CWHL Weekend Preview: Lots of games! Montreal vs. Calgary (x3!), Boston vs. Toronto (x2)

CWHL Weekend Preview:

This weekend starts off with a bang, with the Montreal Stars playing the Calgary Inferno on Friday, January 31st at 7:00pm CST. Remember, Calgary has an audio stream of all their home games, including all of their games this weekend! You can check that out here.

On Saturday, February 1st, Montreal visits Calgary again, this time at 12:45pm CST. Saturday’s streaming game is the 6:30pm CST match-up between the Boston Blades and the Toronto Furies.

On Sunday, February 2nd, Montreal plays Calgary for the final time this weekend, this time at 11:00am CST. Boston again meets Toronto at 11:45am CST.

So, remember: All the Calgary games this weekend are home games, and thus they all have audio streaming! Tune in to listen to some radio, or pull up Saturday’s Boston/Toronto game to watch some. ūüôā And if you miss any, look for our game recaps on Monday.

Weekend Link Round Up:

  • Gophers Sports Update, a University of Minnesota radio show focusing on (obviously) Gophers sports, did an interview with Team USA defenseman Lee Stecklein about her time so far on the Gophers and her hopes for Sochi. Her section starts in Part Two. definitely worth a listen; her section is pretty short, about seven minutes long.
  • On the topic of Gopher Olympians, Big Ten Network did a brief article on Amanda Kessel that includes some quotes from her head coach from the Gophers, Brad Frost, on her style of play and character.
  • The National Journal did an article about Caitlin Cahow, former US Olympian and former captain of the Boston Blades, and how she made the somewhat unexpected transition to concussion awareness and gay rights advocate. It’s pretty interesting, go and take a look!

Sorry, links are kind of light this week. If you saw something worth reading that we missed, please drop us a comment here, or on twitter @WatchThisHockey!

Olympic Roster Overview: Group A, Finland and Switzerland

So, we did separate overviews of the US roster here, and the Canadian roster here, but we thought you might like some info on the other national rosters. They’ve all been announced (FINALLY) so here we go!

This post is the rest of Group A, which consists of the US, Canada, Finland, and Switzerland.

Continue reading Olympic Roster Overview: Group A, Finland and Switzerland

CWHL Weekend Recap: Boston and Brampton split

Only two games happened in the CWHL this weekend, both between Boston and Brampton. I recapped Brampton whaling on Boston (on the scoreboard and also with slashes, hits from behind, and whatnot) here, but on Sunday Boston got some of their own back, beating Brampton 5-0. Having watched the Saturday game, I have to say, I am pretty glad Boston got Ott a shutout.

Boston opened the scoring at 9:38 with a goal from Bolden, assists from Koizumi and¬†Buesser. Aside from a slashing penalty by Boston’s Pickett at 18:53, the teams behaved themselves in the first.

In the second period, the Blades scored twice, opening the period with a Koizumi goal at 3:11. Brampton’s Grey took an interference penalty at 15:24, but Boston failed to capitalize on the power play.¬†Naslund¬†of the Blades took a tripping penalty at 18:23, and Brampton’s French took a kneeing penalty at 18:55. All of this culminated in Boston’s third goal, at 19:28 – Burns scored it on assists from Dempsey and Koizumi.

The third period also saw two goals, the first being a Koizumi tally at 0:17, assisted by¬†Buesser¬†and Bolden. Bolden took a dreaded DOG penalty at 3:11, but (obviously) Brampton’s power play game up empty. Or what they had of one, anyway – at 3:48, Brampton’s Jana Head took a hooking penalty. Scoring was quiet through Koizumi taking a slashing penalty at 5:58, but Boston scored their final goal at 13:04 – Cottrell, assisted by Rambo and Jensen. Boston acted up again at 18:06, a slashing penalty by Cooke, but in the end,¬†Ott¬†still got the shutout.

Does anyone get the feeling these teams might not like sharing the bottom of the barrel? At the end, Brampton remains at the bottom of the league, and Boston jumps to 3rd.

There are five games next weekend, so expect a lengthier recap then. Until then, we’ll have some Olympics coverage for you to chew on. (USA! USA! USA!)

Brampton Thunder v Boston Blades: Jan 25 CWHL Streaming Game Recap

Brampton comes into this game at the bottom of the league, despite having lost considerably fewer of their players than Boston or Montreal. Boston’s near the bottom of the league, with 12 points coming into the game. The last game I watched, they were second in the league. How the tables do turn in a league as young as this! I’ll fetch my cane.

Brampton gets a power¬†play¬†early, after pressing Boston in their zone. Boston has a shorthanded opportunity from Dempsey, but Brampton scores by committee soon after the power¬†play¬†expires, at 4:34, with the goal being credited to Boudreau. Overall, Boston’s defense is somewhat lacking early on.

This is one of just a handful of games I’ve seen Brampton in, and they’re interesting to watch. They’re not particularly flashy, and they definitely play a very group-oriented game, but they gain the zone with efficiency, keeping the game out of the neutral zone for the most part.

Brampton gets another power¬†play¬†on a Duggan penalty. Nothing much arises from it, and Boston gets some momentum back in the last half of the first, getting an odd man rush and spending some time in Brampton’s zone. For all that they have a couple scoring opportunities, they’re pretty hesitant with the puck, and no one’s putting pucks on the net with any particular degree of accuracy. Brampton is definitely the more dynamic team so far, even as Boston starts getting a bit of their own back.

The pace picks up as the game goes on, with more board battles and way more SOG in the last five minutes of the first period. With just over 3 minutes left, Boston rushes into Brampton’s zone, but they don’t manage to sustain any pressure. Dempsey nearly manages to pass for a tap-in, but the puck misses its target, and Brampton carries it back into Boston’s zone. Dempsey is fun to watch, dynamic and decisive.

At 17:33 in the first, the Blades get a power¬†play. For all that they’re the worse team coming into this game, their power¬†play¬†involves a lot more shooting than Brampton’s, and they make it difficult for Brampton to clear. At the end, though, they come up empty.

Play in the second is a lot more even, with Boston getting a lot of chances early. But at 11:26 in the second,¬†Bramptson¬†scores again, on the power¬†play, capitalizing on a total defensive breakdown by Boston. Boston’s chasing the puck after that, nearly giving up another goal just a couple minutes later.

The announcers give some time to talking about how many players Boston’s lost, which is kind of an obvious thing to talk about, even if the coaches are refraining from whining about it.

Late in the second, van der¬†Bliek¬†finally has some work, but Boston’s transition game bites them in the ass, and Brampton gets their third goal late from¬†Skirrow. Boston’s getting more daring as the game goes on, but it’s not a coincidence that Brampton’s scored twice in the second period; for all that Boston is getting more creative, they’re also playing a riskier game. Brampton is more together overall; their goaltender is showing up, their defense is keeping Boston from spending a lot of time in their zone, and their neutral zone play is miles above Boston’s.

Boston¬†narrows Brampton’s lead to 2 on a sweet play early in the third, driven by a pass from Dempsey. Suddenly I’m more engaged in the game – especially since it was a power¬†play¬†goal. A lot of women’s hockey announcers talk about not wanting games to be decided by special teams (code for “let the girls play”, usually), but special teams are interesting to me because they really highlight the way women’s hockey is developing and the advancement of actual, coherent systems within the CWHL.

Brampton’s still up by 2, but they hand the Blades two¬†power¬†plays¬†in rapid succession. They’re not the most disciplined team in the world. And Boston makes them pay – Dempsey scores from the side of the goal, tapping in a pass from the blue line. For a hot minute it looks like the Blades might tie it up, but Brampton scores almost immediately after winning a faceoff in Boston’s zone.¬†Ott¬†is working her ass off, but there’s not a lot you can do if you’re being screened by 3 Brampton players.

Boston gets a nice scrum going in front of Brampton’s goal, but the play is whistled dead, even as Boston tries to get another shot on van der¬†Bliek. Boston’s lost the momentum as easily as they gained it; after that play being whistled dead,¬†Buesser¬†takes a penalty, putting Brampton on the power¬†play, and taking herself out of the game for the remainder of the third.

An insane play midway through the third, with a breakaway¬†by Boston’s Cottrell, catching van der¬†Bliek¬†out of the net, diving to the ice, and nearly poking it in. Unfortunately, the puck didn’t go, because Brampton has defense or something. They stay up by 2 with 9 minutes to go.

Brampton hands Boston a power play and then a 5-on-3, the latter call being a check from behind. And then Brampton takes another penalty Рin an effort to make things more interesting for themselves? Who knows. But people in the audience are heckling the refs, which is actually kind of refreshing.
In the last minute of the third, Boston crashes the net and scores. van der¬†Bliek¬†does her best, but there just aren’t enough Brampton players on the ice to stop Boston from capitalizing. The pace of this game has swung wildly between teams, and between being low-key and intense, so part of me is glad when there’s a time-out with 43 seconds to go.

In the end, though, Brampton pulls out a win, 4-3. Рbut not before van der Bliek gets an unsportsmanlike penalty. You go, angry rookie goalie. You go.

CWHL Weekend Preview and Link Round Up!

CWHL Weekend Preview:

There are only two games to look forward to this weekend, a back to back between the Boston Blades and the Brampton Thunder. Brampton is currently leading the league in penalty minutes, with 232 over 15 games, while Boston has the least, with 92 over 11 games. I’m looking forward to watching this game, as I have a vague feeling it might be a bit rough. Should be fun to watch. ūüôā

Brampton hosts the Blades for the Saturday streaming game, starting at 5:45 pm CST. Brampton hosts them again on Sunday, playing at 1:00 pm CST.

Weekend Link Round Up:

CWHL Weekend Recap: Calgary, Montreal Sweep the Weekend Series

Sorry about the delay in getting this up, guys! Of the two of us, one of us had bronchitis, and the other had epic travel issues. But, better late than never.

CWHL Weekend Recap:

This weekend’s CWHL Streaming Game was Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win by Calgary over Brampton. Our write-up on this game will be up a bit later, and I’ll edit this post with a link then.

Saturday’s other game was a Montreal Stars v Boston Blades match up that ended 7-4 in Montreal’s¬†favour.

There’s a history of rivalry between the two clubs who last year finished first and second in the league, and battled it out for the Clarkson Cup. Both lost key parts to the Olympic teams, and¬†unfortunately, Montreal seems to be rebounding better than Boston, who have had a somewhat rocky season so far. They currently stand at fourth place in the league with 12 points in 11 games, while Montreal is in first with 23 in 13. There’s still time of course to recover, but I’ll be watching them carefully. Anyway, back to Saturday’s game.

Montreal opened the scoring very quickly,¬†with a goal by Vanessa Davidson at :36 into the first period. Fannie¬†Desforges¬†followed it up with another goal for Montreal at 5:06, but Boston quickly responded, with a goal by Ashley Cottrell a minute later. Alyssa¬†Wohlfeiler¬†closed out the period’s scoring with another goal for Boston at 16:52. Montreal got one¬†powerplay¬†chance off a two-minute minor for Jillian Dempsey’s delay of game, but could not convert it into a goal.

The second period opened with a goal by Dempsey for Toronto at 3:30 shortly after a Montreal¬†powerplay¬†expired, but Ann-Sophie¬†Bettez¬†tied it up again shortly there after, until Dominique¬†Thibault¬†got the go-ahead goal unassisted for Montreal. Montreal picked it up in the third, with first Sarah¬†Vaillancourt¬†scoring a goal to go with her two earlier assists, then Ann-Sophie¬†Bettez¬†scoring a short-handed goal. Boston’s Rachel¬†Llanes¬†managed to get a goal later in the period, but it wasn’t enough.¬†Bettez¬†scored an empty net goal unassisted¬†for her third goal of the game in the final minute of the game.

The third period was also the most physical for Montreal, with 8 PIM on three players, whereas they had taken no penalties in the previous periods. Brittany Ott made 39 saves on 45 shots for Toronto, while Catherine Herron made 28 saves on 32 shots. Ann-Sophie Bettez and Sarah Vaillancourt got first and second star for Montreal, while Jillian Dempsey got the third star for Boston.

On Sunday, Boston and Montreal met again, and Montreal walked away with a win 6-2 and a sweep in the weekend’s series.¬†Boston started the game strong, holding Montreal off the score sheet and scoring two goals towards the end of the period. The first by Jillian Dempsey came at 15:35, and the second, short-handed, came at 18:07.

The second period, however, Montreal picked up four goals. Sarah Vaillancourt picked up the first in the first two minutes of the game, and then scored unassisted a few minutes later. Then Ann-Sophie Bettez picked up another two, the first assisted by Vaillancourt, and the second by Virginie Bouetz-Andrieu and Catherine Herron.

In the third, Montreal finished things out with two more goals scored fairly early on in the period, first by Fannie Desforges (assisted by Vaillancourt) and the second by Dominique Thibault (also assisted by Vaillancourt).  Overall, Montreal outshot Boston 49-34, but Boston did manage to keep Montreal from converting any of their power play opportunities into goals. Sarah Vaillancourt picked up first star of the game with five points, two goals and three assists. Ann-Sophie Bettez got the second star, with two goals. Catherine Herron got the final star, with 22 saves on 24 shots.

The other game on Sunday was a rematch between the Calgary Inferno and the Brampton Thunder. Calgary took it handily, winning 5-1. ¬†Calgary opened the scoring with two goals early in the first, one scored by Erin Duggan at 3:00, the second by Julie¬†Paetsch¬†at 6:01. Calgary continued in the second with a third goal by Danielle Stone, who had earlier assisted on¬†Paetsch’s¬†second period goal.

The third period got a bit rough. Calgary got another goal early on in the period, another by¬†Paetsch, but towards the 15 minute mark, Brampton picked up three¬†penalties in short order, including a minor for head conduct on Laura¬†MacIntosh, who also got a ten minute major and a game misconduct for head contact. Brampton’s Danielle¬†Bourdeau¬†also got a game misconduct and a ten minute major for unsportsmanlike conduct. Calgary then got another goal on the¬†powerplay, scored by Emily¬†Berzins. In the dying minutes of the game, Lindsey Vine got the only goal for Brampton, on a¬†powerplay¬†generated by Calgary’s Kelsey Webster, who got a minor for body checking.

Despite the end result, Calgary only managed to score on one of their seven¬†powerplays, which bodes well for Brampton’s penalty kill. Shots were not as¬†outsizedly¬†different as the final score, with 24 shots for Brampton and 37 shots for Calgary.¬†Delayne¬†Brian, the goaltender for Calgary, got the first star of the game, with Julie¬†Paetsch, and her two goal for Calgary, got the second star, and Lindsey Vine, who scored the sole goal for Brampton, getting the third star.


CWHL Weekend Preview: Calgary v Brampton, Montreal v Boston

CWHL Weekend Preview:

This weekend’s CWHL streaming game is Calgary¬†vs¬†Brampton, at 5:45 pm CST, on Saturday January 18th! It’s their second meeting of the season, with their last game, early in November, ending 3-2¬†for Brampton¬†in a shoot out.¬†Imp will have a write-up of that on Monday. (Check out her post on Where to Watch Women’s Hockey if you need help figuring out how to stream the game, or at-reply us on twitter @watchthishockey)¬†

The other Saturday game is the Montreal Stars vs the Boston Blades, 6:35 pm CST. Montreal won their last meeting, 5-2, but Boston won their only other game against Montreal yet this season, 2-1. With both teams working hard to fill the gaps left by their players lost to Olympic rosters, and a rivalry built on multiple Clarkson Cup finals appearances, it should be an interesting game.

On Sunday, January 18th, ¬†we have the Montreal Stars taking on the Boston Blades again in a back-to-back game, at 12:15 pm CST. Then it’s¬†Calgary vs Brampton¬†again, at 1:00 pm CST. Remember, Calgary streams an audio feed of all their home games, so check that out to listen to their games.

Link Round-up:

  • The US Olympic team has been scrimmaging with several New England high school boy’s teams, in order to get some more practice in before the Olympics. They’ve won two of the three games. Take a look at this¬†article to find out some more, and make sure to check out the video of interviews with both some of the women and some of the boys that they’ve been playing.

  • The US Olympic team also got a chance to practice at Fenway Park, which was flooded and frozen for the Frozen Fenway events, including several outdoor college hockey games. See a nice round-up of the women’s practice, including a round-up of pics, here.

  • Several more women’s national teams announced their Olympic rosters this week, including Germany¬†and Sweden.

  • It’s a little hard to track down, complicated by the fact that we’re both only really fluent in English, but we’re pretty sure the only nation who hasn’t officially announced their women’s roster for Sochi yet is Russia. Once all the women’s rosters have been announced, we’ll be doing an overview of the non-US or¬†Canadian¬†players, so look forward to that! (If only I had known in high school, I would have applied myself to my German better; alas, my second best language after English is Latin, and that’s not really applicable to much of anything.)

  • Tessa¬†Bonhomme¬†went on Calgary’s Breakfast Television to talk about how to support the Canadian Women’s team, and about how important it is for the players to get support of their country. It’s specifically to support an event¬†the Canadian team did in partnership with Proctor & Gamble, but I had A Strong Feeling listening to her talk about her experience of getting the gold medal in Vancouver, even as a dirty American.

Weekend CWHL Recap: Montreal beat Brampton twice, Calgary Toronto series a split.

Of Saturday’s games, Toronto beat the Calgary Inferno 3-2, while Montreal took Brampton 4-1. The Toronto vs. Calgary game was the CWHL Streaming Game of the Week, but unfortunately, due to technical issues (entirely on our end, I’m afraid), I wasn’t able to watch the game live, and the game wasn’t up in the archive before I had to write this. (I’m SUPER annoyed because Sami Jo Small was in net for this game, and I had been really excited to see her play again. /o\) So, in lieu of our normal write-up for the streaming game, I’m just going to include it in the weekend CWHL recap.

Continue reading Weekend CWHL Recap: Montreal beat Brampton twice, Calgary Toronto series a split.