There’s no doubt about it: the NWHL is bumping right now. The first few days of the 2021 season have been nothing short of action-packed, both on and off the ice. The games are wild and the Twitch livestream chats are buzzing. Even when the teams aren’t in the rink, the NWHL community is chatting all over Twitter.
Relive and catch up on some of the top moments so far:
MINNESOTA WHITECAPS ARE THE ONES TO BEAT
The Whitecaps are the only team this season who are still undefeated. Tuesday evening was the game of truth, when they faced the Metropolitan Riveters, who were also 2-0. Minnesota came out with the 1-0 victory to rise to their current 3-0 record.
The blue and white had a scare when they trailed Toronto Six 5-1 in their second game. Deciding they didn’t want to lose to the NWHL’s newest team, the Whitecaps scored four consecutive goals — two in the second period and two in the third — to get themselves to overtime and eventually to shootouts where they finalized victory.
TORONTO AND BOSTON MIGHT HAVE ANOTHER SPORTS RIVALRY
Toronto and Boston have a history of rivalry in sports including NHL and NBA. It seems a new one might have flourished Tuesday night in the NWHL when the Toronto Six got their first-ever win over the Boston Pride.
Boston’s Christina Putigna scored the first goal and the Pride kept their 1-0 lead going into the third period. But just a few minutes into the third, Toronto’s Brooke Boquist scored the game-tying goal — the Six’s sixth-ever goal. Mikyla Grant-Mentis scored the game winner not long after.
JILLIAN DEMPSEY COULD BE THE GOAT OF THE NWHL
The Boston Pride’s captain is the first NWHL player to reach 100 points. The 30-year old is the league’s all-time leading scorer and was also co-MVP for the 2019-2020 season.
In 2016 she helped the Pride win the Isobel Cup, just one year after winning the CWHL’s Clarkson Cup with the Boston Blades. Dempsey and the Pride were projected to win the Isobel Cup in 2019-2020 after making it all the way to the Isobel Cup with only one loss under their belt.
Dempsey went down with a shoulder injury against Toronto Six on Tuesday night, so keep an eye on that.
WATCH OUT FOR HALEY MACK
Minnesota’s Haley Mack is quickly proving herself to be a rising star in this league. With two goals she is already in first among the season’s top scorers. The 22-year old knows how to perform, especially when it comes to crunch time: she got not one, but two game-winning goals for the Whitecaps — one in the final 10 seconds against the Riveters, who were undefeated, and another in the thrilling shootout victory over the Toronto Six.
SAROYA TINKER IS THE NWHL’S FEARLESS LEADER
Barstool CEO Erika Nardini released a video on Monday that targeted journalists and media who speak out against Barstool. The video came in response to the NWHL community criticizing Nardini and Barstool for demonstrating a long history of misogyny and racism.
Along with the video, Nardini went on to promote her own dedication to the league, and how she hopes to purchase an NWHL franchise. This caused an uproar among the NWHL community, which came to the defence of the underpaid journalists working tirelessly to provide coverage to the NWHL.
The NWHL took almost until the end of Tuesday to say or do anything in response to Barstool, Erika and the video; and individual players were hesitant to speak out until rookie Saroya Tinker took the plunge.
AARON IS EVERYONE’S HERO
It would be no surprise if Aaron the Zam Man was presented with the 2020 MVP award… The Zamboni driver quickly found fame among the NWHL community when he waved at Twitch viewers during the “Zam Cam” on the weekend. The Zamboni “show” between periods now includes disco lights across the ice and energizing music… and of course Aaron the Zam Man.
NWHL action continues tonight on twitch.tv/nwhl with Boston Pride vs. Connecticut Whale at 5:30pm ET and Toronto Six vs. Buffalo Beauts at 8:30pm ET.