International Ice Hockey Federation

Quirky women’s hockey facts

Quirky women’s hockey facts

From TV shows to Big Macs, IIHF stars do it all

Published 28.03.2016 03:19 GMT-7 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Quirky women’s hockey facts
Veteran forward Riikka Valila excels not only at hockey, but also at sports like bandy and pesapallo, Finland's answer to baseball. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
A lot of things have happened in women’s hockey history since the first IIHF World Women’s Championship in 1990 – some glorious, some quirky.

A lot of things have happened in women’s hockey history since the first IIHF Women’s World Championship in 1990 – some glorious, some quirky.

We’ve rounded up a list of 10 of unusual occurrences from the last 25 years. Whether your tastes run toward the impressive or the humorous, you’ll find something here you didn’t know about.

1) After Team USA won the inaugural 1998 Olympic women’s gold medal in Nagano, they appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and got to read out a humorous Top 10 list about the benefits of their accomplishment. Highlights included Colleen Coyne saying, “Fun to set off an airport metal detector, then say: ‘I’m sorry—that must be my Olympic gold medal,” and Vicki Movsessian saying, “Now that you have proven you are the best, you can sit on your ass and watch TV.”

2) In 2009, a 31-year-old Hayley Wickenheiser, training for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, met the Canadian national team fitness standard by bench-pressing between 1.1 and 1.2 times her body weight four times. She benched between 190 and 200 pounds (86 and 91 kilograms).

3) Riikka Valila, Finland’s 42-year-old scoring star, isn’t only gifted at hockey. She’s also a four-time national Finnish champion at bandy. And Valila was voted Finland’s Player of the Year in pesapallo (a Finnish sport similar to baseball) on three occasions.

4) Showing their dedication to the sport, members of the Japanese women’s national team in recent years have taken a wide variety of outside jobs in order to keep playing hockey. For instance, forward Yuka Hirano has toiled at a convenience store, defender Tomoe Yamane has worked as a bank teller, and goalie Azusa Naokaoku has been employed at a sporting goods retailer.

5) Playing for the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders, Alexei Yashin was one of hockey’s highest-paid forwards. When he became the general manager of the Russian women’s national team for the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Ottawa and the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, he didn’t limit himself to administrative matters. Yashin would join the team on the ice at practice, offering tips on shooting and participating in forechecking drills. He quipped: “I’m the most expensive forechecker in women’s hockey!”

6) There is one all-time record that will never – under any circumstances – be beaten at this tournament. It’s the record for fewest goals by a team in one IIHF Women’s World Championship. At the 2007 tournament in Winnipeg, Kazakhstan played four games and scored zero goals.

7) After Canada defeated the U.S. 3-2 in overtime to win the 2014 Olympic gold medal, backup goalie Genevieve Lacasse and a Canadian speedskater biked over to McDonald’s in the Olympic Village. They returned with the equivalent of a full garbage bag containing Big Macs and other food, which the team joyfully devoured.

8) Star U.S. blueliner Angela Ruggiero not only appeared on the NBC reality TV show The Apprentice, but also received a job offer from host and now-U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Ruggiero declined in order to focus on preparing for the 2010 Olympics.) She also played golf with him, and Trump periodically mailed her newspaper clippings about her successes, which he would autograph.

9) No NHL player has scored six goals in one game since Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1976. However, in January, Russian sniper Olga Sosina set a new domestic league record when she tallied six times and added three assists in Agidel Ufa’s 15-3 rout of SK Sverdlovsk Oblast. Sosina was Russia’s top scorer with three goals and two assists at last year’s Women’s Worlds in Malmo.

10) It’s not every day you see a Czech among the top 10 point-getters in Women’s Division I college hockey. But this season Denisa Krizova, a sophomore forward at Northeastern, only trails players who have suited up for the U.S. national team. The 165-cm native of Horni Cekerev hit the 20-goal mark on Northeastern’s first line with the blazingly fast Kendall Coyne.


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