NWHL announces Denna Laing suffered ‘significant spinal injury’ at Outdoor Women’s Classic

Jared Clinton
Denna Laing (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The NWHL announced Friday evening that Boston Pride forward Denna Laing suffered a significant spinal injury at the Outdoor Women’s Classic Dec. 31 at Gillette Stadium. Laing has limited movement of her arms and no feeling in her legs, per a release from the NWHL.

Laing, 24, was injured when she went headfirst into the boards of the outdoor rink late in the first period of the contest between the NWHL’s Pride and the CWHL’s Les Canadiennes. Laing had to be stretchered off the ice.

“Our prayer going forward is that Denna can be moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a Rehabilitation Center and continue to fight every day with her trademark grit and resolve,” Laing’s parents, Jerilyn and Dennis, said in a statement. “With respect to her long-term prognosis, right now there are more questions than answers. We have received an incredible outpouring of love and support from countless friends and family members while we try to navigate this overwhelming situation. We are eternally grateful to everyone who continues to offer support as we take on this challenge together.” Read more

Line brawl breaks out in NWHL after Riveters goaltender Scrivens bumped

Jared Clinton
Fight breaks out between Riveters and Whale (via NWHL/YouTube)

The NWHL is less than one season old and already the four-team league seems to be breeding some heated rivalries. Take Sunday’s action, for instance, when the New York Riveters and Connecticut Whale had a small scuffle turn into a line brawl.

The league-leading Whale were putting a 5-1 beating on the Riveters in the third period when Connecticut’s Danielle Ward drove the net on a puck that was frozen just outside the crease by New York netminder Jenny Scrivens. Ward ended up running into Scrivens and toppling overtop of the Riveters goaltender, in part because of contact from New York blueliner Amber Moore. But that didn’t stop Riveters blueliner Ashley Johnston from mixing it up.

When Ward got to her feet, Johnston gave her a shove, but Micaela Long flew in out of nowhere to put Johnston on her back. That set the two teams off as they ended up in the corner throwing punches at each other: Read more

Year in Review: the top 10 players of 2015

Matt Larkin
Patrick Kane (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Let 2015 be known as the Year of Momentum. So many of the players who caught fire in January carried their sizzling performances from the second half of the 2014-15 campaign to the first half of 2015-16, proving they didn’t fluke into their excellence. Most of the names dotting the current NHL scoring leaderboard were there last season, too.

With that theme in mind, and expanding our list to include either gender, we present the top 10 hockey players of the 2015 calendar year.

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Shannon Szabados makes history, first woman to register shutout in men’s pro hockey

Jared Clinton
Shannon Szabados. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Shannon Szabados has broken barriers by becoming the first woman to be a full-timer in men’s professional hockey, and the 29-year-old made a bit more history this past weekend when she became the first woman to register a shutout in a men’s pro game.

Szabados, who plays for the SPHL’s Columbus Cottonmouths, made 33 saves Saturday evening against the Huntsville Havoc for her third win of the season in 12 starts. The win improved her record to 3-5-3 on the season. While she has seen her goals-against average slip to 3.58 from 3.12 in 2014-15, Szabados’ save percentage has actually gone up to .909 from .907 last season. Read more

Fedorov, Bondra, Quinn headline 2016 IIHF Hall of Fame class

Pat Quinn Featured

The IIHF named its 2016 Hall of Fame class Thursday, and the list of greats heading to the International Hall of Fame are headlined by Sergei Fedorov, Peter Bondra and the late Pat Quinn.

Joining Fedorov, Bondra and Quinn are Valeri Kamensky, Ville Peltonen and Ben Smith, who enters, like Quinn, in the builders category. The IIHF Hall of Fame also awarded the Richard ‘Bibi’ Torriani Award to Gabor Ocskay and the Paul Loicq Award to Nikolai Ozerov. All will be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame May 22 in Moscow following the final game of the 2016 World Championship. Read more

Blunder over women’s game at Winter Classic has NHL scrambling

Hilary Knight of Boston (left) battles Elana Orlando of New York (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Sources tell thn.com that the NHL is scrambling to find a way to the solve a potential debacle that has materialized over a women’s hockey showcase game at the Winter Classic in Boston.

As was reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN earlier this week, part of the Winter Classic festivities were to include a game between the Montreal Canadiennes of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and the Boston Pride of the first-year National Women’s Hockey League. The game was to be comprised of two 15-minute periods and was to be played prior to the game between the Canadiens and Bruins alumni teams on Dec. 31, the day before the Canadiens and Bruins face off in the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxoborough, Mass.

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NWHL hands down first suspension, Whale’s Engstrom gets one-game ban

Jared Clinton
Molly Engstrom stands over a downed Meghan Duggan. (via NWHL/YouTube)

It’s not exactly cause for celebration, but Connecticut Whale blueliner Molly Engstrom will go down in NWHL history as the first player to receive a suspension.

During Sunday’s game against Buffalo, Engstrom and Beauts center Meghan Duggan got into an altercation behind the play. After some shoving between the two players, Duggan dropped her hands to her side, and at which point Engstrom delivered a punch to Duggan’s helmet which dropped her to the ice.

You can see the play, and the suspension video, below: Read more

Report: NWHL’s Pride, CWHL’s Les Canadiennes to play outdoor game before Winter Classic

Jared Clinton
Boston Pride's Hilary Knight battles with New York Riveters blueliner Elena Oriando (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Women’s hockey has gotten a big boost over the past season with the birth of the NWHL and the continued success of the CWHL, but the women’s game is set to get big exposure with a matchup on one of hockey’s biggest stages.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the NWHL and CWHL will play an interleague contest as part of the events leading up to the Winter Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

“As part of the outdoor game festivities in Boston between the Canadiens and Bruins, two women’s team will play the day before outdoors,” Friedman said Saturday. “Les Canadiennes from the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League — the two leagues will each have a representative playing head-to-head before the alumni game.” Read more