The Day the Bubble Burst

The NWHL announced on Wednesday afternoon that they would be suspending the season. This decision was made after numerous positive COVID-19 tests came up just one day before the teams were set to play the semi-final games. The league tried to find new solutions but the safest thing to do was to keep everyone off the ice. The three remaining games were set to be broadcast across the U.S on NBC. The decision was necessary in order to keep the players and team personnel safe but it was disappointing, to say the least.

The NWHL season had already been cut from six to four teams with both, the Metropolitan Riveters and Connecticut Whale leaving Lake Placid due to COVID-19 concerns within their own teams. It is important to note that those teams as well as the Minnesota Whitecaps all shared a hotel for the duration of the tournament. The Boston Pride were in their own hotel but it was reported that their team did in fact, have members test positive before the shutdown. While the league has put a pause on the play for the foreseeable future, league commissioner, Ty Tumminia stated, “it doesn’t mean we’re not going to raise the cup in season six”. 

Here are Unbenched’s selections for our NWHL 2021 All-Star Team.

Goalie: Elaine Chuli (Toronto Six)

4 wins, 1 shutout, 1.61 GAA, .936% SV%, in 6 games

Defense: Kaleigh Fratkin (Boston Pride)

9 A (league-high), 1.3 PPG, 15 blocked shots in 7 Games

Defense: Leila Kilduff (Metropolitan Riveters) 

2 G, 1 A, +5, 8 blocked shots in 3 Games

Forward: Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Toronto Six) 

5 G, 4 A, 9 P in 6 Games

Forward: Christina Putigna (Boston Pride) 

2 G, 6 A, 8 P in 7 Games 

Forward: Autumn MacDougall (Buffalo Beauts)

3 G, 3 P, 0.5 PPG, in 6 Games

Honourable Mentions

Sonjia Shelly (Metropolitan Riveters) 

1 win, 0.50 GAA, .987% SV%, in 3 Games

Audra Richards (Minnesota Whitecaps)

1 G, 3 A, 4 P in 4 Games

Alyssa Wohlfeiler (Connecticut Whales)

1 G, 4 A, 4 in Games, 1.3 PPG

Rookies of the Tournament 

Sammy Davis –  Forward, Boston Pride

4 G, 1 A, 5 P in 7 Games

Carly Jackson – Goaltender, Buffalo Beauts

1 win, 3.59 GAA, .909 SV% in 6 Games

While this was not the way that we expected to be ending our NWHL Isobel Cup Playoffs coverage, we at Unbenched are happy to have been able to provide you with everything you need to know about the bubble action. We look forward to being able to provide you with more NWHL coverage in the future. Be sure to follow @NWHL.zone on Instagram to be notified of the NWHL’s return. 

This was a collaborative piece between Mikayla Guarasci and Krissy Draper

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