Women’s games with a difference

The French call it “potpourri” while the Hungarians call it “goulash”.

Me, I call it this week’s column, a collection of odds and ends from the world of women’s Division I pucks.

There is a common thread among those items; see if you can find it.

Pour example’, in Madison, Wis., we see the Badgers preparing for Saturday’s “Fill the Bowl” (Part Deux) game with Minnesota.

The good folk there are hoping to fill the lower bowl of the Kohl Center for the WCHA rivalry game, thereby establishing a new single game attendance record for women’s collegiate hockey (indoors, that is).

Why? Because they probably can, of course. Anyone who can produce a single dollar bill, or the metallic equivalent, will gain entry to Kohl, and perhaps be able to say that they were a part of hockey history. A valid UW student ID will also do the trick.

The last “Fill the Bowl” effort, conducted three years ago with St. Cloud serving as the visiting victim, was a smashing success. A total of 5,377 made their way into the Kohl bowl, thereby setting an attendance mark that Badgers organizers hope will fall this weekend.

Fans are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to be donated to a local food bank. Wisconsin also holds the record for the largest crowd to witness a women’s college game staged outdoors. The Badgers and Bemidji attracted 8,263 to Camp Randall Stadium last Feb. 6 as part of a mens/women’s doubleheader.

Meanwhile, the Colgate women’s squad has gotten behind a worldwide effort to combat autism in children, chipping in with what it calls the Player Puzzle Fundraiser.

Each player has created their own individual online puzzle on the Web site for Autism Speaks, an autism science and advocacy organization.

Fans can purchase a piece of a player’s puzzle for just $10 and help support Autism Speaks U. All proceeds from this project with go to Autism Speaks, Family Resource Network, The KelbermanCenter and The OZ Project.

These digital puzzle pieces can be sent to family, friends and supporters of the Colgate women’s hockey to help put the pieces together and raise money for autism research. Those interested in purchasing puzzle pieces, or seeking information about the project and its events, are urged to log onto www.colgate.edu/autism.

“We are excited to bring Autism Speaks U to Colgate’s community,” said Colgate coach Scott Wiley who, along with his team, is one of the co-founders of the Autism Speaks U Colgate University chapter, “and hope students will get involved in our efforts to make not only our campus, but the broader community, more aware of what autism is, how it affects people, and how we can all make a difference for those affected by autism. Autism is now diagnosed in one in every 110 children. That’s a staggering number, and it also means that if you don’t know someone with autism already, you will soon. It’s time for all of us to get involved.”

Lastly, four Women’s Hockey East contests will serve as the backdrop for the league’s “Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer” initiative.

Teams playing in four sites will all don pink jerseys, tighten their skates with pink laces, and brandish pink sticks, all in the interest of promoting awareness and raising funds for the fight against breast cancer. All of the specially made items will be auctioned off, with the proceeds earmarked for one of several New England based cancer charities.

This is the fifth season that the WHEA has been involved with Skating Strides. According to the league, $114,000 has already been raised to help fight the disease.

It’s all worthwhile stuff.