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First Women's Pro Hockey League Kicking Off Season In Stamford

Chelsea Piers Youth Hockey Director Sam Faber has signed with the Connecticut Whale, which will kick off its season in Stamford in October.
Chelsea Piers Youth Hockey Director Sam Faber has signed with the Connecticut Whale, which will kick off its season in Stamford in October. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. – Sam Faber thought she had hung up her skates after playing with the Boston Blades, but she is one of the first players to sign with the country’s first all-women’s paid professional hockey league, which will launch its season at Chelsea Piers in Stamford this October.

The National Women’s Hockey League celebrates it inaugural season this fall and consists of four teams: Connecticut Whale, New York Riveters, Boston Pride and Buffalo Beauts.

The league was founded by Dani Rylan, who serves as the league’s commissioner. The regular season will consist of nine away games and nine home games for each team, and will kick off Oct. 11 when Connecticut Whale hosts the New York Riveters at Chelsea Piers.

Faber currently serves as the Youth Hockey Director at Chelsea Piers, and also coaches for the Connecticut Jr. Rangers and oversees a girls U14 travel team out of Darien. She previously played on the gold medal-winning US Women’s World National Hockey Team at the 2008 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship, and played a year of professional hockey with the Boston Blades for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

“I’m extremely honored and looking forward for this opportunity to play in front of the kids I coach all year round,” Faber said.

Faber said hockey is her passion, and has played since she was 6 years old. She’s thrilled at the opportunity to play professionally again, and thinks the NWHL will be a positive force for women’s hockey.

“It’s a great opportunity for fans to come and watch how good women’s hockey can be,” she said. It will also provide inspiration for girls and young women playing hockey. “I think it will give them extra motivation and show them that there’s something they can do after they play in college. They don’t have to give up the sport they love.”

Faber was one of the first players to sign with the team, which has also signed Tara Tomimoto, Jaimie Leonoff, Kaleigh Fratkin, Shiann Darkangelo, Chelsea Laden, Jessica Koizumi, Danielle Ward, and Micaela Long. Practices will start in September, but Faber said she’s already getting ready.

“I’ve been training for the past few months, getting into tip-top shape,” she said. “It’s good to be back to the grind and have something to strive for.”

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