I first started covering women’s hockey three years ago, when I was still a dorky high school kid who cared a lot more about when the UND women were going to be playing a game that I could watch on an actual TV than trivial high school things like, you know, having a social life. Back then my idea of covering the sport was tweeting incessantly about it and writing up some stuff on a Blogspot, and the reason why I started doing that is simply because there didn’t seem to be too many other people doing it. As in, maybe nobody else at all.
My idea of covering the sport has since improved, I’m happy to say. I’ve been writing about women’s hockey regularly over at The Hockey Writers for over two years now, and during the past year I’ve even been credentialed at events like the Frozen Four and a USA-Canada pre-Olympic game. Nothing else has really changed since then, however: I still care more about the UND women than I do about trivial college things. I still tweet incessantly about the sport. But the one really striking thing that hasn’t changed is what motivates me: this is still something that not a lot of other people are doing.
That’s not to say that there aren’t places to go for coverage of women’s hockey, because there absolutely are. USCHO covers both Division I and Division III women’s college hockey; Mike Burse provides a database of advanced women’s hockey statistics and analytics over at Mike’s Mumbles; Kat Hasenauer Cornetta recently launched Women’s Hockey Today. There’s Women’s Hockey Life and Watch This Hockey, and The First Line and Angelica at Hockey Wilderness. But while there are plenty of sites that provide men’s-specific coverage, there are very, very few places to go for regular and comprehensive coverage and analysis of solely women’s hockey.
That’s something that, honestly, has always bothered me. If I want to hear some educated opinions on what will happen in the men’s Frozen Four, or why a certain team will be upset by a dark horse in the Big 10 Tournament, or who the favorites are coming into the season, I can find them with ease. There are tons of voices telling me which games are the biggest in men’s hockey tonight, and where I can watch them (and I can watch them), and which player is going to win the Hobey Baker, and which rookie has been the most impressive so far this year.
That’s really what AES aims to be for women’s hockey. We’re not claiming that we’ll have the best coverage anywhere of the sport, and we’re not suggesting that we should be your go-to for women’s hockey news above any site, aforementioned or otherwise. Instead, we hope to help bring coverage of women’s hockey on par with men’s hockey in our own small way, by adding our voices to the conversation and providing a set place to go for coverage and analysis and opinion. Getting ourselves to that point won’t be easy, and it’s going to take some time and effort, but we do have some ideas in mind.
Though I will still be covering NCAA women’s hockey at the national level on a twice-weekly basis at The Hockey Writers, we are hoping to expand on that here by providing conference-specific coverage. We will also be posting news tidbits, game-day schedules, pre-game posts, weekend wrap-ups, and team pages, along with columns and occasional feature stories.
We’re not claiming to be experts, or that we’ll always have the best knowledge or that we’ll be right all the time. But we’re going to give you our thoughts and our most educated opinions, because there really aren’t enough people doing that when it comes to women’s hockey. Our ultimate goal here at AES is simply to provide a reliable place for fans to go when they want to find out what’s going on in NCAA women’s hockey on any given day, and to give those fans some thoughtful analysis of games and players and happenings. And our hope is that we won’t be the only place where you come to read about women’s hockey; that there will be other websites and articles and tweets and just people in general who are watching it and talking about it, too.