hockey, Kim St-Pierre found a way to achieve her Olympic dreams.

Canada's Sarah Nurse keeps up family's sporting tradition | Times Colonist
Watching the nightly sports-wrap broadcasts becomes a bit of a family affair for Sarah Nurse, who will skate for Canada against the United States on Monday in the women’s hockey Rivalry Series game. . .

The games of their lives | Winnipeg Free Press
There’s more than a championship at stake at annual hockey challenge; elite female players have opportunity to showcase their skills before university scouts