For fans of the hockey periodical The 4th Period, the issue which features Henrik Lundqvist on the cover truly missed its mark. While the periodical is an amalgam of GQ and The Hockey News, the standard coverage of women in hockey features ice girls from various NHL teams.
In its Summer 2013 issue, the periodical had a golden opportunity to recognize the contributions of women in hockey. Starting on page 84, an article on Red Bull Crashed Ice and its growing popularity was featured.
Unfortunately, the only athletes mentioned in the piece were male athletes. How could they not have covered the fact that the last two female Red Bull Crashed Ice world champions were both women’s hockey players?
While Red Bull Crashed Ice certainly brings with it a potential for hockey fans to follow it, the event has also opened doors for the women of hockey. Women’s hockey players from all levels of play including CIS, CWHL and NCAA have been involved in the event.
Since its inception, Red Bull Crashed Ice has given many current and former women’s hockey players the chance to enjoy their game on a different level. Former NCAA stars Rush Zimmerman and Amanda Trunzo found new life in their athletic endeavors while soaring down the remarkable peaks of the women’s event in Quebec City.
Several Ottawa Gee Gees women’s hockey players, including Alicia Blomberg, Fannie Desforges and Kayla Hottot were competitors. For Desforges, the captain of the Ottawa Gee Gees in 2012-13, she became a global celebrity after capturing the 2012 Red Bull Women’s World Championship. Of note, she was the first woman to capture the title.
In 2013, Dominique Thibault of the CWHL grabbed the world title, while Desforges finished in third. Of note, Thibault also competed in the 2012 edition. Perhaps more impressive, the event was held just a few days before Thibault and her club team, the Montreal Stars, would compete in the Clarkson Cup playoffs.
As a sign of respect, the periodical should have least mentioned the names of Desforges and Thibault. The failure to mention the female competitors in Red Bull Crashed Ice would be like a major newspaper covering a tennis event, but only mentioning the men’s competition and not the women’s.
Their accomplishments in Red Bull Crashed Ice are just as relevant while helping to reinforce how women’s hockey players are multi-talented, unique individuals. To go that extra mile is the type of push that may just help women’s hockey build its much needed momentum.