The IX Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala - May 8, 2020

Hockey Fights COVID-19 - Interview with Lisa Chesson - Must-click WoHo Links

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Hockey Fights COVID-19

Hockey is dealing with yet another black eye this week. However, the hockey community led by women continues to impress me. I want to highlight two amazing and innovative COVIS-19 relief fundraisers organized by women. First we women shall take on ‘Rona, then pro hockey, then the world!

The Brown Bears on the Frontlines

Tomorrow, I’ll be spending the day with the Brown Bears Hockey program. The women’s hockey team has put together an All-Star lineup to participate in a Virtual Zoom Fundraiser to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. According to the event page, Alaska is disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

The Brown Bears on the Frontlines event will begin at 11:00 am EST and will close out with a Happy Hour and discussion at 4:10 pm (Just in time for the Black Girl Hockey Club Virtual Meetup). Here are some of the amazing women joining the event tomorrow:

  • 11:00 am EST - Intro. & Meet the Team

    Hosts: Carol Chan, Gina Weires, Jasmine Bazinet-Phillips, & Solana Craig

  • 11:30 am - Coffee & Yoga

    Host: Bria Hamlet

  • 12:15 pm - Learn from the Community Affected by COVID-19

  • 1:05 pm - Stick Handling @ Home with Blake Bolden Athletics

  • 1:40 pm - Brown Bears on the Frontlines Panel

    Jillian Dempsey, Massachusetts Teacher and founding member of the NWHL Boston Pride

    Dr. Lindsey Migliore, Physical Medicine, and Rehabilitation Physician

    Caroline Owen, Physical Therapist at Rehabilitation Hospital

    Dr. Gayatri Reilly Ophthalmologist

    Lauryl Andrus, Rehabilitation Physical Therapist

    Jasmine Bazinet-Phillips, Newborn Hearing Screening Technician and Emergency Medicine Clinical Research Coordinator

  • 2:40 pm - Tik Tok Dance with Akilah Brooks

  • 3:30 pm - Chalk Talk with USA Hockey & Scotty Gomez Foundation

    Facilitated by Stephanie, USA Hockey Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Natalie Wolgemuth, board member of the Scotty Gomez Foundation

  • 4:10 pm - Happy Hour & Trivia 4:10 pm

    Hosts: Carol Chan, Gina Weires, Jasmine Bazinet-Phillips, & Solana Craig

Registration is $5.20, folks wanting to RSVP or make a donation can to so HERE.

Claws for a Cause - First Annual(?) Too Many Men Podcast Flip Cup Tournament

The Too Many Men podcast hosted the #ClawsforaCause COVID Relief Fundraiser last weekend. Some of your favorite #HockeyTwitter folks (I totally made this list, what?!) took it back, for some way back, to our college days.

Sadly, it’s been too long since I played flip cup and I bowed out in the first round. Jillian Fisher was in it to win it! She gave a strong performance throughout her side of the bracket, but eventually fell to Justin Kapelmaster of The Latke Room.

The real winners are of course all those who contributed to the $5,500 raised and split equally between Direct Relief and America’s Food Fund. Stick taps to the Brown Bears, Too Many Men podcast, and so many others in the hockey community showing up for their community in these trying times.


This week in Women’s Hockey

Scugog Women’s Hockey League donates reimbursed league fees to local food bank.

Hayley Wickenheiser joins other pro athletes in #TheRealHeroesProject.

Liz Knox joins The End of Sport Podcast about women’s hockey. I greatly appreciate Knoxy offering her lived experience and LOVED that the hosts breaking down why the PWHPA is a labor action, but certainly not a boycott. I really want to break this down more in the future, but for now I consider this a MUST LISTEN!

I’ve linked to this before, but please go back and read this entry by Dr. Courtney Szto that also discusses the PWHPA in the context of boycott/strike/labor action.

Katie Lachapelle named USA Hockey u-18 head coach.

Goaltender Kennedy Blair transferring to Wisconsin from Mercyhurst.

This Deadspin article doesn’t hit the mark for me, but the question posed in the headline is worth exploring.

What would the NWHL Toronto roster look like if the league had an expansion league? Neither Kelly Nash nor Colleen Murphy being protected by the Riveters seems WILD to me.

Jordan Ott headed to Kings College for her first head coaching gig.

NWHL Toronto losses first round pick to SDHL. The great Taylor Haase and others have suggested Jaycee Gebhard going to Sweden prevents her from having to choose between the PWHPA and the NWHL. However, the option to play in the SDHL predates both current North American playing options. Aside from the Gebhard news, the WoHo community would do well to put some respect on the SDHL.

As a pianist & songwriter, Britta Curl draws inspiration from her family.

Kelly Babstock signs with her third NWHL team.

USA Hockey asks, should women/girls and men/boys be coached differently?

Autumn MacDougall becomes first-ever University of Alberta player drafted to NWHL.


Tweet of the Week


Five at The IX: Lisa Chesson, Buffalo Beauts

Lisa Chesson has re-joined the Buffalo Beauts after taking time away from hockey to focus on her off-ice career. The 2010 Olympian discusses her return to the NWHL, the rise of OSU women’s hockey, and more!

You’ve decided to return to the NWHL. Did you always hope to return to the Beauts, or did you consider signing with another team?

Yeah, I think it was easy for me. I've always been a part of the Beauts. They've always been really good to me, the Beauts and the NWHL. So, it made it easy for me to want to come back to them. And then yeah, I just missed the game in general. I mean, I wasn't skating as much over the spring, summer and fall, last year, just because I knew I wasn't prepping for a game or anything like that. I think as a whole, I just missed that team aspect and competitiveness during the games, being around a great group of girls on the ice. So, it kind of all combined into wanting to come back.

Obviously things are tough for everyone. So, how are you preparing for Season 6 amid the Coronavirus pandemic?

In the past, we were able to work from home, so it's not a big change. We're all capable of doing it. The biggest thing was that we're not all in office together. But I think that helps increase our communication across the company. As far as working out, obviously the gyms are closed, the rinks are closed. So, trying to find that time to get a workout in in my apartment or hop on my stationary bike. I'll hop on that and then get outside when I can to run or just take a walk and get some fresh air. So, it’s definitely been a change, but I believe I’m managing it pretty okay for now.

So what is your line of work that? What does that look like day-to-day for you?

I worked as a software developer for for a company here in Columbus. So,I mean, it just depends on the day. Right now I'm working on working with Power BI (a collection of software services, apps, and connectors), creating custom visualizations.

I'm assuming that you spoke with (Beauts general manager) Mandy Cronin and a few others about the team. What about your return is a good fit for the most recent Buffalo team?

I've talked to Mandy on and off throughout, prior to last season and then towards the end of the season. She was very accommodating and whatever I needed — if I wanted to talk about anything. I talked to a player or two, and it was the same. When you play for the Beauts, and I’d imagine any other team, you’re part of a family. There's always been that sense of comfort.

We spoke to Nadine Muzerall a few weeks back. She’s been able to meet great success with your alma mater, OSU. Did you kept up with the team’s WCHA championship run?

I got to check in every now and then, definitely towards the end of the season. It was really great to see. And unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to very many home games. It felt really cool to see the progress of the program and how hard the girls have worked towards their accomplishment. It's great!


Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women's Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon  Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren PGA.com
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster