With four days remaining until the opening contest of the inaugural NWHL season, fans looking to get a ticket to watch the new league open on Oct. 11 are out of luck.
The NWHL announced that tickets for the first game in league history, which features the Connecticut Whale hosting the New York Riveters, have completely sold out. While it’s not an NHL-sized crowd, it’s remarkable that the league was able to sell what neighbors on 1,000 tickets for their first game.
The contest between the Riveters and Whale will feature a number of top women’s players, which should make for an extremely entertaining debut for the league. The Riveters will ice a lineup that includes Japanese netminder Nana Fujimoto and Clarkson Cup champion, and Cup-winning goal scorer, Janine Weber, while the Whale trot out a lineup with highest-paid free agent Kelli Stack and longtime Russian Olympian Yekaterina Smolentseva.
That’s not the only news coming out of opening weekend for the NWHL, however. At the season- and home-opener for the Buffalo, legendary women’s goaltender Manon Rheaume, the first woman to ever play in the NHL, will perform a ceremonial puck drop before the Beauts take on the Boston Pride.
“I am excited for the start of the NWHL,” Manon Rhéaume told NWHL.co. “It’s a great moment for women’s hockey and I’m honored to be part of it.”
The first 1,000 fans at the contest will receive a commemorative puck, as well as the first 500 receiving a special Rheaume hockey card. Post-game, fans can take the ice with the Beauts and take part in an autograph session with Rheaume.
Tickets for Buffalo’s home-opener, which will be played at HarborCenter, have not yet sold out.