The countdown to the preseason can officially begin.
On Monday, the NWHL announced that the league will host the Russian National Hockey Team in a series of preseason games. The Boston Pride will face Russia once, while the Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters will both play them twice. Additionally, the Pride will open their preseason against the Boston College Eagles. All games will be $5 for admission and free of charge for season ticket holders. The full preseason schedule is as follows:
- September 22nd, 7:00 p.m.: Boston Pride at Boston College at Kelley Rink at Conte Forum
- September 24th, 7:00 p.m.: Boston Pride vs. Team Russia at Warrior Ice Arena
- September 25th, 4:30 p.m. New York Riveters vs. Team Russia at Barnabas Health Hockey House at Prudential Center
- September 25th, 7:00 p.m.: Buffalo Beauts vs. Buffalo Jr. Sabres at HARBORCENTER
- September 26th, 7:00 p.m.: New York Riveters vs. Team Russia at Mennen Arena in Morristown, NJ
- September 27th, 7:00 p.m.: Connecticut Whale vs. Team Russia at Northford Ice Pavilion
- September 29th, 7:00 p.m.: Connecticut Whale vs. Team Russia at Northford Ice Pavilion
- October 2nd, 2:15 p.m.: Buffalo Beauts at Brock University at Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catherines, ON.
Meanwhile, the complete regular season schedule can be found here. The Pride's first home game of the season will be against the Buffalo Beauts on October 15th at the brand new Warrior Ice Arena, which will take some getting used to after a full season at Harvard's Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
They will finish off the regular season, also against the Beauts, at home on April 16th. If that date seems late to you, that's because it is — there is a one month break in the schedule from March 19th to April 15th to accommodate for the 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship, which will be held at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich. Here's to an exciting seven months of women's hockey!