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RPI’s Whitney Renn Signed by the Boston Pride

Whitney Renn’s life in hockey has taken her from the Little Caesars youth program in her home state of Michigan to college hockey at RPI to a season of pro in Salzburg, Austria. Today, the 23-year-old defender-forward signed an NWHL contract to join the Boston Pride.

“I am inspired by the players of the Pride who have put a great emphasis on promoting women’s hockey through their great play in the NWHL and their work with youth at skills clinics, off-ice programs and Q&A sessions,” said Renn. “I want to be part of all of that, too. The NWHL and the Pride provides a platform for me to inspire a younger generation of players – something I will not take for granted. I am humbled to be signing with a team that is committed to advancing women’s hockey across all levels.”

Renn played 131 games at RPI over four seasons from 2014-2018. Last season with DEC Salzburg Eagles of the EWHL, she was 3-12-15 in 20 regular season and playoff games.

A native of Troy, Michigan, Renn is moving to Boston to play in the NWHL, secure a job utilizing her RPI degree in Business Management, and apply to law schools.

Regarding her goals for hockey, Renn said, “This season I will continue to work on each phase of my game, learn from my teammates, grow as a player, and get better in order to help the team however I can. I am looking forward to being surrounded by great players and a coaching staff who are backed by a league whose mission I support.”

For more information on the NWHL fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.nwhl.zone/

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Bulbul Kartanbay Signs with Riveters, Becomes First NWHL Player from Kazakhsta

Bulbul Kartanbay has signed with the Metropolitan Riveters, becoming the NWHL’s first player from Kazakhstan.

“My dream came true,” said Kartanbay, well-known among hockey fans for her passionate pursuit of playing professionally in North America. “I am grateful to life for the opportunities that have opened before me. Now it’s time to compete in the NWHL among many of the top players in the world.”

Kartanbay has made a name for herself in Kazakhstan, a nation where women’s hockey continues to rise in popularity. She has been in the Kazakhstan National Team system since she was a teenager, putting up six points in 10 games in a pair of U18 World Junior Championships. She made her senior team debut at 18 and has competed in five World Championships.

In 2017-18, she was 10-6-16 in 11 games as the captain of Tomiris Astana of the Kazakhstan Women’s League. Last season, Kartanbay had 8 goals and 21 assists for 29 points in 21 games with the Calgary Coyotes of the Southern Alberta Women’s Hockey Association.

“We are really proud to welcome Bulbul to the Riveters and the NWHL,” said general manager Kate Whitman Annis. “Her skill, dedication to the game and incredible enthusiasm will make her a valuable player for our team and a favorite of the fans.”

For more information on the NWHL fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.nwhl.zone/

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Wings Top Liberty in Back-and-Forth Showdown, 83-77

The New York Liberty began a three-game road trip in Dallas against the Wings tonight, their third and final regular season matchup of the 2019 season, as the ladies battled to a tough 83-77 loss in Texas. Tina Charles led all scorers with 25 points on 40% (10-25) from the field and 66.7% (2-3) from deep.

 

The Liberty began the game strongly, leading by as many as five points in the opening quarter. Dallas soon went on a run of their own to close the quarter and lead New York 23-18. In the first half, Dallas never looked back, maintaining their lead over the Liberty.

 

Dallas opened the second quarter on a 6-2 run in the first three minutes. New York gained some momentum during the last two minutes of the half when the team cut Dallas’ lead to as little as five points.

 

Going into the locker room at half, New York was down six points, having shot 37.9% from the field and failing to connect on a single three-point goal. Dallas shot 43.8% from the field and 27.3% from beyond the arc in the first half.

 

New York opened the second half hot, going on a 4-0 run and forcing a Dallas timeout with 7:30 left in the quarter. For the first time since the first half, New York tied the game at 44 with less than six minutes left in the third quarter.

 

An 8-0 Dallas run mid-way through the third quarter, extended their lead, again. Back-to-back three-point goals by Tina Charles put New York within one point of the Wings, but two consecutive steals by Dallas, gave them a five-point lead headed into the fourth quarter.

 

Arike Ogunbowale opened the fourth connecting on a mid-range jumper. It was immediately followed by two offensive rebounds and a three-point goal for New York’s French guard, Marine Johannès.

 

A three by Bria Hartley followed by a three by Tina Charles tied the game at 69 with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. The teams went back and forth for the remainder of the game. Tied at 71 with 2:54 left, New York came out a timeout and scored two points to regain the lead, 73-71. An and-one and made free throw by Isabelle Harrison with 1:16 left in the game gave the Wings a one-point advantage.

 

An offensive rebound and two made free throws by Tanisha Wright gave New York a one-point lead with less than one minute in the game.

 

Isabelle Harrison scored an up and under layup to give Dallas the lead back in the game. An off the ball foul called on Tina Charles resulted in a made free throw by Ogunbowale. She made two more free throws with 20 seconds left in the game to give the Wings the 79-75 lead.

 

In the end, Dallas made free throws down the stretch to pull out the win over New York for the second time this season.

 

UP NEXT: New York continues its three-game road trip when the team heads to Phoenix to play the Mercury on Sunday, August 18 at Talking Stick Resort Arena at 3 p.m. ET.

 

LIBERTY NOTES:

  • New York shot 41.9% from the field and 28.6% from the three-point line.
  • Tina Charles led the Liberty with 25 points and seven rebounds on 40% (10-25) from the field and 66.7% (2-3) from deep.
  • Tina Charles entered the game only 11 points behind Becky Hammon’s 11th spot on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list. She passed Hammon (5,841) with 25 points on the night giving her a total of 5,855 total career points.
  • Charles also entered the game only six rebounds behind Tina Thompson’s (3,070) fifth spot on the league’s all-time list. She also hit this milestone tonight with seven boards, giving her a total of 3,071.
  • Tanisha Wright (1389) passed Temeka Johnson (1382) to get the 10th spot on the WNBA all-time assists list, finishing with seven assists and a game-high nine boards.
  • In the first quarter, Kia Nurse scored a game-high10 points. She had 17 points on the night on 44.4% (4-9) from the field, four rebounds and three assists.
  • Bria Hartley also scored double figures for the team, adding 12 points and two assists.
  • The Liberty went into battle without starters Amanda Zahui B (concussion) and Asia Durr (groin).

WINGS NOTES:

  • The Wings shot 40.3% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc.
  • Allisha Gray led Dallas scorers with a career-high 22 points on 62.5% (5-8) shooting from the field.

For more information on the New York Liberty fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://liberty.wnba.com/

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Rookie Paige Monaghan’s Brace Lifts Sky Blue FC over Chicago 2-1

Rookie forward Paige Monaghan scores a brace to lift Sky Blue FC (3-11-3, 12 points) over the Chicago Red Stars in a 2-1 battle.

In the first half, Sky Blue FC came out ready to battle as Imani Dorsey stopped Chicago forward Sam Kerr with a well-timed tackle to stop her from scoring in the 3rd minute of play. Kerr wasn’t ready to let up as she had another chance on goal in the 7th minute but was denied by a diving Kailen Sheridan.

Jen Hoy had a chance at goal in the 21st minute but was denied by the Chicago defense. A perfectly threaded ball by Carli Lloyd put Hoy in behind the defense but defender Sarah Gorden sprinted back in time to get a foot in the way.

Sheridan came up big again in the 33rd minute to stop a rocket from the foot of Chicago midfielder Julie Ertz. Kerr played the ball to Ertz at the top of the box, who took the shot as she was falling. The ball was heading towards the left corner of the goal, but a diving Sheridan was able to get a hand on it to push the ball over the crossbar.

The second half saw the battle continue as Chicago forward Savannah McCaskill sent in a freekick on frame in the 69th minute. McCaskill curved her shot over the defense, looking for the top left side of the goal, but was denied as Sheridan pushed the ball over the crossbar.

Rookie Paige Monaghan scored her first career goal in the 71st minute to put Sky Blue up 1-0. Lloyd with the ball on the left side of the field, beat two Chicago defenders to cut into the middle and send a ball through the backline to Monaghan. As Monaghan collected in the box, she cut back to her right foot and ripped the shot past Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and into the upper right corner of the goal.

Kerr wasn’t ready to give up for Chicago as she answered back in stoppage time to tie the game up 1-1. In the 91st minute Naeher sent a free kick into the box and the ball bounced off multiple heads until forward Yuki Nagasato headed it to the feet of Kerr, who lined up the shot and sent it to the back of the net.

Sky Blue wasn’t done yet. In the 93rd minute, Monaghan buried her second goal of the game to put Sky Blue up 2-1. With control in the midfield, Lloyd collected a pass and quickly played it up to Julie James Doyle who was open in the middle of the field. Doyle sent a pass in to Monaghan, who recognized Naeher was off her line, and ripped a shot over her for the stoppage time winner.

On August 18th Sky Blue FC will be playing their ever match at Red Bull Arena against Megan Rapinoe and Reign FC with kickoff at 1 p.m. ET. Sky Blue is expecting to break their all-time club attendance record for this historic game. The game will be featured on ESPNEWS. In another first for Sky Blue, the match will also feature closed captioning on the video board for our Deaf and Hard of Hearing fans.

Tickets for Sunday, August 18th vs Reign FC at Red Bull Arena can be purchased here.

Tickets to all Sky Blue FC home games are available now by calling 888-SBFC-TIX or by visiting skybluefc.com. All fans at the game will receive a Sky Blue FC game day program with player poster insert.

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FITE secures rights for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Royal Quest in London!

FITE TV, the largest digital combat sports streaming platform, announced today it has again partnered with New Japan Pro Wrestling Co., Ltd. (NJPW) to bring fans the most anticipated live event New Japan will offer this summer, Royal Quest which will air live on FITE.

 

New Japan Pro Wrestling, based in Tokyo, is the second largest wrestling promotion in the world. Its annual flagship event, Wrestle Kingdom, is consistently one of the highest regarded and most well attended events of the year, routinely filling the Tokyo Dome. New Japan has seldom partnered with a digital platform before, making this partnership with FITE one of the first for the company, and a continuation of the two companies partnering in January 2019 to air Wrestle Kingdom.

 

Royal Quest will air live on FITE from the Copper Box in London, airing Saturday, August 31st at 5:30pm UK time/12:30pm ET/9:30am ET.

 

Four title matches highlight a spectacular card for Royal Quest!

 

In the main event at the London Copper Box Arena, IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada faces the challenge of Minoru Suzuki. Suzuki found himself out of the G1 Climax 29 field and reacted with furious anger during the Kizuna Road tour. As the G1 started, he was vicious in the ring and eerily silent for most of the tour, only speaking to send an ominous threat: ‘when everybody goes on their summer vacation, my summer will just be getting started’. On August 12 in the Budokan, Suzuki found himself tagging with Zack Sabre Junior against Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Suzuki delivered a crushing Gotch Style Piledriver to Okada and revealed his intentions. ‘Isn’t it embarrassing for the IWGP Heavyweight Champion to be pinned by a guy who wasn’t even allowed in the G1?’ Suzuki would jeer before demanding he be given an opportunity at the title.

 

That opportunity will come August 31, and a hard fought rivalry will continue. While last year’s G1 Climax saw Okada score a victory over Suzuki in 18 minutes, these two warriors typically have a much harder path to victory over one another. In Yokohama in the pouring rain on June 23 2018, Suzuki and Okada had a famous 30-minute Draw in the Downpour, and in G1 2017 again had a 30-minute draw. That followed the last time Suzuki challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in February 2017, a match that went an epic 40 minutes and 46 seconds after Okada came dangerously close to breaking the IWGP Heavyweight Champion’s arm. Could Suzuki capture his first ever IWGP title in London at the Copper Box?

 

In the semi-main event, Zack Sabre Junior puts the RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship on the line against Hiroshi Tanahashi. When ZSJ defended his title against The Ace at Madison Square Garden, he would injure Tanahashi’s elbow, putting him on the shelf until June 5. That gave Sabre a wealth of confidence going into their G1 Climax match in Korakuen Hall, but Tanahashi would out maneuver the British technical wizard, scoring a flash pinfall. Then in the Budokan on Sunday August 11, Tanahashi again pinned Zack in a tag team bout. A furious ZSJ would vow to show his superiority over Tanahashi once and for all on home turf in the Copper Box, but is Tanahashi’s momentum too much to overcome?

 

KENTA will challenge NEVER Openweight Champion Tomhiro Ishii. Shocking scenes emerged from the Nippon Budokan on August 12, as in a tag team match with KENTA, Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI against the BULLET CLUB trio of Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Bad Luck Fale, KENTA dropped down from the apron and refused a tag from Ishii. KENTA would then deliver a thunderous Go2Sleep to Ishii, as boos thundered down from the Budokan faithful. After BULLET CLUB got the win, KENTA’s close personal friend Katsuyori Shibata demanded answers. The crowd exploded as the two came to blows, and while Shibata got an early upper hand, as a non-active wrestler he had no realistic chance. KENTA would deliver a mocking PK to Shibata and then in a disgusting display, posed cross-legged atop the LA Dojo master, cementing his entry into BULLET CLUB.

 

Ishii was fast to demand revenge against KENTA, and is willing to put the NEVER title on the line if it means getting his hands on the newest BC member. The Copper Box will doubtless see a wild and vicious fight on August 31.

 

IWGP Tag Team Champions the Guerrillas of Destiny will defend their titles for the first time against opponents yet to be revealed. Revolution Pro are currently staging the ‘Road to Royal Quest Tag Team Tournament’ a single elimination tag tournament with the prize for the winners being an opportunity at GoD in the Copper Box. Who will emerge as the top British tag team to face the IWGP champions?

 

See the entire card:

 

https://www.njpw1972.com/tornament/44497?showCards=1

 

FITE TV is the destination combat sports streaming platform for 1.6 million viewers to watch novel and unique pro wrestling shows – which include All Elite Wrestling, Ring on Honor Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling and hundreds of other organizations.

 

FITE will share additional details surrounding the upcoming New Japan events on its website and mobile app. The FITE Digital Television Network is a free app download and is available on all major digital platforms including its website www.FITE.tv, Apple and Android mobile apps, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire.  The FITE mobile app features the patented technology to cast the program to any connected television set and is available worldwide.

About FITE

FITE TV is the largest independent digital streaming platform for combat sports featuring over 1,000 pay per view events per year available a-la-carte. FITE is free to join through its downloadable apps for iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Android TV, ROKU and Amazon Fire or at www.FITE.tv. FITE streams live events from the MMA, Boxing and Pro Wrestling world to its community of 1.4 million registered viewers.  For more information go to www.FITE.tv

 

About New Japan Pro Wrestling

Founded in 1972, New Japan Pro Wrestling has reigned as Japan’s premier pro-wrestling promotion for nearly 50 years. With over 150 events staged each year NJPW consistently provides thrilling content to a dedicated and growing fanbase. With increased global interest in major events such as WRESTLE KINGDOM and G1 CLIMAX, NJPW’s international audience is growing rapidly, and immense demand is being met with more events in America, Europe, Australia and beyond. https://www.njpw1972.com

 

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America, the Beaut-iful: Ashley Birdsall Signs with Buffalo

Ashley Birdsall, a former player with the Minnesota Whitecaps and University of Wisconsin-Superior who is about to complete her ninth year of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard, is joining the National Women’s Hockey League. After an impressive showing last month at the team’s Free Agent Camp, the 5-3 forward/defender has signed with the Buffalo Beauts.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Buffalo Beauts and NWHL and can’t wait to get the season started,” said Birdsall.

The Duluth native holds the rank of Captain in the Minnesota Army National Guard and is currently serving in the roles of Joint Operations Center Officer and G3 Training Technician for Joint Force Headquarters Minnesota.

Throughout my time in the service, I have continued to train and compete in the sports of hockey, ice-cross downhill and biathlon,” she said. “I believe my biggest strengths are speed, physicality and versatility on the ice. I’m comfortable at both forward and defense and am happy to play wherever I am needed in the lineup in order to contribute to the success of the Beauts.”

Birdsall played at the University of Wisconsin-Superior from 2008-2013 and for the Whitecaps for three seasons before the team joined the NWHL.

She enlisted in the Army in 2011 as a 09S officer candidate and commissioned via the Minnesota Army National Guard Officer Candidate School program a year later. Captain Birdsall has been awarded the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Minnesota Service Ribbon and Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon (1st Award).

Beauts general manager Mandy Cronin offered Birdsall an NWHL contract and roster spot on Buffalo’s team after the Free Agent Camp.

“Ashley is a very versatile player, with an undeniable and contagious work ethic,” said Cronin. “She will be a workhorse for the Beauts.”

Said Birdsall, “This chance to play in the NWHL would not be possible without the continued support of my Chain of Command, and for that I am forever grateful.”

For more information on the NWHL fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.nwhl.zone/

 

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Former BU Goalie Victoria Hanson Joins the Pride

Hockey East First-Team All-Star goaltender Victoria Hanson out of Boston University has signed with the Boston Pride.

“I’m really excited to join the Boston Pride and NWHL for this upcoming season,” said Hanson. “Taking a step back with a year off from the game last season was extremely hard, so I can’t wait to get back out there with a group of very talented players.”

As a senior in 2016-17, the 5-9 Stoughton, Massachusetts native started 28 games for the Terriers, finishing the season with a .927 save percentage and 2.37 goals-against average. Her .935 save percentage in Hockey East play led the league. She was the first BU goaltender to earn Hockey East First-Team honors since 2008 and was also named a New England Division I All-Star.

After graduating, she spent a season with Kurpfalz Ladies of the German Frauen-Bundesliga, appearing in 20 games.

“Vic is a solid goaltender who plays her angles very well, always using her size to her advantage,” said Pride general manager Karilyn Pilch. “She is also very smooth in her edges and is always in position to make multiple saves.”

In addition to playing for the Pride, Hanson will be working in finance in Boston this season.

“I am eager to see where the NWHL’s fifth season takes both the Pride and women’s hockey as a whole,” she said.

For more information on the NWHL fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.nwhl.zone/