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When the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) hands out the 2021 Isobel Cup on Feb. 5 at Lake Placid, N.Y., fans will be able to watch it happen live on NBCSN. These telecasts will mark the first-ever women’s professional hockey games to air on a major national cable network in the U.S. NBCSN’s live coverage begins with the Semifinals of the NWHL’s 2021 Isobel Cup on Feb. 4, then culminates with the Final on Feb. 5.
More information on live NWHL’s 2021 Isobel Cup coverage on NBCSN
- On Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021: The 2021 Isobel Cup Semifinals will air live on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET.
- Then, on Friday, Feb. 5: NBCSN will air the 2021 Isobel Cup Final live at 7 p.m. ET.
In addition to NBCSN, live coverage will stream exclusively on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. (You can be sure that Pro Hockey Talk will share more information on how to watch.)
“Our partnership with NBC Sports is monumental for the visibility of the NWHL,” NWHL commissioner Tyler Tumminia said. “Never before has women’s professional hockey had the opportunity to reach so many people on American television in the United States. As we have seen with the WNBA and NWSL this year, when women’s major league sports leagues are given a strong showcase, viewership is increased and countless new fans connect with the teams and players. NBC Sports provides the NWHL’s biggest games in our upcoming season in Lake Placid with best-in-class production and award-winning announcers. The NWHL will deliver intense, memorable hockey for the viewers on NBCSN as an Isobel Cup champion is crowned.”
How the NWHL season/playoffs should look overall
As noted in this post, the NWHL’s 2021 season and postseason will take place in a bubble setup at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. from Jan. 23 – Feb. 5.
All six NWHL teams (Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and expansion team Toronto Six) will compete for the 2021 Isobel Cup in this format.
The NWHL mapped out how its condensed season and playoffs should work:
- Between Jan. 21 and 22, the six teams will arrive at Lake Placid in a staggered schedule.
- Starting on Jan. 23, each team will play five games (one against each of the other squads).
- From there, a playoff round determines the four semifinal teams.
- The top seed faces the fourth seed, while the second takes on the third. They will be single-elimination series.
- Finally, the 2021 Isobel Cup Final will take place on Feb. 5.
Of course, the NWHL’s press release acknowledges that COVID-19 could disrupt such plans.
Overall, this sounds like a great development for the sport.