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Three Whale players to participate in historic woman’s game at Winter Classic

Connecticut's Kaleigh Fratkin scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season with 1:07 in regulation to send the game into overtime. The Whale improved to 7-0 with a 3-2 shootout win over Buffalo.

Connecticut’s Kaleigh Fratkin is one of three Whale players who will play with Boston at the NHL Winter Classic Friday against Les Canadienns from the CWHL. (Photo courtesy Troy Parla/NWHL)

NEW YORK – Three players from the Connecticut Whale will be supplementing the Boston Pride squad that will face Montreal of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League at the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 2 p.m.

It will be the first game between the two women’s hockey leagues. The big difference between the National Women’s Hockey League (NHWL) and the CWHL is that the NHWL is paying salaries to its players.

Three players from Connecticut – forward Kate Buesser, forward Shannon Doyle and defenseman Kaleigh Frakin – will be part of the Boston squad along with two players from the New York Riverters – Meghan Faredelmann and Bray Ketchum.

The Pride need some additional personnel because five Boston players are currently attending USA Hockey’s world championship selection and training camp in Blaine Minnesota. The camp began Sunday and ends Friday.

“We are humbled and honored to be part of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® festivities at Gillette Stadium,” NWHL commission Dani Rylan said,. “This wonderful stage for women’s hockey wouldn’t be possible without the tireless dedication of Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and many others behind the scenes at the National Hockey League.”

Fratkin is Connecticut’s leading scorer with 14 points (six goals, team-high 11 assists) in nine games. Buesser has two goals and an assist while Doyle has a goal and two assists. Faredelmann is the second leading scorer for New York with five goals and an assist.

Fairfield’s Julie Chu, the five-time world champion player, is the only American on the Les Canadiennes roster. 

“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.”In the annual January 1 Winter Classic, the Boston Bruins will be hosting the Montreal Canadiens from Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL world champion New England Patriots.

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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