Meet the Black and biracial players in NCAA women’s hockey in 2022-23

I have a story on about the increased number of Black and biracial players in NCAA women’s hockey in 2022-23, and how several of them excelled on the ice. HERE’S THE STORY.

At least 27 players were on NCAA Division I and Division III teams this past season: Here’s a look at some of them:

Sophie Jaques, defenseman, Ohio State University (Division I).


Jaques received the 2023 Patty Kazmaier  Memorial Award, presented annually to the best player in NCAA Division I women’s hockey. She’s the first Black recipient in the award’s 26-year history (Photos/Justin Wolford/WCHA)

Chayla Edwards, defense, University of Wisconsin (Division I).

Chayla Edwards won her second NCAA championship in three years.

Laila Edwards, Chayla’s younger sister, forward, University of Wisconsin (Division I). She earned received All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie honors in 2022-23 and was MVP at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in June (Photos/David Stluka/Wisconsin Athletic Communications).

Chayla and Laila Edwards (Photo: David Stluka/Wisconsin Athletic Communications)








Jade Iginla, forward, Brown University

Jade Iginla, daughter of Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla, led Brown in scoring as a freshman and was Co-Rookie of the Year in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (Photos/Brown Athletics and Dave Silverman)

Sierra Benjamin, defense, State University of New York-Plattsburgh Division III).

Sierra Benjamin led the Northeast Women’s Hockey League in assists and defensemen in points. She was named first team All-NEWHL and first team CCM Hockey/American Hockey Coaches Association All-American for 2022-23 (Photos/ SUNY Plattsburgh Athletics).

Crystalyn Hengler, defense, University of Minnesota (Division I).

University of Minnesota defenseman Crystalyn Hengler (Photos/Jim Rosvold/University of Minnesota).

Tamara Thierus, forward, University of New Hampshire (Division I)

University of New Hampshire forward Tamara Thierus (Photos/ UNH Athletics).

Rayla Clemons, forward, Syracuse University (Division I).

Syracuse University forward Rayla Clemons (Photos/Syracuse University Athletics).

Teagan Heaslip, defense, Lindenwood University (Division I).

Lindenwood University defenseman Teagan Heaslip (Photos/Don Adams Jr.)

Kiersten Goode, forward, Yale University (Division I)

Yale University forward Kiersten Goode (Photos/Steve Musco and Yale Athletics).

Libby Plath, forward, Finlandia University (Division III).

Libby Plath of Finlandia University (Photos/Finlandia University Athletics).

Nyah Philip, forward, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute (Division I)

Nyah Philip of Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute (Photos/RPI Athletics).

Asiah Taylor-Walters, forward, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute (Division I).

Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute forward Asiah Taylor-Walters (Photos/RPI Athletics).

Alexa Madrid, goalie, Clarkson University (Division I).

Clarkson University goalie Alexa Madrid (Photos/Clarkson University Athletics).


Ariel Williamson, forward, Arcadia University (Division III)

Arcadia University forward Ariel Williamson (Photos/Hunter Martin Photography and Arcadia University Athletics).

Alexis Perry, forward, College of the Holy Cross (Division I)

College of the Holy Cross forward Alexis Perry (Photos: Holy Cross Athletics)

Katelyn Roberts, forward, Penn State University (Division I)

Penn State University forward Katelyn Roberts (Photos: Penn State University Athletics).

Sydney Merritt, forward, St. Anselm University (Division I).

St. Anselm University forward Sydney (Photos/ St. Anselm University Athletics)

Jamiyah Alexander, defense, Neumann University (Division III)

Neumann University defenseman Jamiyah Alexander (Photos/Neumann Athletics).

Lea Connor, forward, Trine University (Division III).

Trine University forward Lea Connor (Photos/Trine University Athletics).

Aiko Sims, forward, Wesleyan University (Division III)

Wesleyan University forward Aiko Sims University (Photos/Wesleyan Athletics).


Kailey Niccum, forward, University of Wisconsin River Falls (Division III).

University of Wisconsin River Falls forward Kailey Niccum (Photos/UWRF Athletics).

Chasity Anderson, goalie, Lawrence University (Division III)

Lawrence University goalie Chasity Anderson (Photos/Lawrence University Athletics)

Olympia Myers, defense, Anna Maria College (Division III).

Anna Maria College defenseman Olympia Myers (Photos/Anna Maria College Athletics).

Willow Poppleton, defense, Lake Forest College (Division III).

Lake Forest College defenseman Willow Poppleton (Photos/Sisi Wattanagool, Lake Forest College Sports Information).

Kensie Malone, forward, State University of New York Oswego (Division III).

State University of New York forward Kensie Malone (Photos/State University of New York Oswego Athletics).

Angeline Rasby, forward, Riviera University (Division III).

Rivier University forward Angeline Rasby (Photos/Brian Foley for Foley Photography).

Jade Ford, forward, Concordia College (Division III).

Concordia College forward Jade Ford (Photos/Concordia College Athletics).

Kiely Searless, defense, Suffolk University (Division III).

Suffolk University defenseman Kiely Searles (Photos/Suffolk University Athletics).

Asian & Pacific Islander heritage players on 2020-21 team rosters in pictures

I have an interesting  story on that kicks off  Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month and shows the impact and growth of people of A&PI heritage in all aspects of hockey. If you haven’t seen the story, please give it a read HERE.

Nine players with family ties to China, India, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and other Asian and South Asian countries have played in the NHL this season. There were several others who were on rosters of junior and professional minor league hockey teams in 2020-21. And more than 40 players of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage were on NCAA Division I and Division III men’s and women’s hockey rosters during the recently completed season.

Here are some of the players:

Go Uemura, forward, Wesleyan University.

Joyce Sun, defense, Wesleyan University.

Rei Halloran, goalie, Wesleyan University.


Suyeon Eom, forward, St. Lawrence University.

Noah Kim, defense, United States Air Force Academy.

Nina Shaikh, forward, Hamilton College.

Audrey Choi, forward, Hamilton College.

Siyeon Lee, forward, Trinity College.

Trevor Wong, center, Kelowna Rockets.

Trevor Wong, center, Kelowna Rockets, Western Hockey League. (Photo/Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze).

Tyler Inamoto, defense, University of Wisconsin.

Tyler Inamoto, defense, University of Wisconsin, Big Ten. He selected by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (No. 133) of the 2017 NHL Draft. (Photo/UW Athletics).

Oliver Chau, forward, University of Massachusetts.

Oliver Chau, forward, University of Massachusetts, Hockey East.

Brendan Lee, left wing, Everett Silvertips, Western Hockey League.

Sammy May, left wing, Saskatoon Blades, Western Hockey League.

Marcus Nguyen, right wing, Portland Winterhawks.


Marcus Nguyen, right wing, Portland Winterhawks, Western Hockey League (Photo/Megan Connelly).

Jett Woo, defense, Utica Comets.


Jett Woo, defense, Utica Comets, American Hockey League. The Vancouver Canucks selected Woo in the second round (No. 37) of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Tia Chan, University of Connecticut.

Tia Chan, goalie, University of Connecticut, Hockey East.

Camryn Wong, defense, University of Connecticut.

Camryn Wong, defense, University of Connecticut, Hockey East.

Dani Castino, forward, Merrimack College.

Dani Castino, forward, Merrimack College, Hockey East (Photo/Jim Stankiewicz).

Emma Kee, forward, Princeton University.

Emma Kee, forward, Princeton University, ECAC Hockey (Photo/Shelly Szwast).

Akito Hirose, defense, Minnesota State University.

Akito Hirose, Minnesota State University, Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Kassy Betinol, forward, University of Minnesota Duluth.

Kassy Betinol, forward, University of Minnesota Duluth, Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Taylor Lum, forward, St. Lawrence University.

Taylor Lum, forward, St. Lawrence University, ECAC Hockey.

Anna Segedi, forward, St. Lawrence University.

Anna Segedi, forward, St. Lawrence University, ECAC Hockey.

Jayden Lee, defense, Quinnipiac University.

Jayden Lee, defense, Quinnipiac University, ECAC Hockey.

Jordan Sandhu, Arizona State University.

Jordan Sandhu, forward, Arizona State University, independent.

Peter Zhong, forward, Arizona State University.

Peter Zhong, forward, Arizona State University, independent.

Grace Lee, forward, Yale University.

Grace Lee, forward, Yale University, ECAC Hockey.

Kohei Sato, forward, University of New Hampshire.

Kohei Sato, forward, University of New Hampshire, Hockey East (Photos/Gil Talbot/China Wong).

Vivian Lu, defense, Brown University.

Vivian Lu, defense, Brown University, ECAC.

Yonghoon Choi, forward, Connecticut College.

Yonghoon Choi, forward, Connecticut College, New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Kayden Sadhra-Kang, defense, Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Kayden-Sadhra-Kang, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Western Hockey League (Photos/Erica Perreaux)

Arshdeep Bains, left wing, Red Deer Rebels.

Arshdeep Bains, left wing, Red Deer Rebels, Western Hockey League (Photos/ Rob Wallator).

Mariah Fujimagari, goalie, Connecticut Whale, National Women’s Hockey League (Photo/Michelle Jay/NWHL Images).)

Yuki Miura, forward, Lake Superior State University.

Yuki Miura, forward, Lake Superior State University, Western Collegiate Hockey Association (Photos/LSSU Athletics).

Jordan Spence, defense, Val-d’Or Foreurs, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round (No. 95) of the 2019 NHL Draft (Photo/ Dany Germain/LHJMQ).

Jordan Kawaguchi, forward, University of North Dakota.

Jordan Kawaguchi, forward, University of North Dakota, National Collegiate Hockey Conference (Photos/UND Athletics). The Dallas Stars signed Kawaguchi to a one-year entry level contract in March. He’s now playing for the Texas Stars, Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Sarah Takahashi, forward, Wesleyan University.

Sarah Takahashi, forward, Wesleyan University, New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Maddie Hong, forward, Hamilton College.

Maddie Hong, forward, Hamilton College, New England Small College Athletic Conference (Photo/Josh McKee).

Bryan Yoon, defense, Colorado College.

Bryan Yoon, defense, Colorado College, National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Chad Sasaki, defense, Colorado College.

Chad Sasaki, defense, Colorado College, National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Ana Tittmann, forward, Manhattanville College.

Ana Tittmann, forward, Manhattanville College, United Collegiate Hockey Conference.

Matt Hayami, forward, Princeton University.

Matt Hayami, forward, Princeton University, ECAC Hockey.

Cliff Pu, forward, Cleveland Monsters. 

Cliff Pu, forward, Cleveland Monsters, American Hockey League. He  was originally selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the third round (No. 69) of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Kaz Matsuo, defense, St. Olaf College.

Kaz Matsuo, defense, St. Olaf College, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Renee Hoffmann, forward, Long Island University.

Renee Hoffmann, forward, Long Island University, New England Women’s Hockey Alliance.

Julia Hoffmann, defense, Long Island University.

Julia Hoffman, defense, Long Island University, New England Women’s Hockey Alliance.

Twin sisters Renee (left) and Julia Hoffmann, Long Island University.

Aaron Pinto, defense, Williams College.

Aaron Pinto, defense, Williams College, New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Noah Poindexter, forward, Nichols College.

Noah Poindexter, forward, Nichols College, Commonwealth Coast Conference (Photo/Brian Foley for Nichols College Athletics).

Darci Johal, forward, College of the Holy Cross.

Darci Johal, forward, College of the Holy Cross, Hockey East.

Jonathan Ang, forward, HC Thurgau, Swiss League. Ang became the first player of Malaysian descent drafted by an NHL team when the Florida Panthers chose him in the fourth round (No. 94) of the 2016 draft (Photo/(© Charpy Sports Photography/Marco Zimmermann).

Alex Lee, forward, Middlebury College.

William Lee, forward Middlebury College.

Andong Song, defense, Cornell University, ECAC Hockey. Song became the first China-born player drafted by an NHL team when the New York Islanders selected him in the sixth round (No. 172) of the 2015 draft (Photo/Eldon Lindsay/Cornell Athletics).

Andong Song, defense, Cornell University, ECAC Hockey (Photo/Ned Dykes/Cornell Athletics)









Meet the Black players on NCAA women’s hockey rosters in 2020-21

I have an interesting story on about the slow but steady growth of Black women playing NCAA hockey as part of our coverage for Black History Month. If you haven’t seen the story, please give it a read HERE.

At least 15 Black women are on NCAA Division I and Division III teams this season. Some of aren’t playing this season because their schools or leagues have cancelled games due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Here’s a photo album featuring some of the players. If I’ve missed anyone, please feel free to send photos and biographies to me at


Chayla Edwards, defenseman, University of Wisconsin.

Chayla Edwards, defense, University of Wisconsin (Division I).

University of Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Chayla Edwards (Photos/Tom Lynn/David Stluka/Wisconsin Athletic Communications).


Rayla Clemons, forward, Syracuse University.

Rayla Clemons, forward, Syracuse University (Division I).

Syracuse University freshman forward Rayla Clemons (Photos/Syracuse Athletics).


Sierra Benjamin, defense, State University of New York-Plattsburgh.

Sierra Benjamin, defense, State University of New York-Plattsburgh (Division III).

State University of New York junior defenseman Sierra Benjamin (Photo/Gabe Dickens).


Avery Mitchell, defense, Clarkson University.

Avery Mitchell, defense, Clarkson University (Division I).

Clarkson University senior defenseman Avery Mitchell (Photos/Schyler Meyer/Jim Meagher).


Tamara Thierus, forward, University of New Hampshire.


Tamara Thierus, forward, University of New Hampshire (Division I).

University of New Hampshire sophomore forward Tamara Thierus.



Jada Burke, forward, Lindenwood University.



Jada Burke, forward, Lindenwood University (Division I).

Lindenwood University junior forward Jada Burke.


Kiersten Goode, forward, Yale University.


Kiersten Goode, forward, Yale University (Division I).

Yale University sophomore forward Kiersten Goode.


Maria Di Cresce, forward, Nazareth College.

Maria Di Cresce, forward, Nazareth College (Division III).

Nazareth College junior forward Maria Di Cresce.


India Charles, defense, Finlandia University.

India Charles, defense, Finlandia University (Division III).

Finlandia University junior defenseman India Charles.


Kensie Malone, forward, Augsburg University.

Kensie Malone, forward, Augsburg University (Division III).








Augsburg University forward Kensie Malone (Photo/Kevin Healy for Augsburg University).


Lindenwood University defenseman Teagan Heaslip.




Teagan Heaslip, defense, Lindenwood University.


Lindenwood University freshman defenseman Teagan Heaslip (right) with teammate Jada Burke.


Jennifer Costa, forward, Dartmouth College.


Jennifer Costa, forward, Dartmouth College (Division I).

Dartmouth College senior forward and captain Jennifer Costa (Photos/Doug Austin).


Crystalyn Hengler, defense, University of Minnesota.

Crystalyn Hengler, defense, University of Minnesota (Division I).

University of Minnesota junior defenseman Crystalyn Hengler (Photos/Gopher Athletics).


Sophie Jaques, defense, Ohio State University.

Sophie Jaques, defense, Ohio State University (Division I).



Ohio State University junior defenseman Sophie Jaques.

Not pictured: Asiah Taylor Waters, forward, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Division I)

Jaden Lindo adds new chapter to ‘Soul on Ice’ by winning hockey championship


, , , ,

Forward Jaden Lindo keeps adding pages to the script.

Queens University forward Jaden Lindo.

Lindo, a main subject in award-winning filmmaker Damon Kwame Mason’s “Soul on Ice, Past, Present & Future” black hockey history documentary, helped power Canada’s Queens University to the Ontario University Athletics championship Saturday.

Lindo, a 2014 Pittsburgh Penguins sixth round draft pick, scored two goals for the Queens University Gaels in their 4-1 win over the University of Guelph Gryphons.

“Actually, it’s one of the best feelings I’ve had in my whole hockey career,” Lindo, 23, said Monday. “It’s been a long time since I’ve won a championship. The last time was minor hockey. Before I committed to Queens I told my coach I wanted to compete for a championship. And to do it in front of our home fans, it was an unbelievable experience.”

The victory gave the Gaels their first Queen’s Cup title since 1981 and Lindo was named Most Valuable Player of the championship game.

“I didn’t even know they gave out an MVP for the game,” he said. “Our speakers weren’t working too well, I couldn’t hear what they were saying and all the guys were calling my name and I was, like, ‘Oh, okay.’ I just skated up, and it was amazing.”

Forward Jaden Lindo and his Queens University teammates celebrate winning the Ontario University Athletics championship on Saturday (Photo/Courtesy Jaden Lindo).

The Gaels now compete for Canada’s U Sports national championship in a tournament that starts Thursday in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

For the “Soul on Ice” documentary, Mason followed Lindo, then a forward for the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack, through the high of awaiting the 2014 National Hockey League Draft and the low of suffering a severe season-ending knee injury that jeopardized his draft prospects.

The 2018-19 Queens University Gaels. The team won the Ontario University Athletics championship Saturday. Forward Jaden Lindo was the game’s MVP.

The dramatic arc in the film ends with the Penguins taking the injured Lindo in the sixth round with the 173rd overall pick in the draft.

But things didn’t work out, and Lindo and the Penguins parted ways. He was traded by Owen Sound to the Sarnia Sting in 2016-17. He scored 35 points (21 goals, 14 assists) in 58 regular season games with the OHL team.

Embed from Getty Images

He joined the Queens University team in 2017-18 and scored 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in 21 regular season games. He had 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in 12 regular season games but he came up big in the playoffs with 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists). He missed three months of the season recovering from a concussion.

“I was pretty upset when things didn’t happen the way as planned with Pittsburgh,” he said. “I didn’t believe it was all over. Playing in the NHL is my goal and has always been my dream. I’m at Queens right now, it’s a great program and I’m maturing as a young man. I’m happy where I’m at and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Follow the Color of Hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.



Sarah Nurse seeks gold at IIHF world championship after winning Olympic silver


, , , , ,

Sarah Nurse owns a Silver Medal won at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Now she’s mining for gold.

Nurse, a forward for Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, was named to Team Canada for the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship April 4-14 in Espoo, Finland.

Sarah Nurse played for Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics and will represent her country for the first time at the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Finland next month (Photo/Hockey Canada).

The tournament will be Nurse’s IIHF world championship debut but she’ll be in some familiar company. Fifteen other players from Canada’s 2018 Winter Olympic squad will join her in Finland.

“The players we have selected have had success at various levels of their careers, both nationally and internationally, and we’re excited to get started in Finland,” Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams, said.

Canada is seeking its 11th gold medal but its first since 2012. And Nurse has the goal-scoring skill to help them do it.

Embed from Getty Images

Nurse has emerged as a star for the Furies in her CWHL rookie season. She scored 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists) in 26 regular season games. She has one post-season goal so far for the Furies.

Nurse comes from a highly competitive sports family. Her brother, Isaac Nurse, is a forward for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League. The siblings are cousins of Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse and New York Liberty basketball point guard  Kia Nurse, who represented Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

The jersey that Canadian forward Sarah Nurse wore and the stick that defender Brigette Lacquette used at the 2018 Winter Olympics are in the Hockey Hall of Fame (Photo/Phil Pritchard/HHOF)

Follow the Color of Hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.


Hockey Family Photo Album, Page 2


, , ,

The pictures and stories of hockey players of color just keep on coming, proving that these folks aren’t unicorns. Minorities in the game are plentiful, visible and here to stay. Here’s Page Two of your Hockey Family Photo Album.

Jazmin Malinowski, a goaltender for McKendree University in Illinois, playing for the United States in March at the 2019 Winter World University Games in Krasnoyarsk, Russia (Photo/Courtesy Erin Malinowski).

“Jazmin declared that she would be a goalie when she was 2 years old, played her first game at 5, plays for McKendree University and is currently at the World University Games on Team USA,” mom Erin Malinowski wrote (Photo/Courtesy Erin Malinowski).

Isiah Saville, left, is a goalie for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL. He helped guide Team USA the 2018 World Junior A Challenge championship in Alberta in December. He’s the USHL’s top goaltender and is ranked the eighth-best 2019 draft-eligible North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting (Photo/Courtesy Isaiah Saville).

Players from Detroit’s Clark Park outdoor skating rink and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley, center (Photo/Courtesy Al LaBarrie).

Joel “Chef Jojo” Thomas, left, Donnie “DJ” Shaw, center, and Robert “Dodger” Stuckey at Fort Dupont Ice Arena Marathon Hockey Game fundraiser for the rink (Photo/Courtesy Joel “Chef Jojo” Thomas).

Jackson Kuls, 13, defense, New York City Cyclones. “He learned to play hockey with Ice Hockey in Harlem where he learned about the game and the legacy of black players,” Joycelyn Kuls wrote. “At 5’10’’ 190 lbs, his nickname is Buff after his favorite player, Dustin Byfuglien.”

Chloe Brinson, defense. (Photo/Via Black Girl Hockey Club).

Craiden Jones, 11, Atlanta, Georgia. “Craiden fell in love with the sport after seeing kids playing hockey in the former Atlanta Thrashers practice facility in Duluth Ga.,” dad Craig Jones wrote. “Craiden began taking skating lessons at 6 years old and eventually earned a spot on the Duluth Phoenix All-Star team in his first season in 2015. Craiden’s love and passion for hockey continues to grow and currently plays for the Atlanta Kings travel team.” (Photo/Courtesy Craig Jones).

Russell Jean-Pierre. “Russell is an offensive defensemen who plays for the Ottawa Sting team in Canada,” mom Katie Russell wrote. “His team has had a successful year and currently fighting for the gold title in their league! (Photo/Courtesy Katie Russell).

Elijah Bryan, left, Oliver King and Michael Holland. “They have been hockey ‘brothers’ for years,” mother Michelle King wrote. “Sometimes they play together, sometimes on different teams. Michael and Elijah play high school hockey together at Newton North High School in Newton, Ma. Oliver plays prep school hockey at Worcester Academy in Worcester, Ma. (Photo/Courtesy Michelle King).

Arvin Atwal, defense, Cincinnati Cyclones,ECHL (Photo/Courtesy Cincinnati Cyclones).

Isaac Kaczmarowski. “We live in Wausau, Wis., and Isaac has skated since he was 4,” dad Tim Kaczmarowski wrote. “(He’s) 13 now and this was his first year of bantams. The medal pictures are from this year’s Badger State Games Bantam B tournament where they lost in the championship game after sudden death and a shootout (heartbreaker).” (Photo/Courtesy Tim Kaczmarowski).

Ross Mitton, forward for the USHL’s Lincoln Stars. He’s committed to play for Northeastern University next season (Photo/Courtesy Ross Mitton).

Grant Thomas Powers, 10, Rochester Youth Hockey Americans (Photo/Courtesy Phillippa Powers).

The NextGEN AAA Foundation team that played in the 2018 Chowder Cup in suburban Boston (Photo/Courtesy Dee Dee Ricks).


National Capital Hockey Tournament Director John F. Cotten (right) and Gonzaga College High School goaltender Jalen Greene at the 2018 MAPHL Championship game (Photo/Courtesy John F. Cotten).

Jason Payne, assistant coach,Cincinnati Cyclones,ECHL (Photo/Courtesy Cincinnati Cyclones).

Kyson Yarbrough, 10. (Photo/Courtesy Tracy Ames).

Grayson and Julian Badger share a moment in the penalty box in 2012 (Photo Courtesy Al Badger).

Grayson Badger playing high school hockey last season in Massachusetts (Photo/Courtesy Al Badger).

Derek Arledge, coaching and conferring with referees at a Maryland youth hockey game (Photo/Courtesy Derek Arledge).

Nigel Wilson-Phillippi, 8. “We live in Maryland, but he plays for the Delaware Patriots White Mite A team in Newark, DE and the Tucker Road Ducks in Prince George’s County, Maryland,” mom Cheri Wilson wrote. “He wore #25 this year for Devante Smith-Pelly, who is now #23 on the Hershey Bears (Photo/Courtesy Cheri Wilson).

Devon Ledford, Baltimore (Photo/Courtesy Devon Ledford).

Jaxson Brown, 15 of Charlotte, North Carolina. Bantam AA Carolina Rage. (Photo/Courtesy Eurnestine Brown)

The 1995 Can-Am champion Detroit Rockies (Photo/Courtesy Joe Doughrity).

Blake Donovan (Photo/Courtesy Regina Donovan).

Cameron Murray of Avon Youth Hockey Pee Wee/Squirt In House Team. “Hockey is the sport that accepts all, no matter what,” mom Deb Murray wrote.

Follow the Color of Hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.


Hockey’s diversity in pictures from pee wee to the professional leagues


, , ,

Black History Month showed how far hockey has come in terms of diversity and inclusion and how much further it has to go.

The contributions of black players were chronicled aboard the National Hockey League’s American Legacy Black Hockey History bus, a mobile museum that toured eight cities as part of the league’s Black History Month celebration.

Women of color enjoyed attending games together in New York, Nashville and Brooklyn last month as part of the Black Girl Hockey Club, a sisterhood that keeps growing after each event.

Willie O’Ree continued to be showered with the accolades that he deserves as the NHL’s first black player and the godfather of a generation of minority players and fans through the league’s “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative.

O’Ree, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, was feted at the Canadian Embassy in Washington last month. There, attending members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced that they’re introducing a bill to award O’Ree the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.

But February’s hockey highs shared headlines with a low when some people – let’s not call them fans – racially taunted black forward  Jonathan Diaby, a 2013 Nashville Predators third-round draft pick, and his family at a semi-professional Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey game in Quebec.

Some of the spectators in the arena acted as if they had never seen a hockey player of color before, a sad reaction considering that minorities are part of the game’s past, present and future.

So I asked Color of Hockey readers to send pictures to show just how entrenched we are in the game. And, boy, you responded big time – from pee wee players to pros. Thank you all for sharing your photos, your stories, and your love of the game.

Consider this a Hockey Family Photo Album. There will be a Page 2 with more photos in the coming days. People who sent pictures without information like the names of the people in the shots, please send them again to with the relevant information.

Kendall Day. left. and Dmitri Williams, Columbus Ice Hockey Club (Photo/Courtesy of Deneen Day).

Reilly Love, Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. “I played elite hockey growing in NY. I still play men’s league in the Philly area,” father Julian Love said in an email. “Sometimes I felt like I was the only one of color playing hockey.” (Photo/Courtesy Julian Love).

Hockey is a generational thing in Trazana (Brown) Powell’s family. “So my dad, Carl Brown, 67 YEARS YOUNG. plays hockey twice a week with the Quincy Bald Eagles and a pick up league of older guys,” Powell wrote via email. “Born In Jamaica but when he got to the States he fell in love with hockey!  Taught himself to skate and never stopped.”

Carl Brown getting ready to skate with the Quincy Bald Eagles (Photo/Courtesy Trazana Powell).

“FAST FORWARD to the birth of me!” Powell continued. “My dad put (me) on skates at 1, started hockey at 10, excelled. Played on numerous teams mainly with boys, played in high school (varsity) played at Northeastern University and now Coach! Which I believe is my passion! Even til this day I am known in my town as “that black girl that played hockey”

Trazana (Brown) Powell playing for Northeastern University (Photo/Courtesy Trazana Powell).

“My oldest son, Cameron Powell,age 10, started hockey about 2 years ago
and I’m so proud of his determination and love for the family game,” Powell wrote. “He plays on two teams, The Southeast Cyclones and with Score Boston Hockey. Last year he had the opportunity to meet Willie O’Ree and its a day he still talks about today.”

Cameron Powell (Photo/Courtesy Trazana Powell).

Twins Cree and Chloe Powell, 5. Cree plays hockey. Chloe “hasn’t gotten the hockey bug yet but stay tuned!!!” her mother said (Photo/Courtesy Trazana Powell).

Desmond Allman “is all hockey, all the time,” dad Marc Allman wrote. “It’s not easy being a black hockey player in a mostly white sport (with white parents on top of that), but Des thrives. He got his first N word thrown his way in a tournament a few weeks ago, but he continues to march on” (Photo/Courtesy Marc Allman).

Kevin Horton, left, and his buddy, Brad. “We do that hockey,” Horton said in an email. Photo/Courtesy Kevin Horton).

Adrien Bray sent a photo “From my first year of beer league (The Beerwings of Detroit,MI),” she wrote. “We won our first tournament… I was the only woman and my friend and I were the only black folk. ” (Photo/Courtesy Adrien Bray).

Adrien Bray and her Beerwings teammates (Photo.Courtesy Adrien Bray).

Washington Blind Hockey Club player Tyrese Springer. He is visually impaired due to albinism. (Photo/Courtesy Washington Blind Hockey Club).

Washington Blind Hockey Club player Tyrese Springer in action (Photo/Courtesy Washington Blind Hockey Club).

Courtney Szto plays for the Hatchicks in Vancouver (Photo/Courtesy Courtney Szto).

Mark Fraser, a former NHL defenseman who’s now playing for HKM Zvolen in Slovakia, sent this via Twitter:

Roman Ephron, 8, of Houston Texas. He began hockey through the Dallas Stars’ Learn to Play program in 2015. “He began skating in 2014 and fell in love with ice skating,” mother Bea Ephron wrote “There is no place he’d rather be.” (Photo/Courtesy Bea Ephron).

Donna Zephrine, Long Island Rough Riders sled hockey (Photo/Courtesy Donna Zephrine).

Leah Frazier from Odenton, Maryland. “The tutu is for Halloween,” she wrote. (Photo/Courtesy Leah Frazier).

Nathan King, goaltender, St. Mary’s Catholic Central High School in Ohio. I” was born in Accra, Ghana my family moved to the United States when I was 3 and I started skating at around 7,” he wrote. “I’m 17 now and have been playing goalie ever since I started.” (Photo/Courtesy Nathan King).

Max Nguyen of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings. Mom Lydia Nguyen said Max is “1/2 Vietnamese 1/4 Japanese” and is one of 8 players of color on his team (Photo/Courtesy Lydia Nguyen).

Nate Mitton, forward, for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. “I grew up outside of Toronto, my mom moved to Canada from Jamaica with my grandmother,” Mitton wrote. “My dad put me and my brother in hockey and it’s been my passion ever since. I am very proud to be a black hockey player I remember when I was little my dad got me a Willie O’Ree collectors hockey card. My dream is to inspire other kids to chase their dreams.” (Photo/Courtesy Nate Mitton/Tony Bailey Photography).

Rachel Woods and Erica Melcher (Photo/Courtesy Rachel Woods).

Erica Melcher getting down to business on the ice (Photo/Courtesy Erica Melcher).

From a little boy in New York to a grown man living in Amsterdam, hockey has always been a part of Ted Iglesias’s life.

A young Theodore Iglesias (Photo/Courtesy Theodore Iglesias).

“I am bi-racial, from Curaçao and southern Spain,” Iglesias wrote. “I am 49 and have been playing and skating since age 4. I am originally from the NY metro area and played in junior boarding school, prep school and college. I now coach skills here in Amsterdam with the Amsterdam Tigers organization.” (Photo/Courtesy Theodore Iglesias).

Isaiah Marquez-Greene and Arthur Smith. “There was a 2017 summer hockey tournament in Foxboro, Ma. Isaiah’s team was coming off the ice and Arthur’s summer team was about to play,” Alex Smith wrote. “The kids’ parents knew each other through goalie camps but had no idea they’d be on the same team a season later.” (Photo/Courtesy Alex Smith).

Isaiah Artis, 15, Lehigh Valley Phantoms Youth Hockey Organization. “He agreed to try hockey at the urging of our neighbors/friends we
used to go watch play,” proud mom Eunice Ofori Artis wrote. “He eventually went to “Try Hockey for Free Day”, and he was hooked.” (Photo/Courtesy Eunice Ofori Artis).

Rayla Wilkes, 6, serving as honorary captain for the Metropolitan Riveters of the National Women’s Hockey League (Photo/Courtesy Amanda Wilkes).

Calvin Conway, Wasington, D.C., area. “He eats, sleeps and breathes hockey!” mother Joy Conway wrote. (Photo/Courtesy Joy Conway).

Zander Shank, 8, of Ohio “He has been obsessed with hockey since he was 3 years old!” mom Stephanie Mohr Shank wrote. ” We don’t really know where it comes from other than watching the Pittsburgh Penguins on TV. He LOVES hockey. Loves, loves, loves it.” (Photo/Courtesy Stephanie Mohr Shank.)

Eli Shank, 11, was inspired to play hockey by his younger brother, Zander (Photo/Courtesy Stephanie Mohr Shank).

Tarasai Karega, far right, with NCAA Division III hockey championship Trophy she won with Amherst College in 2009 (Photo/Courtesy Tarasai Karega).

Ayodele Adeniye, Carleton Place Canadians, a Junior A team in the Central Canada Hockey League. Adeniye is committed to play hockey for the University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2020 (Photo/Courtesy Ayodele Adeniye).

Meet the Lowry brothers.

Jake Lowry. “They are half African -American and half Indian. We live in Summit NJ,” their mother, Camellia, wrote. “Jake Lowry #17 played Bantam Minor AAA for NJ Titans this past season. He also played for Summit Middle School. He’s been playing travel hockey since 1st grade and is now in 8th grade (Photo/Courtesy Camellia Redmerski)”

“Jordan Lowry #18 played Bantam Major AAA for NJ Titans this last season,” his mother wrote. “He also is on the Varsity and JV roster for Summit High School and is a freshman. He’s been playing travel hockey since 2nd grade (Photo/Camellia Redmerski).”

Rivington D. Jones (Photo/Courtesy R. Douglas Jones).

The Fort Dupont Cannons of Washington, D.C., 2018 (Photo/Courtesy AJ Messier/Hogtown Studios).

Maryland’s Tucker Road Ducks, 2017 (Photo/Courtesy Tucker Road Ducks).

The Tucker Road Ducks and the Banners of Baltimore, Maryland, 2019.

Ice Hockey in Harlem, 2016 (Photo/Courtesy Ice Hockey in Harlem).

Inner City Education program of Chicago. “We provide the children with equipment, coaching, practice twice a week, tutoring every time they come to practice and the opportunity to earn scholarships!” Coach Mark Giarelli wrote (Photo/Courtesy Mark Giarelli).

Brandon Romany of the Kitchener Dutchman (Photo/Courtesy Brian Romany).

Brandon’s father, power skating instructor Brian Romany laces up the skates (Photo/Courtesy Brian Romany).

Peyton Francis, right), who’ll play hockey for the University of Alabama-Huntsville next season, is a Carleton Place Canadians forward who also skates for the Jamaican national team initiative (Photo/Courtesy Mark Francis).

Isaiah Nokken, 12, of Spring Lake Park, Minnesota. Isaiah was born in Ethiopia and got involved in hockey through his cousins. “His grandfather was a high school hockey coach so has been around a lot of hockey watching and playing,” mom Kari Nokken wrote (Photo/Courtesy Kari Nokken).

Stay tuned for Page 2 of the Hockey Family Photo Album.

Follow the Color of Hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.




Wayne Simmonds among players of color moved on NHL trading deadline day


, , , , , , , ,

Forward Wayne Simmonds topped the list of players of color who were dealt to new National Hockey League teams prior to the close of Monday’s trade deadline.


Forward Wayne Simmonds sent to Nashville Predators.

Simmonds, long a leading scorer and key locker room presence for the Philadelphia Flyers, went to the Nashville Predators for forward Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 fourth round draft pick.

 “I was extremely on edge, obviously, not knowing where the day would do or how it would unfold,” Simmonds told Canada’s TSN. “I went to the rink this morning for practice and then I was told I wouldn’t be practicing. I had a chance to say bye to the boys for the last time. It happened at the last minute of the deadline and I’m kind of overwhelmed right now.”

A hard-nosed player with scoring ability around the net, Simmonds was the Flyers seventh-leading scorer this season with 27 points – 16 goals and 11 assists in 62 games.

He notched 24 or more goals in all but one season season since the Flyers acquired him from the Los Angeles Kings in June 2011 along with forward Brayden Schenn and second-round draft pick for forward Mike Richards.

Simmonds played his last game as a Flyer outdoors Saturday night, a 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. An emotional Simmonds and Flyers teammates knew he would likely be dealt Monday.

At 30, Simmonds is in the final year of his contract and the Flyers reportedly were reluctant to sign him to a long-term deal. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer unless Nashville strikes a deal with him.

Monday’s trade reunites Simmonds with Nashville Coach Peter Laviolette, who was Philadelphia’s bench boss from 2009-10 to 2013-14.

Simmonds scored 32 goals in 2015-16 and 31 goals the following season. Most of those goals came on power plays when he would set up shop in front of the opposing goaltender and wait for deflections or rebounds.

Simmonds suffered a rash of injuries last season – a tear in his pelvic area, a fractured ankle, pulled groin, two mouth injuries, and a torn ligament in his right thumb. Still, he managed to score 24 goals and 22 assists in 75 games.

Embed from Getty Images

The Anaheim Ducks swapped defenseman Brandon Montour to the Buffalo Sabres for defenseman Brendan Guhle and a conditional 2019 first round draft pick. Montour, who grew up in the Six Nations community of Ohsweken in Canada, was Anaheim’s top-scoring defenseman.

Defenseman Brandon Montour dealt to Buffalo Sabres.

He tallied 25 points – 5 goals and 20 assists – in 62 games and logged the fourth-most ice time among Anaheim defenders at 22:40 minutes per game.

The Toronto Maple Leafs obtained forward Nicholas Baptiste from Nashville future considerations. Baptiste, a Buffalo 2013 third round draft pick, had been playing for the Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville’s American Hockey League affiliate. Had 22 points – 12 goals and 10 assists – in 55 games with the Admirals.

The Florida Panthers acquired forward Cliff Pu from the Carolina Hurricanes for future considerations. Pu, a 2016 Buffalo third-round draft pick, had 1 goal and 5 assists for the Charlotte Checkers, the Hurricanes AHL farm team.

Embed from Getty Images

On Saturday, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded speedy forward Anthony Duclair  and second round picks in 2020 and 2021 to the Ottawa Senators for forward Ryan Dzingel. Duclair, a New York Rangers 2013 third round draft pick, had 11 goals and 8 assists in 53 games for Columbus this season.

Follow the Color of Hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.








U of Penn ice rink to become Snider Hockey’s home after $7 million makeover


, ,

PHILADELPHIA – Ed Snider won two Stanley Cups with the Philadelphia Flyers that he founded, launched a regional sports and entertainment cable network, and is enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

But it’s the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation that the late team owner said would be his legacy.

“It’s the only thing I’ve ever put my name on,” Snider told me in 2015. “We’re going to fund it properly and when I’m no longer around hopefully it will be a program that will go on forever.”

Philadelphia Flyers and Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation alumni faced-off at a charity game Friday at the University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 1923 Arena (Photo/Bill McCay/Tournament Shooters).

Snider passed away in April 2016 at the age of 83. And, true to his word, the one thing that he named after himself is not only alive, it’s thriving.

So much so that Snider Hockey announced Friday that it will make the University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 1923 Arena home for the youth hockey program that serves over 3,000 Philadelphia-area kids, many of them from under-resourced communities.

As part of the agreement with Penn, Snider Hockey is providing $7 million to help make upgrades and renovation to the aging arena. Once the work is completed – tentatively in October – Snider Hockey will expand its programs and operations at the arena located in West Philadelphia.

Hockey Hall of Famer Willie O’Ree (center) drops the puck before former Philadelphia Flyers Alumni forward Scott Hartnell and a Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation alum at a charity game at Penn’s Class of 1923 Arena Friday (Photo/Bill McCay/Tournament Shooters).

“Mr. Snider had a lasting impact on our lives, as well as the entire hockey community in Philadelphia,”  said Flyers Alumni Association President Brad Marsh said, who played with the team from 1981-82 to 1987-88. “This pledge was made as a way to honor Mr. Snider’s legacy and continue to grow the sport of hockey.

Snider Hockey, part of the NHL’s “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative, teaches the Philadelphia-area’s at-risk youth about the world of possibilities beyond their neighborhoods and life skills through the prism of hockey.

Ed Snider talks with Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation kid at the University of Pennsylvania Class of 1923 Arena in October 2005. Snider passed away Monday at age 83.

“We are delighted that Snider Hockey wanted to strengthen our longstanding relationship by choosing Penn’s ice rink to be its home,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said. “The Flyers and the Foundation’s investment in the rink will greatly improve the facility allowing it to sustain the program for many years to come.

Snider Hockey is contributing $4.3 million for the renovations;  the Flyers Alumni association is kicking in $2 million; the NHL Industry Growth Fund is donating $600,000 and Penn is adding $600,000.

“This is a great example of what can be done when organizations come together in support if their community,” Snider Hockey President Scott Tharp said. “Mr. Snider would be proud to have a truly great institution – the University of Pennsylvania – as a home for Snider Hockey.”

The University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 1923 Ice Arena will undergo a $7 million makeover and become the home of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (Photo/Courtesy the University of Pennsylvania).

And what better way to celebrate than with a hockey game?

The Flyers Alumni played a charity game against Snider Hockey alums at Class of 1923. Steady defensemen Jim and Joe Watson and other Flyers from the 1974 and 1975 Cup teams suited up for the game  with recent orange and black retirees  that included Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere,  goaltender Brian Boucher.

Many of the players from both squads felt at home at the arena Friday, with good reason. The Class of 1923 rink has hosted Snider Hockey since the organization’s creation in 2005. And it was the Flyers’ main practice rink from 1969 to 1983.

“The Class of 1923 Arena was part of my daily life when I first arrived with the Flyers, so coming back there for the Alumni Showdown and the announcement of the renovation plan with Snider Hockey is going to take me back to some old memories while we’re celebrating the facility’s future,” Marsh told the Flyers Alumni’s website.

Follow the Color of Hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.

Joel Ward says he hasn’t retired from the National Hockey League


, , , ,

Nope, not yet.

Former San Jose Sharks forward Joel Ward says he hasn’t officially retired from the NHL, despite media reports.

Free agent right wing Joel Ward says he hasn’t officially retired from the National Hockey League, contrary to media reports Monday.

In fact, Ward, 38, says he’s still open to joining an NHL team, whether it’s a young club that might need a veteran’s presence or a playoff-bound squad in search of a proven Stanley Cup Playoffs performer.

“No, I haven’t officially retired,” Ward told me in an email Monday night. “I’m always open to catch on a team…internet I tell ya lol they hear one thing and they run with it!”

Media outlets like the NHL Network, CBS Sports and  scores of hockey websites reported that Ward had hung up his skates based on comments he made at the University of Prince Edward Island’s Men’s Hockey Alumni Day. Ward played for the Canadian college team from 2001-02 to 2004-05.

A tweet from Complete Hockey News, based on Ward’s comments at the alumni day event, said “Joel Ward considers himself officially retired from professional hockey.”

A CBC story on Ward’s UPEI visit says he is “wrapping his head around retirement.” The tweet and reports were enough to launch a flood of salutes and congratulations to Ward for hanging up his skates.

Ward hasn’t played in the NHL or any other pro league since he appeared in 52 games for the San Jose Sharks last season. He had a tryout with the Montreal Canadiens, but didn’t make the  team.

I met Ward at the 2018 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Toronto in November and he said he was working out on and off the ice with the expectation of playing this season.

Ward has played 11 NHL seasons with the Sharks, Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators. He notched 133 goals and 171 assists in 726 regular season games and 22 goals and 30 assists in 83 playoff contests.

And counting?

Follow the Color of Hockey on Facebook and Twitter @ColorOfHockey. And download the Color of Hockey podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play.