TopOfTheCircle.com

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March 14, 2016 — A cup, but at what cost?

This past weekend, the Boston Pride swept the Buffalo Beauts in a two-game series held in Newark, N.J. in order to win the inaugural Isobel Cup, awarded to the playoff champions in the four-team National Women’s Hockey League.

At the same time, it was the Calgary Inferno winning the championship game of the Clarkson Cup over the Montreal Canadiennes to win the Canadian Women’s Hockey League yesterday by a score of 8-3 after a series of games in Ottawa.

This past winter, the two women’s leagues have each been showcasing their brand of ice hockey to mid-sized audiences. As we noted last year, the NWHL and CWHL are two entirely separate entities. The leagues do share one market, however: Boston.

And it was in the greater Boston area where the only crossover match between the two leagues took place when the CWHL’s Canadiennes took on the NWHL’s Blades the same weekend as the NHL’s Winter Classic at Foxboro.

But the two teams playing in greater Boston told wildly divergent tales in the 2015-16 season. While the Boston Pride was topping the NWHL league table (14 wins, three defeats, and one shootout loss), the Boston Blades trailed the rest of the CWHL with a win and 23 losses.

We don’t know whether the Blades franchise will fold or relocate in 2016-17, but the NWHL has already hinted at expansion to Minnesota, and, possibly, Canada.

Which could make all of this even more interesting as the professional product matures.

 

 

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