On Friday, the NWHL announced the location and details for the 2020 All-Star Game and accompanying Skills Competition. The event will be held in Boston at Warrior Ice Arena, home of the league-leading Boston Pride. The skills competition will be held on Feb. 8 at 8 pm, and the All-Star Game will be held the following day at 2:30 pm.
This is the first time the All-Star Game will be held in a market with a current team since the first, which was held in Buffalo in 2016.
They also announced the first round of players named to All-Star teams. The league’s eight players that have played since its founding will all be honored at the event. The league’s leading scorers Jillian Dempsey, Boston Pride captain, and Madison Packer, Riveters captain were both named All-Star team captains.
Kiira Dosdall is the only other Riveter who has played in all five of the league’s seasons and has already been named an All-Star. But since both captains draft their own players, she may not end up on Team Packer for the event. The other players who have already been named are Kaleigh Fratkin (Pride), Corinne Buie (Beauts), Jordan Brickner, Shannon Doyle and Elena Orlando (Whale).
The game is set as two 25-minute periods of 4-on-4 hockey, along with the skills competition that includes Hardest Shot and Fastest Skater, among other varying contests. In the past, these have included the fastest skating goalie and best trick shot.
Both events will be streamed through the NWHL Twitch channel with a pair of NWHL commentators in Kelly Schultz, Alexis Pearson, Erica Ayala and Sam Fryman who usually cover Whitecaps and Pride games, respectively.
Additionally, earlier this week the league announced the new deputy commissioner in former Riveter, Michelle ‘Shelly’ Picard. She is an interesting choice as one of the few players to be rostered with Team USA, as well as in the NWHL, after the divisive changes following the NWHL’s first season.
Picard replaced former deputy commissioner Hayley Moore, who has since been named president of the Boston Pride. Picard’s new role includes “player development, free agency, game and event scheduling, grassroots programs, and building on the league’s relationships with national governing bodies and collegiate hockey programs,” according to an NWHL press release.
As a member of Team USA, Picard claims two World Junior Championship medals, as well as four records at that event, five World Championship medals, an Olympic silver medal, an Isobel Cup championship, as well as being named captain of both her college team at Harvard and the Riveters. She is an extremely accomplished player and this is a great decision by the league.