Canadian Micah Zandee-Hart embraces PWHL captaincy in metropolis that by no means sleeps

Micah Zandee-Hart does not really feel intimidated sporting the captain’s ‘C’ in one of many greatest sports activities markets on the earth.

The 26-year-old defender from Victoria is the primary captain of New York’s Skilled Girls’s Hockey League workforce.

The unnamed membership — not one of the PWHL’s six groups have been assigned names but — will attempt to carve out a distinct segment in an space with a number of NFL, NHL and Main League Baseball franchises, in addition to Main League Soccer, WNBA and Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League groups.

“You have to work to construct that fan base and construct that assist, particularly in such an enormous space like New York Metropolis when there’s a lot occurring,” Zandee-Hart stated. “The truth that we’ve not solely different skilled sports activities groups however different very profitable skilled ladies’s sports activities franchises, utilizing these connections and making an attempt to construct these connections inside these completely different franchises and form of sharing the fan base and stuff like that, I feel goes to be an enormous asset to us.

“It’d take a while off the hop to construct that.”

Zandee-Hart gained each an Olympic gold medal and a world championship with Canada in 2022, in addition to silver medal on the 2023 world championship.

The five-foot-eight, 150-pound defender was amongst New York common supervisor Pascal Daoust’s first three free-agent signings in September when Zandee-Hart agreed to a three-year contract.

She’s amongst 30 Canadians sprinkled throughout rosters of the PWHL’s three groups in the USA.

Zandee-Hart and alternate captains Alex Carpenter and Ella Shelton have been launched to the general public in New York model simply earlier than Christmas at glitzy Rockerfeller Plaza with its towering, glittering tree as a backdrop.

“Everybody stored saying it seems like we’re in a Hallmark film,” Zandee-Hart recalled. “It form of gave us all chills to understand the magnitude of being on that ice in New York Metropolis and form of part of the sporting franchises within the tri-state space.”

Workforce previews:

After blanking host Toronto 4-0 within the PWHL’s first-ever recreation Monday, New York’s home-opener Friday is a rematch at Whole Mortgage Enviornment in Bridgeport, Conn., which can be the location of New York Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate.

The ladies’s follow facility in Stamford, Conn., which is a couple of 45-minute prepare trip into New York Metropolis’s Grand Central Station, is the place Zandee-Hart and lots of of her new teammates have relocated.

“It has been an enormous change. I might been dwelling in Calgary the previous few years,” she stated. “To choose all the pieces up and transfer to New York, all the pieces may be very new and discovering a spot and getting a visa is a protracted course of.

“Now we have a fantastic GM. In that preliminary signing, he was the one employees member I knew, however I knew our values aligned and I actually trusted what he was constructing.”

  • Former Boston Bruin ahead Patrice Bergeron launched that metropolis’s PWHL captain and alternates Tuesday with Hilary Knight handed the ‘C” and Megan Keller and Canadian workforce ahead Jamie Rattray her alternates. Minnesota had but to declare its management group as of Tuesday.
  • Toronto can be led by Blayre Turnbull and alternates Jocelyne Larocque and Renata Quick. Montreal unveiled Marie-Philip Poulin as its captain throughout a Cirque du Soleil present. Laura Stacey, Erin Ambrose and Kristin O’Neill are Montreal’s alternates.
  • Ottawa’s captain is Brianne Jenner and Emily Clark and Jincy Roese are alternates. Zandee-Hart feels prepared for her management function in a sports activities mega-market.

“It is an enormous accountability to be a captain, nevertheless it’s additionally a privilege,” she stated. “I take it significantly and I need to do the most effective that I can for the franchise and likewise for my teammates. I do know that typically the accountability goes to be me form of being the spokesperson.

 “I am an enormous believer that if you’re the chief of any group, the title should not change who you’re as an individual. I am simply going to proceed to be me and attempt to signify my workforce the most effective that I can.”

MacLeod continues double responsibility

Carla MacLeod brings her worldwide teaching gig together with her to her job as head coach of Ottawa.

MacLeod has coached the Czech Republic ladies to back-to-back bronze medals on the ladies’s world championship.

The 41-year-old Calgarian, who gained Olympic gold with Canada in 2006 and 2010, intends to remain behind the Czech bench whereas she guides Ottawa’s PWHL workforce by its first season.

“It is going to be fairly hectic and fairly busy,” MacLeod stated. “I am extremely lucky to have each alternatives. I am simply grateful each try to make it work for myself.”

She’d held two teaching jobs final yr with the College of Calgary ladies’s hockey workforce and the Czechs.

Czech Republic took bronze on the 2022 summer season world championship for its first medal and reached the rostrum once more in Brampton, Ont., in 2023.

Ottawa’s PWHL roster features a pair of girls MacLeod coached on the world championship — ahead Katerina Mrazova and defender Aneta Tejralova.

“To repeat with Czech was actually fairly one thing solely as a result of it is one factor to win one thing as soon as. It is at all times tougher to do a second time,” MacLeod stated.

“They’re beginning to see their very own potential and that, to me, is when the magic happens, is when gamers see how good they are often.”

The PWHL schedule will break for the ladies’s world championship April 3-14 in Utica, N.Y.

MacLeod’s former Canadian teammate Haley Irwin and Cassea Schols are MacLeod’s assistant coaches in Ottawa. Schols can be an assistant for the Czech ladies.

 “I get the prospect to do each as a result of I’ve bought nice folks round me,” MacLeod stated.

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