NBC Sports and the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) have announced that the 2021 Isobel Cup semifinals and final will air live on NBCSN on February 4-5. It will mark the first time that women’s professional hockey games will be shown live on a major national cable network in the United States.
In November, the NWHL detailed its plans for the upcoming season and 2021 Isobel Cup Playoffs. All games will be played at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York, the site of the iconic 1980 “Miracle on Ice” game. All six NWHL teams – Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and first-year expansion club the Toronto Six – are expected to take part.
The condensed NWHL season will begin on January 23 with a round-robin structure; each team will play five games (one against each team in the league). A playoff round will then determine the four teams that advance to the semifinal round of the Isobel Cup playoffs. All games will be played without fans in attendance.
[READ MORE: Miracle redux: NWHL heads to Lake Placid]
In a statement, 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.”Follow @AlexAzziNBC