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Les Canadiennes to play at Winter Classic

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The reported matchup was finally made official and will take place December 31 before the NHL Alumni Game

Shanna Martin

When Elliotte Friedman broke the news of a potential women's hockey game at the Winter Classic on December 5, I literally started panicking. I was at my mother's house for a family dinner when I started getting messages about what he said. The story started growing, and so did my excitement.

That led to a few weeks of uncertainty without an official announcement but that all ended today.

Les Canadiennes will play an NWHL hodge podge of the Boston Pride and other NWHL players from the Boston area as most Team USA players with the NWHL are already committed to an evaluation camp for the Women's World Championships that same week in Minnesota.

How they would not be able to release the players, most of which would be locks to make the team, for one day is beyond me but that is for another day.

The game will take place on December 31 at Gillette Stadium at 2:00 p.m. before the NHL Alumni game.

There were reports that the game was in jeopardy due to a multitude of factors, but there had to be a solution. Whether it was a CWHL vs NWHL all-star game, or what we ended up with. The PR disaster of a report from a very reliable source on National TV followed by nothing would not have been a good look for either league.

The Pride have a lot of players from last year's CWHL Boston Blades who won the Clarkson Cup over Montreal in overtime.

Women's hockey is a small world. Hilary Knight took in a CWHL game in Montreal during American Thanksgiving weekend. Julie Chu, who is one of the lone Americans to stay in the CWHL, won three Olympic medals with Team USA with a bunch of NWHL players. But this is the first move of solidarity between the two leagues since the NWHL was announced in late March. That is an achievement on its own regardless of what happens on the ice at Gillette Stadium.

This was a chance to show both leagues could co-exist and work together. This should have been an opportunity to show hockey fans that women's hockey is something exciting that you should be watching and show it to people who otherwise would not see it. From that standpoint it was a move worth making.

Here are the full rosters:

cwhl nwhl rosters