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Skating for solidarity

Skating for solidarity
Leila Oskui ’26

The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) debuted on Jan. 1, 2024, with six teams: Montreal, Ottawa, Boston, Toronto, Minnesota and New York. These teams rostered 23 players under contract, as well as having three reserve players.

Though there is not a Detroit team, the PWHL is doing a series of games throughout the country to allow everyone to have the experience. On March 16th, Boston and Ottawa take on the Motor City at Little Caesars Arena.

Hockey player Ella Smith ’26 says she loves watching professional hockey. She finds the PWHL to be an exciting new way to enjoy the sport but wishes there was more connection between the PWHL and the NHL.

“They should’ve made the original six of the PWHL the same as the NHL,” Smith said. “That way there would be a Detroit team as well as allowing it to seem more cohesive. Some may say ‘Well the PWHL is its own thing’, but a lot of us dreamed of being a Red Wing when we were younger. It doesn’t need to be separate, it just needs to be equal.”

Smith said she’s been playing hockey for the last six years. Her favorite hockey team is the Red Wings because she loves the energy of Hockeytown and believes that it will bring a new aspect to the game.

“I think this game is going to be legendary,” Smith said. “Hockeytown has one of the greatest communities, one that most of us have experienced since we were little. I think our energy will bring the game to another level.”

Tia Kosmas ’24 said she has been in skates since she was able to walk. She dedicates a lot of time to Eastside Hockey (ESH), the Girls’ Varsity Hockey team’s home rink. She works there, plays there and even watches games there.

“I basically live at the rink,” Kosmas said. “It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. It’s my senior year and I’m almost 18. Girls hockey has been around for a long time, and only recently has it gotten the representation it deserves.”

Tinley Gram ’27 said she is planning on attending the game. She is excited to finally get to see a game that isn’t just over the TV.

“It’s nice to see them on the broadcast, but I feel like being there always makes the games better,” Gram said. “I go to a lot of Red Wings games and the energy is so unmatched. I hope that this game is like that.”

Gram is a part of the Varsity Girls Hockey team, making her mark by scoring nine goals and having six assists, before playoffs in her Freshman season. She said she’s excited that there’s a future for other women in hockey.

“We all worked so hard, even though we thought there was nothing after college,” said Gram. “Now there is. Though many of us won’t end up there, I think there’s a sense of comfort in knowing that there’s only room for growth and more opportunities for the girls after us.”

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