Hey all, what with the lockout and everything I've been looking to soothe my hockey withdrawal/woes somehow and have happened upon the magical world of NCAA and professional womens ice hockey...
I'm in the Boston area, so I get to watch Northeastern, BU, BC (all three of those Division 1 I believe), and the Boston Blades. Maybe it's more interesting to me, as a female myself, to watch these games... I basically want to be every single one of those ladies and am so jealous of anyone who grew up playing hockey. That aside though, they are damn good, and I wanted to give them some props, even if it's just on the internet.
The Boston Blades are part of the CWHL (Canadian Womens Hockey League- yes they have a team here, just like the NHL has Canadian teams) and it includes a bunch of ladies who played in the Olympics. I love being able to drive twenty minutes from home, pay maybe five dollars, and grab front row seats, and I plan on doing this all season long. Season tickets were sixty bucks!!!!!!
What I love most about womens ice hockey (especially at the Blades' level) is that you know they are doing it for the love of the game... they are getting paid NOTHING.
Hey there. I understand your new found fascination with college hockey. I just discovered it myself about a year ago. In the off season I started doing a little bit of reading about women's college hockey, but admittedly don't know too much about it. I'm mostly interested in what level of growth we see on the women's side. I know it's not a cheap sport, but I find it pretty interesting to see what schools have it on the men's side but not the women's. Is it ice time, cost, or a pipeline to qualified D1 women's talent?
Sad to see Niagara recently dropped their program, but RIT just elevated their women's club team. Merrimack just announced they plan to compete in D1 by 2016 in order to be Title IX compliant. There are some highly speculative rumors that Michigan is investigating it as well. That'll be a fun one as not one Michigan school has a women's program, but I'd have to imagine the talent is in that state.
Another fun league to check out is the ACHA. It's an organization that oversees high level club hockey leagues for men and women, but they prefer non-varsity as it's at a higher level than club might indicate. For some schools the talent is pretty high, but they can't afford to offer scholarships that a D1 program does. In my opnion it's a good middle ground for schools to grow interest but not fully commit to a D1 level quite yet. Or some schools use it kinda like a JV team even if they have a D1 team already.
Finally, if you are very interested in actively posting, I'd check out USCHO. Their site is THE college hockey message board. Not that I'm into steering traffic away from HF, but the college community here is a bit small. And discussion on the women's side is nonexistant. USCHO has a pretty good community with ongoing discussions and up to date news for the ladies. I'd check it out if you want to learn more.