Here is what Coach Johnson has to say on the UW website about the decision to open the season in San Jose:
“It will be a different area than we touched back in 2004 when we went to Southern California,” Johnson said. “A former teammate of mine at Wisconsin, Rod Romanchuck, I connected with him a few years ago when the youth national championship was being played in San Jose, and knowing he had a daughter that was attending Providence, it was a great opportunity to connect with the folks at Providence to show the San Jose community what Division I women’s hockey looks like.
“Similar to our trips to Fort Meyers, Lakewood and Vail, there will be a lot of young ladies and a lot of people that haven’t seen a Division I game, so it is an opportunity to help grow our sport. We will put a clinic on to help those young ladies not only see what Division I hockey looks like, but get a chance to go on the ice with our players.”
I don’t know what kind of youth hockey growth is happening down on the Peninsula, and I am curious to see what kind of draw these programs have. One is as nationally known as you can get in this sport, and one has a history to draw on, but neither have been big in the news recently. On the other hand, for locals the opportunity to skate with NCAA players is huge. And the games a great deal. Some Midwesterners on the USCHO boards seem to think $12 tickets are expensive, whereas generally you can’t even get inter-city transit for that little in the Bay Area. I certainly am going to take advantage of the rare opportunity.