all the problems that the NHL, CWHL, and the NWHL had in getting this game on the ice, the end result was pretty darn special. Kim Deschenes scored first for Les Canadiennes on a cross-crease pass by Noemie Marin. Blake Bolden of the Pride replied by converting a cross-ice pass from Rachel Llanes, and this game would finish in a 1-1 draw.
For all the complaining and whining on social media about USA Hockey preventing eight players from playing for the Pride to the NHL not airing the game on TV or streaming it online, the game itself was played by 36 women who battled hard, played well, and laid the groundwork for future outdoor games. Not one player complained, and we, as fans, should respect that fact. This was the realization of a dream for all of these ladies and these two leagues.
Personally, it's almost appropriate that this game ended in a tie in its first inaugural iteration. Both leagues have work to do in terms of finding equal ground to be able to work with one another over a number of issues, but it's pretty clear that the play on the ice is top-notch, and that's a credit to the amazing athletes who suited up this afternoon. I want to thank Susan Cohig, Patrick Burke, Pat Lafontaine, Brenda Andress, and Dani Rylan for all their hard work in finding an agreement on this game, and to the 36 athletes of Les Canadiennes and the Pride who put on a heckuva show. I also want to thank Scotiabank for sponsoring this game because it's not free to put on an event such as this. Amazing work, everyone!
I also want to mention that Boston's Denna Laing took a hard fall that ended up having her slam into the boards. She didn't move a lot after the fall, was stretchered off the ice, and was transported from Gillette Stadium to Massachusetts General Hospital. The NWHL hasn't released a statement as to her health, but this writer is hoping that it's all precautionary only. Laing is a competitor, and here's hoping she's back on the ice shortly.
Former Winnipeg Jets legend Dale Hawerchuk and current Arizona Coyotes forward Shane Doan were tied atop the franchise scoring lead for goals with 380 goals. It literally was only a matter of time until the leader of the Coyotes erased Hawerchuk's name from the leaderboard, and he did it tonight coincidentally against the new version of the Winnipeg Jets.
Doan's 12th goal of the season was the record-breaker in the desert, and he now sits atop the franchise goal-scoring leaderboard. There was always hope in Winnipeg that Doan would develop into the leader he is today in front of Jets fans, but he's definitely the face of the franchise in the desert and is now recognized in the record books for his great play.
Winnipeg-born Max Domi assisted on the play in what could have been two names heard in Winnipeg had the elder Domi not been traded. Tie Domi was a member of the Winnipeg Jets in 1995 until his trade to the Maple Leafs on December 28. The following season saw a young rookie by the name of Doan play 74 games for the Jets before they moved to Phoenix. It's pretty incredible to think that Max Domi, born March 2, 1995, and his dad Tie Domi missed out on playing with the same player by ten months thanks to a trade. Winnipeg history is kind of crazy!
Doan would add an empty-net goal later in the game to move two goals ahead of Dale Hawerchuk, and he's currently the Coyotes' leading goal-scorer with 13. The Coyotes would down the Jets 4-2 on Doan's historic night in a game in which the Jets took a number of stupid and unnecessary penalties. The difference in the 4-2 victory by the Coyotes was a 2-for-5 effort with the man-advantage by the Desert Dogs.
2015 ends the same way it started for the Jets: dumb penalties and loss to the Coyotes. The only difference is that January 8, 2015 saw the Jets lose 4-1 as opposed to their 4-2 loss on December 31, 2015.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!