Thank you for coverage of Girls, Women's hockey
I began writing about Girls hockey for Hockey Weekly in 1987 to get some exposure for the Michigan Capitals, a new U15 AAA team which my 13-year-old daughter Katherine had joined. It was her first experience playing on a Girls team. Future Olympian Shelley Looney was a teammate.
Hockey Weekly’s publisher then, Johanna Mullen, was happy to print an occasional story about a Girls team. I probably submitted two or three items that season.
Bill Alcott, the Michigan Capitals wonderful sponsor, expanded the next season with a U19 team to which daughter Katherine was moved. Her mom, Barbara, became general manager for both teams and I became “the PR Guy” to promote and grow Girls hockey in Michigan. Rich Lacca coached the U19 and founder Jerry Sproul the U15.
Now I had a mission and tried to write something about Girls’ and Women’s hockey for every edition. It was difficult to get game reports from other teams, so most of my stories back then were about the Capitals. Alcott paid for a weekly player highlight picture-bio that was a big help. Showing non-Capitals players was fine with Bill.
Detroit Free Press veteran journalists (27 years) John and Peggy Castine bought Hockey Weekly on Jan. 1, 1998, and hired Paul Harris, former Detroit News hockey writer, as editor. Thanks to word-wizard Paul, I learned to write a decent column.
All three were totally supportive of female hockey and, 30 years later, still are. John and Peggy encouraged daughter Tess at age 13 when she wanted to swap ballet class tutus and toe shoes for hockey’s shoulder pads and skates. She played two years of travel with the Birmingham Rangers and three years with Ladywood High School. Hockey Weekly became a driving force in building the current Michigan Metro Girls High School Hockey League by devoting reporting and a lot of news space to the league.
Considering the number of female players in Michigan, Hockey Weekly has always devoted an inordinate amount of space to them at all levels and ages. This has been a mission: to grow the female game.
It has been a very rewarding success. The Michigan Capitals spun off dozens of Girls teams just as Bill Alcott envisioned. We have a thriving Girls High School league.
The Michigan Women’s Senior Hockey League grew from one team of ankle benders in 1987 to today’s 41 teams in six skill divisions. One of the league”s biggest supporters is Red Wings legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay, a friend of league founder Michelle Monson and her husband Gil Ruicci.
Many Michigan universities have competitive women’s club teams that want varsity status.
Hockey Weekly’s dedicated support for female hockey nurtured and drove all of the above. Barbara and I salute and thank John, Peggy, Paul and the rest of the staff!
This is the last print edition, but Hockey Weekly will continue to grow and cover female hockey online.
Thank you, readers!