Category Archives: Observations

Post #46 — 7/22/21 – Website Update, Beantown Observations, Sifters


NCAA Coaching Changes… See all the coaching changes in one spot – HERE – on our google sheet. Announcements on new hires and recent openings can be found below in the Sifters section.

Stick Taps Section… We need your ‘Stick Taps’ suggestions! Have someone in the world of women’s hockey you think deserves some recognition? Let us know who they are and why you think they’re so deserving! Email us at: womenscollegehockey@gmail.com or tweet at us: @WMNSCollHockey. Our first Stick Tap goes out August first!

Online Directory of Recruiting Events/Leagues… We received several messages from event and league organizers wishing to get their events/league weekends/showcases listed on our online directory. So – we’ve created a google sheet with all the events that present good scouting opportunities we’re are aware of. You can find that list HERE. If you run a recruiting event or league and want to have us list it in our online directory, please click HERE and fill out the WCH.org recruiting event form.


In This Post…

  • Website Update|
  • Beantown Observations|
  • Sifters|

Website Update

The goal of Women’s College Hockey.org, along with our Pipeline blog, was to create a comprehensive one-stop-shop educational online resource for anyone interested in learning what it takes to play NCAA women’s college hockey. We looked and researched to see if anything existed. We didn’t really find anything. Nothing existed if you were starting from scratch and knew nothing as to how to go about playing. No site that walked you through everything. Thus, Women’s College Hockey.org was born.

Prospective NCAA players, their families as well as Youth/High School/Club coaches now have a comprehensive resource to educate themselves about what it takes to play NCAA women’s college hockey. You’ll learn everything from what levels of play exist, how NCAA women’s ice hockey is organised, how the NCAA recruiting process works, as well as important NCAA rules and timelines to be aware of.

It all starts from our homepage where you’ll see menu options with dropdown page links taking you to different sections of our website.

Men’s college hockey has the website College Hockey Inc., an educational online resource for those interested in learning what it takes to play men’s NCAA D-I hockey and the path to the NHL. These guys are a little more than just a website however, having a 12-member board of directors and being financially backed by USA Hockey through a grant provided by the NHL. Whereas Women’s College Hockey.org, is a 1-man operation backed by passion and dedication to helping those who have no other option to turn to, for the information they seek.

But hey, if USA Hockey and the NHL want to financially back Women’s College Hockey.org – I’m all ears.

Until then, we’ll continue to update our pages and publish our popular Pipeline blog posts helping you navigate the world of NCAA women’s college hockey. Some website pages are complete, some are still in the works. Rest assured, our site will be fully functional for the coming hockey season. If you know of anyone looking for info about playing NCAA women’s college hockey – point them in our direction – they won’t be disappointed!

Beantown Observations

The 12th edition of the Beantown Classic tournament has come and gone which saw many NCAA D-I and D-III coaches come to evaluate the talent. Here’s a recap:

  • Canadians Come South… Last years event did not take place due to COVID and this years event was absent teams from outside the US. There were several Canadians – 41 by our count scanning rosters – who came down individually to compete on other teams. Players from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia inked Beantown rosters. 41 is a number we get just from looking at the previous team info from last season. The number is probably more like 60. There were Canadians who play on teams in the US, at Prep. School for example, that were hard to account for.
  • COVID Effect On Level of Play? Comments from various college coaches in attendance about the level of play ranged from, ‘pretty decent’, to ‘hard to watch at times – it’s summer hockey’, to ‘it’s awful’. Not super positive. Why so negative? A watered down field? Sure – there were over 1,900 players there. But perhaps we’re seeing some effects of COVID. Did COVID play a role in the delay of skill development and personal improvement for most? Could be. There wasn’t a uniform hockey season last year – most players probably didn’t get on the ice or have the ability work and train as much as they normally would have. With recruiting opening up for D-I coaches June 1 – a lot of players signed up for every showcase and exposure event they could fit into their schedule. Not enough time spent training and actually improving individual skills perhaps? Coaches can tell when their watching good hockey. Compete and pace level shows, puck management shows, passing shows, puck decisions/play away from the puck shows, scoring chances get created, etc. It seems like there was a drop off in those areas a lot of the time. Lack of teams – full teams – from Canada didn’t help either.
  • College Coaches Feeling Frustrated… Tournament operators who run events the size of Beantown are in it for one reason – to make money. Which is fine, everyone is entitled to make a living, even running hockey tournaments. The opportunity for girls to get recruited and play college hockey is not the major priority for these guys or events. So when some of the things that college coaches get to make their jobs more efficient–like having one arena to stay at vs. having to travel to 3 or 4, or having accurate rosters with coaches names and contact info available–go by the wayside and don’t get provided, it’s a frustrating experience for them. Yet again, Beantown provided no printed rosters, multiple arenas used for the same age group, missing roster information – like jersey numbers, names, positions, and no names of coaches or contact info, you bet college coaches left Beantown a bit frustrated. How easy would be it be to spend the twenty-two cents per page for some double-sided copies and a staple to create a roster packet for coaches? Heck, charge a buck or two and they pay for themselves. We get it, it’s a big event, we get teams won’t be on-time with their information. We know the schedule is a juggling act. But let’s be honest, if college coaches don’t come, Beantown doesn’t exist. Or at least not in the same way it currently does with 130 teams. What kind of value are teams receiving beyond their 4-game guarantee for the close to $2K entry fee? We spoke about this exact issue in a previous post. Events need to start serving the audience that allows them to bring in their revenue – just a little bit. Do so, and you have an event college coaches probably like/enjoy and will come back to.
  • Some Should Have Been in St. Cloud… The USA U18 Select Camp began Saturday in St. Cloud which obviously conflicted with Beantown. It looked there were a few players at Beantown that should have gotten the invite to St. Cloud by the way they played. Hard to think these players got missed.
  • The Dark Side… The dark colored numbers on dark jersey colors is still an issue. If you’re going to an event to give your players a chance to play in front of college coaches, PLEASE, have jersey numbers that contrast in color to the main jersey color so coaches can actually read them. We also saw multiple players who had to use tape on the back of the jersey to make the correct number. Come on coaches, managers, or whoever is in charge of the jerseys – do right by your players, get a jersey with a proper number.
  • Fashion Backward… We were surprised to see the number of adults–women and men–(we assume parents of players participating??) who wore baseball cap type hats BACKWARDS. It would be interesting to know where these backwards hat wearing folks are from… is this a west coast thing or a new fashion trend sweeping the country? Interesting to see nonetheless.

Sifters

Canada Is Opening Up… Canada announced earlier this week fully vaccinated US citizens may travel to Canada for non-essential purposes beginning August 9. Travelers will need proof of a negative COVID test result within 3-days of entering Canada and show proof of being fully vaccinated. This is good news for hockey. Each province will have to decide if teams from outside Canada will be allowed to play. The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association has been very mum on how it will handle the upcoming hockey season. There is speculation it will not allow US teams to travel to Ontario to play games or participate in tournaments. We posted links in last weeks post to each of the province’s Hockey COVID updates.

October Stoney Creek Showcase… With hockey opening back up across Canada, planning is in the works for an October 15-17 Stoney Creek Showcase event with 26 Junior/PWHL clubs and 34 U18AA/Midget clubs. No announcement has been made on when tryouts or league play may start for either the PWHL or Lower Lakes Female Hockey League. A mid-October event would certainly be heavily attended by NCAA coaches.

JWHL Plans… The Junior Women’s Hockey League, which operates with teams on both sides of the US/Canadian border, is planning to commence its season in late September/early October. US teams will play one another in the US at various locations. Canadian teams will do the same in Canada until early December or January. It’s expected by late 2021 or early 2022, teams will be allowed to cross borders and play games sanctioned by both USA Hockey and Hockey Canada. The JWHL Challenge Cup and JWHL Playoffs are scheduled to take place this season as well. Check out our Recruiting Event Online Directory dates & locations link at the top of today’s post.

USA Hockey Announces Olympic Centralization Roster… 3 goaltenders, 9 defensemen, and 15 forwards have been named to the USA Hockey Olympic Centralization Roster. A 23 player roster will be chosen to go to Beijing and compete in the 2022 Olympics in late December or early January. You can see the 27-player residency roster HERE. Of the 27 players named, 1 has yet to start her NCAA career. 8 players still have NCAA eligibility remaining and will be away from their college teams for 2021-2022. Of the 8, 4 have eligibility remaining at Wisconsin, 2 at Minnesota, 1 at BU and 1 at BC.

Coaching Changes Update…

  • Syracuse has named former University of Wisconsin standout Claudia Kepler as an assistant coach. You can read more on Claudia’s hire HERE.
  • SUNY-Morrisville is looking to hire an assistant coach.
  • Norwich University has hired former Vermont volunteer assistant coach Taylor Willard as their full-time Assistant Coach. You can read more on Willard’s hire HERE.

Until Next Time…


Grant Kimball is founder and contributing writer at Women’s College Hockey.org. He currently beginning his 3rd season as an Assistant Coach with the Yale University women’s hockey program. Grant has developed an experienced perspective in the world of women’s ice hockey, having coached and recruited players from across the globe during his 25+ year amatuer and NCAA coaching career. He has coached in 6 different NCAA DIII and DI conferences for various institutions in the NCHA (D3), the CHA, WCHA, Hockey East, ECAC, and the Ivy League (DI). Beyond coaching, Grant served as a site representative for the 2019 NCAA quarterfinal of the D-I NCAA Tournament. He also currently serves as an Officer with the American Hockey Coaches Association as Vice President of Membership and sits on the AHCA’s Women’s Hockey Executive Committee.

Post #23 — 1/1/21 — HAPPY NEW YEAR! UNH / HOLY CROSS RECAP, POLLS AND WKND SCHEDULE, SERIES PREVIEWS, SIFTERS

IN THIS POST…

  • Happy New Year!..
  • New Hampshire/Holy Cross Recap
  • Weekend Schedule/Polls
  • Series Previews
  • Sifters

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2021… and good riddance to 2020. Wow – what a year it has been. No need to go into details, you know them all too well. But as a new year begins, we at the Bulldog Pipeline would like to wish everyone a healthy and safe start to a prosperous and joyful year ahead.

Great things are happening at Yale with our program and we can wait to get back to a more normal way of life and college hockey season. Happy New Year!

New Hampshire vs. Holy Cross Recap…

New Hampshire 2
Holy Cross 5
Box / Video Highlights / Postgame

In almost a complete reversal from a week earlier, Holy Cross up-ended New Hampshire 5-2 for its third victory of the year. Holy Cross netminder Jada Brenon turned aside 49 of 51 UNH shots for the win and good for a .960 save %. It was just a week earlier on Dec. 23rd where Holy Cross found itself on the wrong side of a 6-2 loss against UNH. Holy Cross was a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play and 5-of-6 on the penalty kill while UNH only went 1-for-7 on the PP. These two teams will meet again in a home-and-home series in late February.

Weekend NCAA Schedule/Polls…

All Times are Eastern Standard Time, EST.

Observations…

D-III vs. D-I… NCAA Division III Adrian College is continuing their season against two D-I teams this weekend. Tonight, it’s facing nationally ranked (USCHO.com poll) Mercyhurst University and Monday will take on vs. Robert Morris University, another strong CHA opponent. RMU is a program that has been to the NCAA tournament and nationally ranked before. So you have one of the best programs in D-III going against some of the best in Division I. Should be an interesting match-up. For those who don’t know or follow D-III hockey all that much, you should. After many years as a D-I asst. coach, I got the opportunity to start a D-III program from scratch as the head coach at Aurora University and play in the same conference as Adrian. We took a beating, granted we were a brand new team, but they were tough, skilled, and well coached. I can tell you there is some excellent hockey being played at that level. Adrian College is just one of many D-III teams that have a long tradition of success with a quite a few D-III alumni playing on NWHL rosters.

The University of Wisconsin… The Badgers will finally get to play its 3rd & 4th games of the year this weekend vs. Minnesota State University-Mankato. After only playing its first series of the year back in late November, UW is still currently ranked #1 in both the USCHO.com and USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today Top 10 polls.

Long Island University… Head Coach Rob Morgan and the Sharks get their first game action of the year as they take on Quinnipiac Sunday. The Sharks are coming off the programs’ inaugural season in 2019-2020 as a D-I program where they won the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance playoff championship. LIU and Sacred Heart are the only NEWHA teams to play this season.

National Polls – Week of Dec 28…

Weekly Polls… With no games last week, there are no updated weekly polls.

What the Top 10 are up to…

Where Is The Top 10 This Week… As we mentioned above, #1 Wisconsin is back at it this weekend vs. MSU-Mankato for 2 games. #3 Northeastern and #4 Ohio State are back in action since before the holiday break. Northeastern hosts Maine while Bemidji travels to Columbus to face the Buckeyes. #10 Quinnipiac hosts D-III power Adrian College for one-game Friday.

#2 Minnesota, #5 Colgate, #6 MN-Duluth, #7 Clarkson, #8 Boston College, and #9 Providence are all idle this weekend.

Series Previews…

Holy Cross @ VermontVideo Preview
Bemidji @ Ohio StateVideo Preview
Adrian @ MercyhurstVideo Preview
Wisconsin @ MSU-MankatoVideo Preview
Maine @ NortheasternTBA
Long Island Univ. @ QuinnipiacTBA

Streaming info is below. TBA series previews will be updated as they become available.

Sifters…

Women’s Hockey On TV… The New England Sports Network (NESN) will televise each game of the Maine/Northeastern series this Saturday and Sunday. Games time are set for 4:30PM & 4PM. I will say NESN has done a great job of broadcasting women’s hockey games this season. Curious to know if the uptick in the amount of televised women’s games was a contractual obligation with Hockey East and would have happened anyway w/ out COVID? Anyway, it’s nice to see a major sports network broadcasting games.

Men’s World Junior Tourney… The IIHF Men’s U20 World Junior Championships are entering its playoff phase in Edmonton, Alberta. They are using a very similar bubble approach to hosting the event as did the NHL. Team Canada and Team USA came in first-place of their respective groups.

Sweden… Tre Kronor, who had won 54 strait preliminary round games dating back to 2006, has now lost two games in a row. They lost 4-3 in OT to Russia Dec. 30 and 4-0 last night to Team USA. That is quite a streak! Interestingly, Team Sweden’s loss in 2006 cam when the tournament was held in Sweden to Team USA in OT. Jack Johnson scored the winner.

Germany Moves to Quarter Finals… Team Germany is moving on the to Quarter Finals for the first time… ever with a thrilling 4-3 win over Switzerland. And they’ve done so with a shorthanded group too. Several players tested positive before the tournament began which gave Germany just 14 skaters through the first few games of the tournament. Credit Germany’s first round pick in the 2020 NHL draft Tim Stutzle – this kid is fun to watch.


Streaming Info

-Streams for games in the ECAC can be found HERE. Subscriptions will be necessary to watch games in the ECAC.

-Streams in the WCHA can be found HERE for homes games at Bemidji, MSU-Mankato, MN-Duluth, and St. Cloud. Streams for home games at Minnesota, Ohio St., and Wisconsin can be found HERE. Subscriptions will be necessary to watch games in the WCHA.

Streams in Hockey East this year can be found HERE and all streams FREE of charge for the 20-21 season.

-Streams for CHA games with the exception of Penn St. home games can be found HERE. Penn St. home game are streamed on the Big Ten Network + and can be found HERE.


Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!

Post #13 — 11/30/20

IN THIS POST…

  • Holiday Movie Time
  • Weekend Scores
  • Quick Hitters

Holiday Movie Time

America’s favorite shower curtain ring salesman – Dell Griffith

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday and all things late 1980’s, we present one of the holiday movie classics and characters from the hilarious hit Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. In this Thanksgiving travel mishap adventure, (which every hockey parent/player/coach has experienced) America’s favorite shower curtain ring salesman Dell Griffith, played by the late Canadian hockey-loving actor John Candy, teams up with Neal Page, played by Steve Martin, as they try to make their way back home for Thanksgiving. You’ll just have to click the picture above to watch the scene. Knowing the stench hockey equipment makes, you will all relate!

Weekend Scores

In last Monday’s post we included video highlights from each series as much as we could find. Those will now come as part of Wednesday’s posts. Scores from the weekend are below, box scores included.

SCORES – FRIDAY NOV. 27, 2020

PROVIDENCE3ATBOSTON COLLEGE2BOX SCORE
WISCONSIN2ATOHIO STATE3BOX SCORE
RIT1ATSYRACUSE7BOX SCORE
MINNESOTA4ATMINNESOTA-DULUTH2BOX SCORE
MINNESOTA STATE0ATST. CLOUD1BOX SCORE
UCONN (1)ATMAINEPPD
NEW HAMPSHIRE (1)ATHOLY CROSSPPD

(1) = COVID POSTPONEMENT

SCORES – SATURDAY NOV. 28, 2020

BOSTON COLLEGE2ATPROVIDENCE3BOX SCORE
WISCONSIN5ATOHIO STATE0BOX SCORE
COLGATE3ATCLARKSON1BOX SCORE
MINNESOTA2ATMINNESOTA-DULUTH1BOX SCORE
MINNESOTA STATE4ATST. CLOUD STATE2BOX SCORE
UCONN (1)ATMAINEPPD
HOLY CROSS (1)ATNEW HAMPSHIREPPD

(1) = COVID POSTPONEMENT

SCORES – SUNDAY NOV. 29, 2020

LINDENWOOD0ATPENN STATE3BOX SCORE
RIT (1)ATSYRACUSEPPD

(1) POSTPONED

GAME SCHEDULE – MONDAY NOV. 30, 2020

LINDENWOODATPENN STATE2PM
CLARKSONATCOLGATE5PM

Observations…

  • 2 Monday games on the schedule for today, which are rare in college hockey. Lindenwood is at Penn State at 2:00pm and Clarkson is at Colgate at 5pm.
  • Providence sweeps BC behind a 70 save 2-game performance from JR goaltender Sandra Abstreiter.
  • Wisconsin splits with Ohio State winning the backend of their 2-game set 5-0 with 2-goals from Freshmen Sophie Shirley. Wisconsin’s graduate transfer goalie Kennedy Blair stopped 26 of 28 in game 2.
  • Minnesota swept Minnesota-Duluth while on the road. Gopher goalie Lauren Bench finished the weekend turning away 57 of 60 shots good for a .950% save percentage.
  • St. Cloud beat MSU-Mankato in its first game of the year 1-0 despite being outshot 37-12. Mankato turned the tables in game 2 for the weekend split earning its first win of the year 4-2 and outshooting St. Cloud 42-23.
  • Colgate, behind a 2-goal effort from forward Kristyna Kaltounkova, downed 5th ranked Clarkson 3-1 in game 1 of their series at Clarkson. Game 2 moves to Colgate Monday night at 5pm.
  • Due to COVID protocol, the RIT/Syracuse game on Sunday was postponed.

Sifters…

-Providence’s Freshman D Claire Tyo’s goal on Friday night made ESPN’s Sports Center’s Top 10 Plays. You can watch it below.https://video.wordpress.com/embed/pylfRH3Q?preloadContent=metadata&hd=1

-The Winter Olympics in Beijing are quickly creeping upon us. The New York Times did a recent story on how the Chinese hockey federation is preparing their women’s program for 2022 and the impact COVID-19 is having . You can read it HERE.

-What a weekend for Sarah Fuller, soccer player turned kicker for the Vandy football team and the first female to ever play in a NCAA Power 5 football game. ESPN did a nice follow up story yesterday. You can watch it HERE.

Lastly, the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Team paid tribute to the passing of soccer star Diego Maradona last week. If you know Rugby, a team performs a ‘Haka’ before each match. A Haka is usually performed in a group and typically represent a display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity. Actions include foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant. You have to see how they respected their Argentinien match opponent in a classy move paying tribute to Argentina’s most beloved athlete. This was a match played just this past week. Notice it’s in a huge stadium and it’s pretty packed with fans. Stick taps to New Zealand and the All Blacks.

Until next time… be well and stay safe!