The Women's Outdoor Classic is actually happening, and it's TODAY.
If you have a ticket to the Bruins v. Canadiens alumni game at 3:30, that means you also have a ticket for the women's interleague exhibition game between the Boston Pride of the NWHL and Les Canadiennes of the CWHL at 2:00. This will be first ever outdoor women's game and also the first time NWHL and CWHL teams will face one another.
It is not, however, the first time many of these players have faced off. Even though the Pride roster is depleted because of Team USA obligations, and has been supplemented with players from other NWHL teams, many of them are former Boston Blades players. Goalkeeper Brittany Ott, defenseman Blake Bolden, and forwards Jillian Dempsey and Kelly Cooke, formerly of the Blades, will face Les Canadiennes once again, this time in an historic matchup.
Boston (7-2) has won four games in a row and are coming off a win over the league's last undefeated team, the Connecticut Whale (8-1). The Pride were able to overthrow the top team in the league with only 12 skaters, including general manager Hayley Moore. With a roster bolstered by the likes of Meghan Fardelmann (New York Riveters) and Kaleigh Fratkin (Connecticut Whale), who have each scored five goals this season, the Pride will have a good chance at coming away victorious.
Across the ice, Les Canadiennes have a record of 8-2 and sit in third place in the five-team CWHL. Boston women's hockey fans should be familiar with Marie Philip-Poulin, who played her college hockey at Boston University. She is currently tied for the league lead in points with 19 (10-9). Goalie Charline Labonte boasts a goals against average of 1.71, the best in the league.
The bad news is...it's not going to be televised. Given the fact that we all thought this game wasn't even going to happen at all, this is not shocking news, but it's still disappointing. With all the talk of "growing the game," it's difficult to reach casual fans when NBC Sports Network is literally showing fishing before the Alumni game instead of the women's game. The NHL Network is scheduled to show a recap of the men's practice day (immediately after they just aired the practices live, mind you), followed by "At the Winter Classic," which will hopefully include some live look-ins at the women's game.
It would be so great if someone (wink wink nudge nudge) could Periscope the game for everyone...Please, take one for the team, and let us know if you are!