Minnesota Hockey Journal

January/February 2024

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by Michael Russo Russo's Rants J A N / F E B 2 0 2 4 | M H J ON L I N E . C O M 27 Photos / PWHL Minnesota MADE PWHL Minnesota debuts inaugural roster loaded with local talent career prepared her for this role. She landed the gig, and on Jan. 3 in Boston, the Minnesota fran- chise that Darwitz was the archi- tect of will kick off with the first of 24 games in the six-team league during its inaugural season. The first home game—the first of at least 10 at Xcel Energy Center and 12 "at home"—will be Jan. 6 against Montreal. "This is new for everyone," Dar witz said of a viable women's pro league. "They 're coming from different colleges. Some have the luxury of this pro league started when they graduated college, and they don't know any thing else. Some of them, the last few years, they had to rough it. They were playing in men's leagues, they were working out on their own." Not only is Darwitz proud that the PWHL offers players a healthy league in every sense of the word to play in, she believes she has built a fast, aggressive team that can begin the process of a winning culture in Minnesota. She intentionally invited the fewest players to camp of the six teams in the league to atalie Darwitz was so removed from the profes- sional women's hockey world, when the newly launched PWHL (Professional Women's Hockey League) called the last summer to see if she'd be interested in becoming the first general man- ager of the Minnesota franchise, Darwitz didn't even know the initials of the two banished wom- en's pro leagues that preceded this one. But Darwitz felt everything she had done in her storied hockey N P R E S E N T E D B Y Tailor We all just love hockey. We're going to look to see that joy on the ice every day. " LEE Stecklein ROSEVILLE Three-time U.S. Olympian Lee Stecklein will patrol the blue line for PWHL Minnesota in its inaugural season.

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