Get Ready. The Isobel Cup is Back On!

Do you remember the announcement from the NWHL on International Girls and Women in Sports Day? That the temporary bubble in Lake Placid was being shut down and the Isobel Cup tournament was being postponed?

Well, yesterday was International Women’s Day, and another announcement has been made: the tournament is back on! The Isobel Cup will be fought for in Boston on March 26-27!

“International Women’s Day is the perfect time to promote our athletes who will have the platform to make ‘HERstory’ by finishing what they started in a safe environment,” NWHL Commissioner Tyler Tumminia commented earlier today. “It means a great deal to our athletes to have the opportunity to compete to lift the Isobel Cup and to be supported by partners who are committed to growing the women’s game. We extend our appreciation to the Boston Bruins, NBCSN, Twitch, and our sponsors – especially Discover – for making this possible. Hockey fans will be inspired by the skill and dedication of our athletes, but we’re all especially excited about the message this sends to the young girls and boys who will be watching.”

Four teams, the Toronto Six, Minnesota Whitecaps, Boston Pride and Connecticut Whale, will be convening in Boston later this month. There will be three games, and all will be broadcast on NBCSN, plus streamed on NBC Sports’ digital platforms. And, of course, Canadian fans can catch all the action via Twitch. The Isobel Cup will be the very first women’s professional hockey league games to ever be aired on a major American network. This is HUGE!

We don’t know yet what the Covid-related protocols will be, but we do know that this sudden announcement means that certain players won’t be able to join. In Canada, anyone who travels outside of the country (in most cases, even if they simply leave their home province) is required to follow Covid protocols and isolate for two weeks after they return home. The US regulations are less clear, and vary from state to state, but generally require visitors to provide proof of a negative Covid test result or documentation of their recovery from Covid, before boarding a flight into the country. While the US does recommend a self-quarantine period of 7 or 10 days (depending whether you immediately get tested upon arrival in the country), it is not mandatory.

What all of this means is that certain members of the Toronto Six will not be able to make it to play at Warrior Ice Arena. Canadian players will obviously have to take time from their jobs to play in the Isobel Cup tournament, and since they must adhere to the travel-related quarantine, they’ll have to take an extra two weeks off of work to isolate once they’re back home. That’s a lot of time off, especially after they took time to go to Lake Placid just a few weeks ago.

Head coach Digit Murphy made this comment earlier today: “Some of our players are not going to be able to come because of the quarantine. These guys have to work. We’ll do with what we have. We’ll be the T6 and overcome adversity.”

This stinks. It really, really stinks. But there’s nothing that can be done… other than to pay our female athletes more money so they don’t have to maintain day jobs in the first place.

But I digress.

I have faith that the Toronto Six will be as strong as ever and that the Whitecaps and Whale will be fierce competitors. It’s going to be the battle on ice that we’ve been looking forward to for months!

For more from Melanie, check her other articles here!

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