By, Susie Lai & Ellie Milewski
Just like that, championship week of the inaugural season of Women’s Ball Hockey NYC is here.
Wow. What a truly wonderful ride it has been this summer: from the excitement in the air on that first day of games, to our last game day which consisted of the most competitive play yet and was capped off by the Widows coming back from being down 4-1 to clinch the final win of the regular season.
It’s safe to say this season has been a smashing success, and Championship Saturday is looking to be the most exciting day yet.
In preparation for the big day, lets look back at the season and what it has meant to our 3 founding teams:
The Yettis are a team of tenacity and resilience. They have embodied the growth mindset and it shows: each week this team shows up stronger. Their commitment to the game and to developing their individual play as well as their team chemistry makes them the dark horse in the playoffs, and they could easily take it all. During the last day of the regular season both Avery and Veronica killed it on defense, and the return of Dana Lerner gave the Yetti’s a goal scoring boost. The Yetti’s are here to play, and with Captain Courtney making her return from Europe for the championship, the other teams need to keep their eyes on their sticks and heads in the game or else they’re gonna get some serious frostbite.
Nimbus 2000 lived up to their name all season, establishing themselves as the speediest team. They’ve utilised this skill, making smart, quick plays. They’re also a team that has really bought into the philosophy and style of play set forth by their two Captains. Even though she’s in the middle of a move, Captain Charlotte doen’t let a long drive stop her from leading her team week after week. Captain Ryann will make her triumphant return after WINNING A GOLD MEDAL with the USA Women’s Masters Team. It goes without saying that she will be an offensive weapon for her team. Former U20 National USA Ball Hockey player and new Nimbus team member, Jenna Shaw, made her presence known last week and the entire team made slick plays in the offensive, defensive, and neutral zones. This has been a dangerous team all season, and they’re sure to bring it on Championship Saturday.
The Black Widows have been building on a solid foundation all season which was set forth by Captain LJ and her incredible leadership. Whether stepping in on offense, leading the way on defense, setting lines and strategy, or pumping up her players, Captain LJ truly does it all. The Widows play not only with each other, but FOR each other, which is displayed by their motto: Do it for The Widows. Marcella, has been a goal scoring phenom, and with Margot back on the court and Emily and Nikki continuing to lock it down on D, this team is solid front and back. They’ve earned a bye and will therefore be proceeding straight to the Championship game where they aim to strike.
The Widows have found themselves down early many games this season only too come back in the second half and take the win. But, with a Play-in bye they risk coming into the Final cold and losing it all to the winner of 2v3. They will need to put in a full 36 minutes to give themselves a shot, something they haven't done all season.
The Liberty Cup is about to be raised for the first time in history. But although the season is coming to an end, this is only the beginning. Women’s Ball Hockey is ready to take NYC by storm.
By, MC Hammer
Click to check out week 5's "Goal of the Week"
Captain LJ rips one from the point and teammate Margot finishes it with an absolute beauty of a tip to score a huge goal for the Widows. The Wids crawled their way back from a 3 goal deficit to beat Nimbus 2000, 6-4 in the last game of our regular season 🕸
Widows hold top seed going into the post-season
The final week of the regular reason did not disappoint with teams looking to make a statement heading into the post season.
A very hungry and determined Yettis squad were a problem for teams all day, with dynamic duo Dana and Emma bringing the offense and Avery and Veronica locking it down on D. Despite having to settle for 2 ties, their resilience, tenacity, and overall improved play makes them a dark horse heading into the postseason. The Yettis are hungry - teams should be worried about facing them, especially considering they were without Captain Courtney week. Courtney will be back and primed to lead the pack to what could be a deep and prosperous run 👀
Nimbus 2000 continued to fly on the rink and do what they do best - make slick plays and score big goals. The speedy🧹squad received a boost with the return of Suz and recently acquired Jenna Shaw But, the Yettis held them to a 4-4 tie and they were unable to hold a 3 goal lead against the Widows, who ultimately bit back with 5 goals to take the win. Still, Nimbus has shown the ability the light the lamp at will for much of the season, and will look to rekindle the magic with the return of Captain Ryann in the postseason.
By, Susie Lai
Now that we’re almost through the season (!!!), it's time for a check in! It’s crazy to think that we’re entering the final week of games before the playoffs. With the inaugural regular season wrapping up this weekend, let’s see what we’ve learned so far.
Captain Courtney was gracious enough to host a chalk talk session before games during week 2, and it was well attended! It was a great way to really talk about the game, go over common hockey lingo, review positioning, and discuss game strategy. Our league is made up of players with a wide range of experiences, and what better way to get better than to learn from each other?
With every team playing two games each Saturday, all of the players quickly realized that there were some essential–and unexpected–MVPs on those hot sunny days out on the rink. So let’s give some stick taps to the following:
HOCKEY STAT LEADERS!
We’re a hockey league, so of course we have stats to talk about. WBH member Courtney Ryan currently leads the league in goals and is tied with Black Widow linemates, Ellie Milewski and Marcella Coulson, for our overall point leaders. Meanwhile, Nimbus 2000’s Iz Fuerter sits at the top of the assists leaderboard. But wait…what’s the coolest thing about our current stats you ask? Every single team has multiple players representing on the leaderboards. Every week someone new gets their first goal or first assist of the season, and it’s incredibly exciting to celebrate. Talk about team. Talk about community.
As we head towards the end of the season, we strive to continue growing this game. For each of the teams, playoffs and the potential to lift the first ever Womens Ball Hockey NYC cup looms overhead as a bright possibility. Who will win it all? Black Widows have been on a killer run lately, but these last few weeks could change everything. Both Nimbus and The Yettis are chomping at the bit to catch up and gain momentum going into the playoffs. Needless to say, it’s going to be a fun ride this week with playoff seeding on the line…game on!
Week 4 action did not disappoint. The Widows narrowly out-battled a very hungry and fierce Yettis squad but were swept away by some masterful Nimbus 2000 sorcery. Special thanks to Tia, who provided lunch for the entire (and very hungry) league afterwards. We're on break until Sept. 10 but you can relive the week 4 highlights here.
What's it like being a widow? Tune in to some behind the scenes widow talk.