The NHL will host the first-ever Women's Winter Classic this year when it includes an outdoor game between the Boston Pride (NWHL) and Les Canadiennes de Montreal (CWHL) as part of its 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic celebrations this New Year's Eve.
The women's game will be held at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31 at Gillette Stadium, but it will be an abbreviated game as the NHL's Winter Classic Alumni Game will be held as previously scheduled at 3:30 p.m. on the ice at Gillette.
“Two days with three Boston-Montreal rival match-ups is a great way to celebrate hockey,” said Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner. “A new year signifies a new chapter and we look forward to sharing the ice for the first time with two professional women's teams on the League's biggest stage.”
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The Boston Pride are part of the newly formed NWHL, a professional women's hockey league based in the United States consisting of four teams: Boston, the Buffalo Beauts, the Connecticut Whale and the New York Riveters. The NWHL is enjoying its inaugural season this year.
Les Canadiennes de Montreal are part of the five-team CWHL, a professional women's league founded in 2007 and based mostly out of Canada. Both leagues feature many former collegiate women's hockey players and women's Olympic hockey players.
Les Canadiennes boasts two of the most well-known of those Olympians, as two-time Canadian Olympic hero Marie-Philip Poulin and four-time American Olympian Julie Chu, the flag-bearer for the United States in the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, both play for Montreal.