Western Washington Female Hockey Association (WWFHA) proudly announces the Big Sister – Little Sister partnership between the New York Riveters women’s professional ice hockey team in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and WWFHA’s Washington Wild teams.
The Washington Wild makes history as the first-ever ‘Little Sister’ team partnered with a ‘Big Sister’ team in the NWHL. The NY Riveters and Washington Wild partnership grew from WWFHA’s desire to connect their female student athletes on the Washington Wild teams with role models from the women’s professional hockey league. Because the Riveters boast five west coast players—four from California and one from Montana--they are an ideal sister-team for the Washington Wild. In addition, the Wild teams include several players of Japanese descent, and the NY Riveters drafted goaltender Nana Fujimoto from Sapporo, Japan. Wild players will have the opportunity to connect with their favorite NY Riveter players and possibly meet them at a future, local event hosted by WWFHA.
The Riveters showcase such players as Gabie Figueroa, 23, from Branchburg, New Jersey, who had a standout defensive career with the Princeton Tiger Lilies. A structural engineering student, she was a four-time Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) All-Academic team selectee and co-captained her team in her senior year. From Princeton's blue line Figueroa scored 36 points in 116 games, including a 13 point in 30 game performance as a senior. Known for her skating and work ethic, Figueroa skated for USA Hockey's silver medal-winning team in the 2009 IIHF U-18 World Championships prior to her college hockey career. While living in New York and playing hockey she works for the Gilbane Building Company and contributes to the Kingsbridge National Ice Center project in the Bronx.
NWHL, the first-ever all women’s professional paid hockey league, debuted October 11, 2015 when the Buffalo Beauts battled the Boston Pride at HarborCenter in Buffalo, NY.
The NWHL started with four teams and plans to expand with additional teams in locations across North America. The Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and New York Riveters make up the founding four teams. Each team hosts nine home games throughout the season with themes to honor and create awareness around various causes and organizations; e.g., breast cancer awareness, military appreciation, and more.
The inaugural NWHL season extends from October to March, including preseason games, an All-Star weekend and playoffs. Each team engages in two organized practices per week and plays one game each weekend (nine home games and nine away games). The league operates on income from sponsors as well as from the NWHL Foundation, a charitable arm that aims to spread awareness of women’s hockey through grassroots efforts.
For more information about the NY Riveter roster: http://nwhl.co/teams/new-york-riveters/roster/
For more information about NWHL: http://nwhl.co/
Western Washington Female Hockey Association (WWFHA) – Washington Wild - is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), volunteer-run association dedicated to promoting girls’ ice hockey and developing female players in the US Pacific Northwest.
WWFHA’s 100% commitment to girls’ hockey focuses on the players, their goals, development, and hockey dreams. WWFHA is a member of USA Hockey, Pacific Northwest Amateur Hockey Association (PNAHA), and the Canadian Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association (PCAHA).
A group of dedicated parents established WWFHA in 2002 when previous all-girl teams in the youth/boys’ ice hockey associations were ended. Initially, WWFHA created three teams – U12, U14 and U19. In the last ten years, WWFHA has transitioned from a recreational club to an association aiming to meet the competitive and recreational goals of each and every female hockey player. As the association has grown, five distinct teams support age and ability levels – U12 Travel, U14 House, U14 Rep, U19 Travel and U19 Rep.
The Washington Wild has earned 7 PCAHA Championship titles and many tournament championship honors; the 19U Tier AA team has competed at USA Hockey Nationals and Districts for years.
WWFHA provides a well-rounded offering to its members, both recreationally and competitively, by providing an avenue for growth and development tailored specifically for girls and the female game. With on-ice skills and systems as priorities, WWFHA also offers conditioning, training, nutrition, balanced well-being, student counseling and the collegiate process.
Today, WWFHA is the only girls' hockey association in the Pacific Northwest, providing girls the opportunity to play on all-girl teams regardless of ability or experience.