The Buffalo Beauts and women’s hockey is back this month in organized play. The NWHL has been on pause for almost a year now due to COVID. The league will hold a two-week season starting Jan. 23 with games being played at the historic Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid. Among the many changes this year, semi-final and championship games will be televised on NBC sports network. Victory Press and women’s hockey writer Melissa Burgess talks about what to watch for later this month.
Last year, the NWHL started broadcasting games on Twitch-- something they will continue to do this year before the finals.
Women’s hockey writer Melissa Burgess says national exposure should help grow the sport.
“You kind of have to be on Twitch or go to the channel in order to watch you have to have that intention," Burgess said. "Whereas if it's on TV and let alone a national broadcast, I could just be scrolling through the TV and I see hockey and it piqued my interest and piqued my curiosity. Even just the announcement of the broadcast being on NBCSN has undoubtedly attracted attention.”
The NWHL is additionally featuring an all-female USA Hockey officiating staff.
Burgess said one thing she really likes that the NWHL is doing is giving players the option to opt out of playing.
“Because the players still do have day jobs," she said. "You know, not everyone can afford to take two weeks off to come to Lake Placid and spend that time there. But the important thing is that players will be compensated in full even if they opt out.”