How to Watch The Clarkson Cup: 2015 Edition

So, if you’re not going to Markham to watch the games live, check out the following! We’ve got television broadcast information for both Canadians and Americans, and web-streaming information for everyone!

Schedule:

All times below are Central.

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Games #5 and #6 will only be played if necessary to break a series tie.

Television Broadcast Schedule

All times below are Central.

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To my knowledge, Game #3 is the only one shown both live and delayed on Sportsnet. Otherwise, however, games should be live on Sportsnet and SSN. NHL Network is playing games about a day later, but at least the Americans in the audience get something, I guess. 🙂

NHL Network games will only be broadcast for an hour, except for the final which will be broadcast in full. If this is like the All-Star Game, they’ll be playing the Sportsnet broadcast, so expect a lot of focus on the Canadian players. 🙂

Web Streaming

The Clarkson Cup Games will be streamed! It is, however, a different subscription than the regular season one– you’ll need to pay another $10 CAD/~8 USD to get access. That’s not terrible, however– check the CWHL website for your Clarkson Cup streaming package.

All games will be streamed live, so check the game schedule above for times.

Weekend Preview: Montreal Stars @ Brampton Thunder, Calgary Inferno @ Toronto Furies

There are only four weekends left to play in the regular season for the CWHL! Only 17 games total! It feels so strange to think that this season is winding down, and we’re starting to look forward to the Clarkson Cup, speculating on what teams will get in.

Speaking of the Clarkson Cup, tickets are on sale, and going fast! There are single game and packages available at the CWHL website but be aware! Apparently the single tickets for the March 4th morning game are already sold out.

Also coming up in March is the CWHL Awards Gala, when awards like the Angela James Bowl (which goes to the top scorer in the league) are handed out. If you’re going to be in the Markham area for the Clarkson Cup, maybe check that out too. 🙂 We’re planning to have a preview post up for the awards soon, so keep an eye out for that.

In other news, it looks like the reason Hilary Knight missed last weekend’s games was not illness, as she recently posted a photo of herself in a walking boot to Instagram. Boston doesn’t play again until next weekend, so let’s hope it’s something that heals up quick. Boston’s not going to drop out of Clarkson Cup contention without Knight (knocks on wood) but I’ll be VERY sad if Knight’s not able to play in the Clarkson Cup due to injury.

Montreal Stars @ Brampton Thunder

  • Saturday, February 7th, 5:50 PM CDT Streamed!
  • Sunday, February 8th, 1:05 PM CDT

Brampton’s not that far behind Toronto in the standings, and if they want to pull themselves back into Clarkson Cup contention, they need every point they can get. Montreal and Brampton have played four times so far this season, and Brampton has won once, but we’ll see. Remember, Brampton has a different head coach now, and in the exceedingly limited sample size with Kristi Alcorn at the wheel, they’ve been a much more controlled and puck possession dominant team.

Calgary Inferno @ Toronto Furies

  • Saturday, February 7th, 6:30PM CDT
  • Sunday, February 8th, 12:05 PM CDT Streamed!

Calgary’s top of the standings, and Toronto is a far fourth– if the Furies don’t want Brampton to leapfrog them, they also need to pick up some points. Toronto is currently also looking to snap a six game losing streak.

Speaking of Toronto, check out Kelly Terry in IBC’s new winter tires commercial!

2014 Clarkson Cup: Toronto Furies Win First Clarkson Cup Title Over Boston Blades, 1-0

What a game.

Both the Toronto Furies and the Boston Blades started out tentative. Toronto had a slight edge in shots in the first, and managed just a little more cycling in Boston’s zone than vice versa, but overall, there were a lot of missed passes and fumbling plays in the neutral zone. I got the feeling, watching, that both teams were waiting for the other to break out. Natalie Spooner was by far the most noticeable player – yes, in spite of Knight and Stack being heavily used on Boston’s top line. I said on Twitter that I don’t think Spooner ever bothers even entering the zone without possession. She’s an incredibly dynamic force. Buesser took a stupid penalty, but Toronto failed to capitalize; Boston also had a weak power play, spending more time fishing the puck out of their own zone than putting shots on Toronto’s net. Late in the period, Kelli Stack intercepted a pass right in front of Kessler, but Kessler kept her from being able to elevate, and the game stayed 0-0.

The second period was a lot more active, with both teams being a lot less tentative. Toronto controlled play much more early on, cycling and putting shots on Ott. Things settled down midway through the second period, but play picked up again towards the end of the period, with both teams getting chances deep in the zone. Kessler and Ott were by far the most outstanding players on the ice, but Koizumi was putting in hard work for Boston, and Bonhomme was creating chances for Toronto. It’s worth noting that Boston tried to put a lot of pucks on Kessler from the point, which was, obviously, not effective. Play was also focused quite a bit on the boards, with both teams doing their share of dumping and chasing, and passing along the boards.

Ott had be sharp early in the third, with Toronto again coming roaring out of the gate. Boston got a power play on a weak Bonhomme interference call, but they didn’t do much of it. The story of Boston this game was looking for the perfect play, and not finding it. Stack and Knight in particular were not quite connecting; passes would be just a bit too far ahead or behind, or Boston would lose the puck at the blue line. Though it didn’t show on the scoreboard, Toronto disrupted Boston’s usual style of play to a remarkable degree. Boston couldn’t steamroll them, and Toronto took away the space to make plays that Boston’s used to having. Boston actually had to take a tripping penalty in the third, Naslund hauling down a Toronto player on a breakaway. Of course, soon after that, Hilary Knight got a breakaway in the other direction, but Kessler absolutely stoned her. Toronto got a late power play, but nothing came of it, and the game went to overtime.

But OT didn’t take long. Thirty-three seconds in, Smith put a shot on net, Spooner tipped it, and the Furies won their first Clarkson Cup ever, 1-0.

More casually than an actual recap: damn, what a game. The CWHL generally isn’t the same level as the Olympics, and I’m not going to pretend it is. There’s more on the line in the Olympics, and the national teams are better funded. But the Clarkson Cup is the best of CWHl play, and the best of CWHL play is pretty damn good. Prevost was outstanding (and part of that OT goal); Ott, Kesser, Spooner, Bolden, and Knight were all outstanding. There are more players than that who contributed and had their moments to shine. Overall, it was just a great game of hockey to watch, and I’m glad I got to see it live. Last year’s Clarkson Cup game was televised late on TSN2 but not streamed anywhere, and I’m pretty sure the streaming this year is due to pressure from fans to have a way to watch it live. And it was definitely worth it. Tense hockey, great opportunities at both ends, evenly matched teams, and a dramatic, historic finish. What more could you want?

We’ll be back tomorrow with coverage of the women’s NCAA final. Until then, rest on your laurels, Furies. You earned it.

Friday Afternoon Clarkson Cup UPDATE:

Friday Clarkson Cup UPDATE:

First off, sorry, I screwed up the times in our earlier post. Montreal played Toronto THIS MORNING, and Calgary plays Boston tonight.

That said, Toronto, in something of an upset, beat Montreal in a tightly fought 2-1 shoot out victory. That was a GREAT game of hockey to watch, and the shoot out was NERVE WRACKING. Toronto will be going on to face Boston tomorrow in the Clarkson Cup Final!

In another exciting update, the Clarkson Cup Final WILL be streamed! Remember, that game is happening at 2 PM EDT tomorrow, Saturday, March 22nd.

Friday Roundup: Clarkson Cup, Frozen Four, and weekend reading

Friday Roundup: Clarkson Cup, Frozen Four, and weekend reading

Concept art for the 2014 Clarkson Cup Championship rings tweeted out by Caroline Ouellette.
Concept art for the 2014 Clarkson Cup Championship rings tweeted out by Caroline Ouellette.

IT’S FRIDAY, EVERY ONE! This has been a long and trying week for me, so I’m glad to see the tail end of it. However, the ongoing Clarkson Cup games have been a bright spot, so let’s recap:

  • Wednesday: Toronto beat Calgary, 3-2, and Boston beat Montreal a very tightly contested 1-0
  • Thursday: Boston beat the Furies, 2-1, and Montreal beat Calgary 5-4.

As of the time of this post being written, Calgary is out of Finals contention, but have one last game this morning against an unbeaten and Finals-bound Boston. Montreal and Toronto will play for that second Finals slot versus Boston this evening. Finals will be played on Saturday, at 2pm EDT. However, they will not be streamed live. They will be shown on TSN midnight Saturday and Monday at 7:30 pm, EDT. No word yet on what those of us south of the border or otherwise out of TSN coverage will be able to do.

The commentary on these streaming games has been done by Nicco Cardarelli, whose voice may be familiar to you from regular-season CWHL streaming games, and Asher Roth, who you may remember from last year’s Clarkson Cup commentary. They’ve been pretty charming in their enthusiasm for the CWHL and women’s hockey in general, and have been great about interacting with questions or comments tweeted at them during the games. A little startled by how much interest the Clarkson Cup has been getting outside of Canada, however. 🙂 Aly Munro has been doing some great interviews rink-side, and commentary as well.

NCAA Frozen Four!

Minnesota is set to take on Wisconsin today at 5 PM EDT today! For an excellent preview of the game, check out Nicole Haase’s over at Bucky’s 5th Quarter.

Mercyhurst takes on Clarkson at 8 PM EDT today as well! This is Clarkson’s first trip to the Frozen Four. Remember, all of these games will be streamed on NCAA.com.

The winners of these games will meet in the National Championship game on Sunday, at 3 PM EDT. The Patty Kazmaier will be awarded on Saturday, as part of the NCAA Championship weekend.

Weekend Reading:

I know, I missed the normal link round-up for this week, but here’s some stuff to read while you’re waiting to find a copy of the Clarkson Cup final to watch:

CWHL Weekend Roundup: Regular season wraps up with Calgary sweeping Brampton, and Boston sweeping Toronto.

CWHL Weekend Roundup: Regular season wraps up with Calgary sweeping Brampton, and Boston sweeping Toronto, looking forward to Clarkson Cup!

Quick wrap up of this weekend’s action: Friday, the Calgary Inferno won 4-3 over the Brampton Thunder in overtime. On Saturday, they won again 4-3, this time in regulation. Sunday, the Inferno won 4-0 over Brampton. This puts Calgary at 25 points for the season.

The other series this last weekend was Boston and Toronto. Tied for points at the start of the series, they were neck and neck for second place in the league. Then, on Saturday, Boston beat Toronto 4-2, taking the lead. On Sunday, Toronto had the chance to tie them up again, but lost in overtime, 4-3.

This weekend’s action gives us the following playoff group:

  1. Montreal Stars, with 42 points
  2. Boston Blades, with 26 points
  3. Calgary Inferno, with 25 points
  4. Toronto Furies, with 23 points.

The Clarkson Cup festivities will kick off today with an awards gala today, Tuesday March 18th. Prime Minister Harper will be speaking at this event. Some of the awards given out will include the Angela James Bowl, given for the season’s scoring leader. (That’s going to be going to Ann-Sophie Bettez of the Montreal Stars, with 40 points in 23 games.)

The games themselves start tomorrow, and will culminate in Saturday’s Championship Final. All the games EXCEPT the Final will be streamed live on the CWHL site; the Final will be shown on TSN, and from what I can tell, it won’t be live. If you’re able to get TSN, check your local listings. If you’re not, well. All of our inquiries as to if it’s going to be available anywhere else have been met with “we’re trying to work something out, we’ll let you know”, but who knows.

As for the match ups, we’re excited to see the Inferno in their first Clarkson Cup playoffs! Boston and Montreal, of course, are the previous winners (along with the now defunct Minnesota Whitecaps), and while Montreal has been the stronger team this season, hopefully the returning Olympians will kick Boston up that notch they need to win back to back Cups. Women’s Hockey Life has some more detailed predictions, and Women’s Hockey Stats has the predictions by the numbers, so check those out if you’re looking for more intense Cup predictions.

For our own off the cuff analysis, much as my underdog heart would love for Calgary to make it deep, Elena and I think it’s going to come down to Montreal and Boston again. We’re divided over the winner however– she says Boston, I’m thinking Montreal. Either way, it’s going to be fun.

Clarkson Cup Schedule:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Calgary Inferno vs. Toronto Furies @ 11:00am
Montreal Stars vs. Boston Blades @ 7:30pm

Thursday March 20, 2014
Boston Blades vs. Toronto Furies @ 11:00am
Montreal Stars vs. Calgary Inferno @ 7:30pm

Friday, March 21, 2014
Montreal Stars vs. Toronto Furies @ 11:00am
Boston Blades vs. Calgary Inferno @ 7:30pm

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Championship Final @ 2:00pm

CWHL Weekend Preview: Regular season wraps up this weekend!

CWHL Weekend Preview: Regular season wraps up this weekend!

So, we have a wealth of games this weekend! Remember, this is the end of the regular season, and with the standings SO CLOSE, this weekend is going to determine a lot of the seeding for the playoffs. Seven points out of contention, and with three games this weekend, Brampton won’t be able to make it into the playoffs– but they can sure as hell wreck havoc on the seeding.
As of Friday morning, the standings are:

  • Montreal Stars, with 42 points on 23 games
  • Boston Blades, with 22 points on 22 games
  • Toronto Furies, with 22 points on 21 games
  • Calgary Inferno, with 19 points on 21 games
  • Brampton Thunder, with 12 points on 21 games

Montreal is a lock for first, but the rest of the playoff teams are pretty up in the air at this point. Very exciting! Sadly, there is not a streaming game this weekend, but remember, all Calgary games have a live radio call that you can listen to, either streaming live from the CWHL website, or download later as a podcast from IGNITE (That’s also on iTunes, if you use that for podcasts– search for Calgary Inferno!). The podcast includes all the intermission interviews, which can be super interesting– I highly recommend checking that out. And with three Calgary games this weekend, you’ll have a chance to follow things along pretty well. 🙂

Things kick off tonight, Friday, at 7 pm CDT, with Brampton going to visit Calgary for the first of their three meetings this weekend. They meet again on Saturday at 2 PM CDT.

The other game on Saturday is at 6:35 PM CDT, between the Toronto Furies and the Boston Blades. It’s the first of a two game series this weekend that could be crucial for the two teams, as they’re currently tied for second in the league.

On Sunday, the games kick off at 10:00 AM CDT, with a game between the Brampton Thunder and the Calgary Inferno. Excitingly, this game will be the Saddledome, and admission will be free! You can check out more about that on the Inferno’s Facebook page. The other game on Sunday will be the final game between the Toronto Furies and the Boston Blades, at 12:35 PM CDT.

And that’s it, that’s the end of the season! Stick around through, playoffs are just about to start.

Frozen Four and Clarkson Cup: more women’s hockey coming down the pipeline!

Frozen Four and Clarkson Cup: more women’s hockey coming down the pipeline!

The Olympics are over and with them, most of the women’s hockey fervor has died down. But these women aren’t just folded into a drawer during the 3 years they’re not playing in the Olympics. Two major events are coming up: the Clarkson Cup playoffs and the NCAA Division I playoffs. We’ll be covering both, with recaps of the playoff games and the Frozen Four games.

Clarkson Cup

Clarkson Cup logo
CWHL Clarkson Cup Logo

With nine games and just two weekends left in the regular season, the CWHL drive for the playoffs is in full swing. The top four teams in the league will advance to play for the Clarkson Cup. Unlike the NHL’s Stanley Cup, the tournament is single-elimination, not a series format. The games will be played over March 19th – 22, in Markham, Ont.

The current top four are the Montreal Stars, the defending Cup champions the Boston Blades, the Toronto Furies, and the Calgary Inferno. The Inferno are nine points ahead of the remaining Brampton Thunder. However, Brampton has five games left to play, while Calgary has three, all of which are against Brampton, so that playoff berth isn’t assured yet. The Furies and the Blades are also only a point ahead of Calgary, with games left to play, so this could be interesting.

Several of the Olympians who left their CWHL teams are expected back for the post-season, which could tip things depending on who returns where and how that affects line ups that haven’t had them all season.

All of the Clarkson Cup games will be streamed online for free except for the final championship game. That will be shown live on TSN; we’re looking into options for those of us outside of Canada, and if we find something legal, we’ll share that.

 

Date Match Up Time
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 3rd vs. 4th 11:00am EST
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1st vs. 2nd 7:30pm EST
Thursday March 20, 2014 2nd vs. 4th 11:00am EST
Thursday March 20, 2014 1st vs. 3rd 7:30pm EST
Friday, March 21, 2014 1st vs. 4th 11:00am EST
Friday, March 21, 2014 2nd vs. 3rd 7:30pm EST
Saturday, March 22, 2014 Championship Final 2:00pm EST

NCAA Div I Championship

With Selection Sunday this weekend, the NCAA Div I teams are really starting to shift themselves out. In case you need a refresher on how the women’s tournament here works out, the 8-team tournament takes the top four teams and seeds them 1-4. The other four teams are placed in brackets based on strength, but only if the pairings don’t result in additional flights. This is unlike the men’s tournament, where they try to set up matches that will increase attendance. (You can find the rulebook on this here if you’re VERY curious.) For an example of how this could work out, and a good run down from Boston College’s perspective, take a look at Grant Salzano’s article over at BC Interuption.

This weekend, like we said above, is Selection Sunday, when the teams are finalized and seeded. The, on March 14th or 15th, there will be the Quarterfinals, and then on the 21st, the Semifinals. Then on March 23rd, the Championship game will be played.

Once the tournament gets into the Semi-Finals and Finals, it’s called the Frozen Four– because there are four teams left. Got it? Good.

The Patty Kazmaier award, which is awarded to the top women’s ice hockey player in the US, is generally given during this weekend as well. This year’s finalists have been selected– you can see them over at USA Hockey.

Where To Watch Women’s Hockey

By far the biggest challenge of being a women’s hockey fan in a place without a lot of women’s hockey is figuring out where the heck to watch it. Luckily, as the tech for streaming live sports gets cheaper, there are more and more options. Some of the events available online for women’s hockey are: Frozen Four, Women’s World Championships, Women’s Beanpot, Women’s World’s U-18, weekly CWHL games, and Clarkson Cup archives.

Continue reading Where To Watch Women’s Hockey