Women's Hockey Notebook: Rivalry Series opens in Hartford

One of the greatest rivalries in sports kicks off a new chapter Saturday in New England.

For the United States, it will be a chance to watch some new rising stars in action.

Brianna Decker, Hannah Brandt, and Monique and Jocelyn Lamoureux will all be out when the United States faces Canada in Hartford in the first game of this year's edition of the Rivalry Series.

Instead, Boston University's Jesse Compher will get a chance to play top-six minutes on a line with Alex Carpenter, and Northeastern goalie Aerin Frankel will get a look as one of the three goalies who starts.

Burlington native Kelly Browne will make her national team debut alongside Abby Roque, Natalie Buchbinder, Britta Curl and Clair DeGeorge.

Browne, who plays at Boston College, is the youngest player on the roster at 19 years old.

Originally, the United States named 46 players to a training roster but cut it down to 23 on Friday of who will partake in the actual game. The absence of the four notable stars being out of the lineup affords looks at who very well could be the future of the program.

Saturday's game in Hartford is one of five scheduled in the Rivalry Series, with Moncton, New Brunswick as the next stop Tuesday. They are also scheduled to play in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, and in Anaheim in February.

PWHPA to ECHL

Four Professional Women's Hockey Players Association members will take part in the men's ECHL all-star classic on Jan. 22 in Wichita.

Dani Cameranesi, Gigi Marvin, Kali Flanagan and Annie Pankowski will each be on one of the four teams. Like the NHL all-star game, it is a 3-on-3 tournament.

* We are excited to join forces with the ECHL to promote and grow the game of hockey,” said Jayna Hefford, PWHPA Operations Consultant, in a news release * We truly appreciate the support of the ECHL. By having the women of the PWHPA compete in the ECHL All-Star Classic, the league is supporting the future of women's professional hockey.”

No Worcester for now

The PWHPA had an event planned on Saturday in Worcester that got scrapped last minute.

The association announced via Twitter the event will be postponed due to “last minute scheduling conflicts.” They have not announced a makeup date.

It would have been the first professional women's hockey showcase in Worcester since the Worcester Blades, and the entire Canadian Women's Hockey League, folded earlier this year.

Pride off

The Boston Pride will take a quick break this week before hitting the road in Buffalo for a back-to-back next weekend.

In National Women's Hockey League action this weekend, the Riveters have two games in Minnesota.

The Pride (11-0-0) remain in first place ahead of second-place Buffalo (6-4-0) and have an astounding plus-44 goal differential. Last weekend they defeated the Riveters in their first road contest since October.