Featuring six teams, including one from Buffalo, and a number of players from our region, the National Women's Hockey League is working to make a name for itself.

What You Need To Know

  • The National Women's Hockey League is hosting a short season and its playoffs in Lake Placid at the historic Herb Brooks Arena

  • The league, state, county and ORDA had to create a safe bubble for players and staffers to ensure COVID-19 safety

  • The league's semifinals (Thursday) and finals (Friday) from Lake Placid will be nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network

  • The efforts of all will be used as a guide once ORDA gets the ability to welcome more events to Lake Placid

COVID-19 threw a wrench into its 2020-2021 season, but as many leagues have, it's found a way to play some games and they're being held at the historic Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid — the home of the 1980 Miracle on Ice.

"Lake Placid onto itself and especially the arena here at the Olympic Center, we've got a legacy that's lived on here for forty plus years and honestly, all the way back to the '32 Olympics right? So good to have hockey back," Terry Buczkowski, ORDA's Olympic Center General Manager said.

However, in order to make this all happen, ORDA had to work with the league, New York State and Essex County to craft a plan to maintain a bubble — a space where players and staff can exist and maintain distancing from the outside for COVID-19 reasons much like the style NBA did when it resumed play. It even went as far as working with other professional leagues to put those cardboard cutouts in the seats.

"The whole process started back in the summertime and we've got our protocols and guidance set and approved and we're just continuing on," Buczkowski said.

The hard work, in addition to highlighting the league and Lake Placid, also will serve ORDA well as it prepares for the time when hosting future events becomes more realistic.

"We put in a lot of work into getting the NWHL here and then sustaining them while they are here. All of that is good practice in form so that when we can bring back other events here, we'll be ready, set go," Buczkowski said.

While all of the games so far here in Lake Placid have aired on the internet site Twitch, the league's semifinals Thursday night and its championship Friday night will be nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network from right here inside of Herb Brooks Arena, giving fans a chance to see what this league is all about.