where to watch women’s hockey

whoa holy shit it’s a post about watching women’s hockey BETTER JUMP ON THIS ONE

so here are some things you need to know about women’s hockey

  • it is HARD TO FIND on the internet
  • it can be a pain in the damn ASS to watch
  • sometimes you have to pay for it
  • it’s really unique and awesome and interesting so you should watch what’s online, man!!!!

Women’s hockey basically comes in 3 flavors, in terms of what’s posted online. There’s international competitions, college hockey, and the CWHL, which is a women’s league where no one gets paid because misogyny sucks and people don’t think women’s hockey is a real sport. BALLS. TERRIBLE PEOPLE.

(and yes, women’s hockey doesn’t allow checking. this is an interesting and intensely paternalistic rule that many, many women’s hockey players resent, to the point where in the 2010 Olympics the USA and Canadian women were hoping for North American refs for the gold medal game because North American refs let women get away with more contact. SOME PEOPLE ARGUE THIS MAKES WOMEN’S HOCKEY A TOTALLY DIFFERENT GAME. I think if not for misogyny, people would argue that women’s hockey is a purer/better form of the sport because you can’t just hit a woman to separate her from the puck - you have to take it with skill. WHAT I’M SAYING IS WOMEN’S HOCKEY IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT BUT STILL RULES AND IS FUN TO WATCH.)

ANYWAY! INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS!

these can be hard to track down. even if you belong to Sites Of Dubious Legality, mostly only gold medal games get uploaded, which SUCKS! however, Women’s Worlds usually stream somewhere, and this year, all the games are available on FastHockey! SADLY YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM. IT’S REAL ASS. Still, you can pay less than a meal at Potbelly’s and see the Women’s World Championship game, with its stunning display of skill. A DECENT DEAL, I WOULD SAY! Also Amanda Kessel scores the GWG for Team USA. Do you love Amanda Kessel? YOU SHOULD!

College hockey is a bit easier to access - some of it, anyway. There are archived championship games here, streaming FOR FREE! College hockey is a pretty major touchstone for women’s hockey - there’s a lot of skill displayed, and it’s really good, interesting hockey. Also the Golden Gophers completed their perfect season in the championship game this year, which is a PRETTY AWESOME FEAT, AND DEF ONE YOU SHOULD WATCH. 

The CWHL is still in its infancy in sports league years, and tbh who knows how long it’ll be around. However! There are totes games you can watch! The best quality ones are streams of the Clarkson Cup, which are available here for 2013, and here for 2013. The 2013 Clarkson Cup game itself (rather than the playoffs) is not available, because it was broadcast on TSN2 and TSN has not made it available online and I can’t find downloads ANYWHERE. This is total ass!!! However, the playoffs games are gr8, especially the Blades/Stars game from this year. I highly recommend watching these, because the players are women who are on their country’s national teams, and it’s, again, a really high level of play, with awesome playmaking and really pretty passing and goals and even some chippiness! In short, it is good hockey.

ALSO, occasionally CWHL games show up on YouTube! Please see: here,  and the Blades’ channel here

Following women’s hockey can be kind of maddening, I WILL NOT LIE. but it is totally worth it. These women are really, really skilled, and play in spite of receiving a tiny fraction of attention as dudes of equivalent skill. I will probably post important twitters to follow in a few days, and also interesting articles, etc., but in terms of actually watching games, this is how I do it.

ENJOY.