The National Women’s Hockey League (A.K.A. the coolest ladies you’ll ever meet) are about to start their second season. As we look forward to a new year of excitement and rooting for our favorite teams, we want to provide some information for those who maybe missed the first season and now they want to get into it. It’s not like a TV show where you have to go back and watch the previous episodes/games (though if you want to, you obviously can). But maybe you have some questions about America’s newest professional league that we can answer for you.
It was a pretty big year for women in all sports, especially with everything that just happened in the Olympics, but nothing was bigger than the beginning of the first professional hockey league for women in the United States. Before the Fab Five wowed us at the Olympics, there was the Fab Four: Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, New York Riveters, and the Connecticut Whales.
1. When did the league start?
It was established in 2015, making 2016 its second official season. It’s the first U.S. women’s hockey league to pay its players. Prior to the NWHL, the only choice for top-level women’s hockey in North America was Canada’s league, the CWHL, which is unpaid.
2. What are the teams?
Glad you asked. There are 4 teams in the NWHL (for now!). They are the Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whales, New York Riveters, and the Boston Pride. All of the teams are on the eastern part of the country, but don’t let that deter you from watching! You don’t have to just pick one team and only root for that one. There are only four, so you can definitely find the time to support them all, especially if you don’t live on the East Coast.
3. Does the NWHL have a championship cup like the Stanley Cup?
Yes! It’s called the Isobel Cup. It was named after Lady Isobel Gathorne-Hardy, the daughter of Frederick Stanley who donated the Stanley Cup.
It looks like this:
4. Who won the Isobel Cup previously?
The champions of the first-ever Isobel cup are the Boston Pride. They defeated the Buffalo Beauts 3-1, sealing a 2-0 series win.
5. Is there any animosity between the NHL and the NWHL?
LOL no. Why would there be? They’re all just playing the sport they love. If you’re not convinced that there isn’t tension between the two leagues, check out this statement of support from the NHL. Also, you’re probably wondering if you can support both an NHL team and a NWHL team. Yes. Yes you can. We believe in you.
If you want to check out the games live, you can buy tickets here.
If you can’t make it to the games in person, they post their games on their Youtube channel!
And you can follow the NWHL on Twitter here.