The Head Coach of the UND Women’s Hockey Team, Brian Idalski, joined MacTalk to discuss the Team’s decision to fight UND President Mark Kennedy’s decision to terminate their program.
What’s at stake? “If this goes away it’s not coming back and that’s a huge loss for not only the NCAA and the college hockey community, that’s a huge loss for youth players, that’s a huge loss for younger players who have aspirations of getting to this level.”
Were you shocked? “We weren’t on the list in the fall to stand before a group and talk about these things and to say why our program is important to the University,” he continued “there was no discussion and I think that’s what’s made it hard for our player to move on.”
What can you run the hockey program for? “I really think I can operate a first class program at 1.3 (million dollars) .” The Budget that UND released was $1.9 million dollars, Idalski said he didn’t really understand how UND arrived at that number.
The next step: “That’s not my realm when it comes to finance or fundraising at that level. I know some people have reached out and if we can make some headway and start making some gains and do that, perhaps we can sit at a table and have a conversation.”
Erik Fabian, the Assistant Coach of the UND Women’s Hockey Team joined MacTalk today to discuss the aftermath of the University’s decision to drop women’s hockey.
“Our athletes want to fight, so that’s what we want to do” Fabian said. He spoke of the challenge that was in front of them “We’re here for our players. We will fight with them and beside them, we will do it respectfully, we’ll do it professionally and we want to get this done. That is something that is definitely near and dear to all of us here. We always talk about being a family, once a family always a family. We will never end the fight.”
His message for UND Hockey fans is simple, sign our petition.
Current UND Women’s Hockey players Taylor Flaherty, Sara Lecavalier and former player Margot Miller (currently an ER Nurse and Assistant Coach of the Grand Forks KnighRiders) joined Mike McNamara to discuss the elimination of the UND Women’s Hockey Program and the future. All three describe their pride in the program and the shock they felt upon hearing the news via social media that their sport was being eliminated while they were on the ice at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The Team has established a petition that they’re asking the public to support, but of more immediate concern is a request they’ve made of the President of the University of North Dakota this past weekend for a number that would fund the program. “What we’re waiting on is President Kennedy to get back to us” Sara Lecavalier said, “Our Coach Brian (Idalski) had a meeting with Faison this weekend and this number is supposed to get back to us relatively quick. Whether or not that happens that’s in President Kennedy’s hands.”
In the end, all three were resolute about continuing their fight even if they don’t get a number of President Kennedy “That’s when we’d have to take another step, if it comes to that” Lecavalier stated.
Monique Lamoureux joined Mike McNamara tonight for a SPECIAL UPDATE after the historic four-year agreement between the United States Women’s National Hockey Team and USA Hockey which will allow the Women’s Team to compete in the 2017 IIHF World Championship that begins this Friday.
Monique talks about the pride they felt as the Nation embraced their struggle, the support of former players, college and high school players and the feeling when 16 U.S. Senators publicly supported them.
UPDATED, 9:15 A.M., March 18, 2017: USA Hockey issued an “Update On Women’s National Team Issues” at 4:15 CDT Friday. In the statement, Dave Ogrean, Executive Director of USA Hockey states “We remain committed to having the players that were selected to represent the U.S. in the upcoming women’s world championship to be the players that are on the ice when the tournament begins.” The statement went on “USA Hockey is contacting legal representatives of the players to have further conversations in an attempt to resolve the matter.” The balance of the statement is an explanation of USA Hockey’s position relative to the issues brought to light by the Women’s Nation Team announcement that they would not participate in the 2017 IIHF World Championships unless gender equity was addressed relative to their program.
U.S. Women’s National Team Alternate Captain and Grand Forks native Monique Lamoureux joined Mike McNamara to offer a response from the members of the Women’s National Team. In her response, Lamoureux makes three basic points: (1) the USWNT is not sure where USA Hockey is getting the numbers that they publicizing, but they are inaccurate to the point of being laughable, (2) the USWNT has the support of all USWNT pool players, college hockey coaches and players and therefore fielding a team for the 2017 World Championships (that USA Hockey will host) will be nearly impossible and (3) the USWNT players remain hopeful that progress can be made so that they can represent the nation at the World Championships and are waiting for USA Hockey to sit down and begin substantive negotiations.
ESPN Report: “The U.S. women’s national hockey team said Wednesday that it will not participate in the IIHF World Championship beginning on March 31 in Plymouth, Michigan, citing more than a year of stalled negotiations with USA Hockey to secure what players consider fair wages and support.”
Grand Forks natives Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux join us to discuss why U.S. National Team players feel their stance is appropriate at this time. Former New Yorks Jets offensive lineman Greg Lotysz also joins the discussion as we explore how women are compensated differently than men are by USA Hockey.
An eye opening interview that leaves many questions at the feet of the leadership of USA Hockey.