Breaking Ice Ceilings: Jessica Campbell Makes History as NHL’s First Full Time Female Coach

The Seattle Kraken have made NHL history after announcing the hiring of Jessica Campbell, who will now be known as the league’s first full-time female coach. 

Campbell, 31, is no stranger to the Kraken organization as she has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach of the Coachella Valley Firebirds, member of the American Hockey League (AHL) and affiliate of the Kraken. 

Hockey has long been in her background after playing her collegiate career at Cornell Uninversity, she later went on to play in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) where she served as team captain for the first ever All-Star game. 

Campbell’s commitment to player development is what stands out the most in her coaching style. 

Being a part of the coaching staff in the Kraken organization is what prepared her for this job. As the players have moved up the ladder to the NHL, she has to. 

“I just focused on the task at hand in coaching, but absolutely, it’s obviously a tremendous opportunity and I’m honored to be where I am and to be — it’s a humbling feeling to be a part of the Kraken organization,” Campbell told the media after a preseason game against Calgary. 

She never pictured herself getting an opportunity to coach at the NHL level and after the big signings the Kraken have made in the off season including that of a recent Stanley Cup Champion, Brandon Montour, formerly of the Florida Panthers, the future is bright in Seattle. 

Campbell and the Kraken kickoff the 2024-2025 season on Tuesday Oct. 8th against the St.Louis Blues. 

New Semi-Pro Hockey Team Comes to Fort Wayne, Set For Debut This Fall

The newest member of the American Premier Hockey League (APHL), the Summit City Distillers, officially made their presence known in Fort Wayne this week. 

It was announced that a new semi-pro hockey team is coming in hopes to keep pro dreams alive for area players by giving them another opportunity to compete at a high level. 

This was a match made in heaven as the ACHL is a fast growing league and Fort Wayne has long been known as a hockey town. 

The goal is to host 12 home games at Parkview Ice House, home to several area hockey leagues of all ages. 

A lot of steps still need to be taken to put the team together such as compiling a roster, coaching staff and even a schedule. 

The Distillers did announce today the hiring of their first head coach, Scott Robins, who spent several seasons in the International Hockey League (IHL). 

The organization is completely non-profit and has been in the works for quite some time. 

An “ID Skate” will be held at the Parkview Icehouse on August 3rd as well as “summer skates” later this summer allowing players to showcase their talents. 

Fans will be able to purchase tickets for future games for single, group and season. To stay up to date on Distillers news visit

US Olympic Trials: Hoosiers Lead the Way in Swimming Events

18-year-old Luke Whitlock traveled just approximately thirty minutes from his hometown of Carmel to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to compete in this year’s US Olympic trials in swimming. 

The University of Florida commit was successful in posting a record breaking time in the men’s 400 freestyle, previously set by Olympic medalist, Michael Phelps, almost two decades ago. 

His freestyle time of 3:46.26 beat out the 3:46.73 time set by Phelps in 2003 for the 17-18 year old age group. 

Amongst his competitor’s in this year’s trials, 17 of them have Indiana ties.  

Just two days into the competition five of them had already punched their ticket to the 2024 Olympic games in Paris, France. 

Fellow Carmel swimmer Drew Kibler became a two time Olympian after finishing third in the men’s 200 meter freestyle.

The Shackell siblings, Alex and Aaron, Lilly King and Blake Pieroni are the other four to qualify for this year’s Olympic games. 

“We’re a swimming state. And we’re really, really proud of that,” King told NBC’s Elizabeth Beisel. 

This year’s Olympic competitors tied the record number set in 2021 and Indiana was only second to California who had seven native competitors. 

Although the final roster won’t be set until the trials conclude Sunday, the top six in both the 100 and 200 freestyles qualify for Paris. 

Indianapolis last hosted the trials back in 2000 and has already set the largest attendance record ever in the history of the trials seeing 22,209 spectators Wednesday. 

The trials continue through Sunday, June 23rd. 

Led By Boston’s Career High 27 Points, Fever Beat Dream

Aliyah Boston led the way for the Indiana Fever Thursday night defeating the Atlanta Dream 91-84 in front of another large home crowd. 

She tied her all time career high in points with 27 and finished with 13 rebounds. Veteran Kelsey Mitchell added 24 points. 

The Fever are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Connecticut Sun. A game where head coach Christie Sides voiced her frustration about the team’s lack of effort and even benched several starters.  

Boston put the team on her back and had her best overall performance of her 2024 campaign. 

“She was undeniable tonight,” said coach Sides following the game. 

This Fever team has faced much adversity early in the season having played 11 games in 20 days, most of any other team in the league. 

Offensively the team struggled to start the second half and had even allowed the Dream to tie it late in the fourth quarter after leading much of the game. 

The Fever shot 54% from the field, Atlanta just over 42%. 

Boston is quickly staking her rights to a second consecutive All Star game and it comes on the same day that voting for this year’s game opened to fans. 

Indiana has won 3 of their last 5 games and hopes to keep the momentum going Sunday as the Chicago Sky return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for a 12:00 p.m. matinee on CBS. 

Fever’s First Home Win Comes with Drama in Reese v. Clark Rematch

By Lindsay Burke

A sold out crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse didn’t leave disappointed as the Fever came out with a 71-70 win over Angel Reese and the Chicago Sky, the team’s first at home this season. 

It did however get chippy between both teams, particularly between the Sky’s Chennedy Carter and the Fever’s Caitlin Clark. 

Carter was tagged with a technical foul after blindsiding Clark prior to an inbound pass knocking her to the floor. 

The home crowd was more than displeased – and they weren’t the only ones as the play quickly went viral on social media pressuring the league to better protect Clark from shots she has taken from other players early in her WNBA career. 

Clark got up and continued playing the game as if it never happened. 

“It just wasn’t a basketball play,” she said. “It is what it is. It’s a physical game. Go make the free throw and execute on offense, and I feel like that’s kind of what we did.”

On Sunday, the league announced that after further evaluation the foul on Carter had been upgraded to a flagrant. 

The WNBA rules include a point system for flagrant fouls on players that can lead to suspension and potential fines. 

Clark finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds, helping her become only the second player in WNBA history to reach 150+ points, 50+ rebounds and 50+ assists in their first 10 games as a rookie. 

Veteran Kelsey Mitchell contributed 18 points while NaLyssa Smith added 17 points. 

The Fever have already surpassed last year’s attendance total (81,336) after reaching 82,857 in just their first five home games. 

They return to action Friday as they take on the Washington Mystics at 7:30 p.m. 

NCAA and Power 5 schools agree to pay college athletes, settling antitrust cases

By Lindsay Burke

The tide in college athletics is rapidly changing. The NCAA along with the power five conferences have approved a deal that would allow schools to pay their athletes directly, and it would resolve three antitrust cases. 

The payout not only includes current and future college athletes, but former ones as well. 

This new deal between the NCAA and its conferences will include the House vs NCAA ruling where former athletes sued the NCAA for use of their names, image and likeness that resulted in revenue for the university. 

According to the Washington Post, this settlement includes $2.8 billion in damages. 

NIL has played a significant role in recruiting for NCAA athletics, including athletes that enter the transfer portal who still seek pay despite changing schools. 

These changes to college athletics were a long time coming, but inevitable with the revenue that major athletic departments bring in each year. 

To put this in a clearer perspective, large athletic powerhouses such as Ohio State ($280 million) and Alabama ($200 million) for example, generated record numbers in revenue during the 2023 year.

The deal between the NCAA and its conferences means that athletes will also receive a cut of money that their schools receive from broadcasting rights along with ticket sales and sponsorships. 

Many would agree that this has been a long time coming for the NCAA given the fact that schools for years have made money off their athletes. 

Despite the agreement being reached, there are many steps that still need to be taken in order for it to be finalized. 

The NCAA is very much a part of a nonstop era and will be closely watched over the next several months to see what change is coming to sports across the country. 

Clark, Fever Still Seeking First Win after Road Loss to Experienced Liberty Team

By Lindsay Burke

In front of a sold out crowd at the Barclays Center, the Fever’s 91-80 loss to last year’s championship runner up, the New York Liberty, didn’t bring all negatives. 

After struggling in all phases their first two games, the Fever played a much cleaner game Saturday that brought more points for Caitlin Clark and fewer turnovers as a team. 

Clark finished the game with 22 points and 8 assists after a slow start to her WNBA career. 

Others stepped up on offense including veterans Aliyah Boston and Kelsey Mitchell who combined for 29 points. 

“That’s going to be my biggest focus going forward, just come out and compete and play hard. I think our whole group did that {today},” said Clark following the game.

The Fever are facing growing pains that come with new, young talent but have a great mix of experience on their squad that will help bring it all together. 

Another key member, Erica Wheeler, has embraced the leadership role in helping Clark and others transition into the WNBA.

“She’s trying to show her what this league is about and help her be as successful as she can be for us and for our team,” said head coach Christie Sides. 

 It was very evident following just their third game of the season that the Fever are taking strides in becoming a strong unit and one that can compete this season in a competitive league. 

The Fever return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse Monday for a matchup with the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN. 

Five Bold Predictions for the 2024 Indiana Fever

By Lindsay Burke

All eyes will be on the Indiana Fever for the upcoming 2024 season. With the much anticipated addition of generational phenom Caitlin Clark, much excitement surrounds this organization.

Clark and the Fever will play their home opener tonight at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. They will face fifth year veteran Sabrina Ionesccu and the New York Liberty at 7:00 p.m. ET. Fans can watch the game live on Amazon Prime Video.

Clark will win Rookie of the Year

Clark brings multiple records and NCAA honors with her to Indianapolis. One bold prediction comes based on Clark’s resume as she is an early favorite for the 2024 Rookie of the Year award.

There is something so eye-catching that puts spectators in awe when seeing her casual half court baskets, her hustle and grit. All eyes are on Clark, as her jerseys sold out in an hour after being drafted number one overall. 

Adding Clark to an already talented Fever team brings high stakes as she teams up with last year’s number one overall pick, Aliyah Boston.

The Fever will make the Postseason

The attention didn’t just stop at Clark going number one overall. Let’s not forget the team did also add the 2024 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Celeste Taylor out of Ohio State with the 15th overall selection. Taylor brings a strong passion for full court press and team leading number of steals from her final collegiate season to the Fever. 

This prediction is significant to players, coaches and fans alike because if successful, it will be the first time the Fever have reached the postseason since 2017. 

In order to have an understanding of the anticipation surrounding this upcoming season, this year’s WNBA draft drew in over 2 million viewers. In years past, the draft averaged between 600,000 to 800,000 viewers. 

Attendance Records will be Set  

With massive attention surrounding the franchise, the spike in attendance for the Fever is inevitable. Making this prediction even more bold – the Fever will sell out the season. 

Much talk has surrounded enforcing the WNBA to approve that teams throughout the league move all upcoming games to larger arenas due to the ticket demands. The Fever however won’t have this problem as they still get to call Gainbridge Fieldhouse, also home to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, their arena.

Average ticket costs doubled in price after Clark declared for the draft. Vivid Seats also reported that preseason tickets have even seen a staggering increase in price, almost tripling in cost.

The Fever will have 36 of their 40 games nationally televised. This comes after having just one game nationally televised during the entire 2023 season. 

Clark will Break Numerous Records in Rookie Season

Caitlin Clark already claimed the title for all time leading scorer in points in the NCAA for both men’s and women’s basketball, and the expectation is that these stellar skills will translate to the professional level. 

After being the recipient of the Wooden Award and National Player of the Year in her final season as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes, Clark continues to set the bar higher for herself. Her nature is simply that, always be a competitor. 

The WNBA is a different pace and Clark will see a totally different style of play. Records aren’t the most important thing, but they can leave a lasting impact for generations to come. She set the pace continuously in her collegiate career and her expectation is to keep that momentum going as a member of the WNBA. 

Indiana Fever will win the 2024 WNBA Championship

There’s too much talent complimented by many different skills on this year’s roster. The return of Aliyah Boston and Kelsey Mitchell and additions of Clark and Taylor create a great combination of leadership and young talent. Perhaps this isn’t a bold and surprising prediction, however, despite the Fever coming off a 13-27 season in 2023, the expectations are still certainly high. 

One thing that Fever personnel are excited about is the growth and development that will surround the sport. The level of skills that the upcoming players are bringing in will attract larger fan bases and even young girls that may feel inspired by these incredible athletes. 

Along with the many positives that Clark and other draftees have had on the WNBA, even prior to its season starting, it brought national attention to the pay gap between the WNBA and NBA. 

Clark’s WNBA salary is less than that of some NBA mascots. It can be said that looking into this year’s season, some major attention will turn to this pay gap. Clark will make just over $76,000 in her rookie season. This number is far below those of the NBA, including its league minimum. 

Fans will be interested to see how the sport progresses not just over the course of this season, but for many years to come. GM’s, players and coaches are excited to see growth in the game of basketball. 

After tonight’s game, Clark and the Fever will head to Brooklyn on May 18 in a matinee matchup on ABC. 

PFW Softball Team Sweeps Doubleheader in Detroit

On Apr. 20 the Mastodons beat Detroit Mercy in a doubleheader. The final score for game one was 3-2 which finished in the sixth inning.

Detroit took a the lead with a score on a wild pitch in the first inning.

At the bottom of the sixth inning Brooke Wintlend hit a three run home run for a go-ahead run. Bailey Manos and Gwen McMenemy scored making the score 3-1.

In the bottom of the seventh, Detroit had the game tying run on second and the winning run on plate, but they struck out.

Game two of the double header final score was 13-5.

Grace Hollopeter led the game off with a home run, which was her third of the weekend. Detroit came back with two runs giving them the lead.

In the second inning the Mastodons had six runs. Brooke Lickey and Wintlend both homered in the second.

The fourth inning is when Detroit started to make a comeback with a three-run homer. The Mastodons answered with two runs in the fifth.

First at bat in the sixth Hollopeter homered again giving the Mastodons double-digits on the scoreboard.

Kayla Roberts struck out two in the game and got her second win of the season with a 4.2 IP.

PFW improves to 12-29 and Detroit Mercy falls to 3-33. The Mastodons resume play on Friday, Apr. 26 at noon in Green Bay.

PFW Softball Team Wins Against Detroit

On Apr. 19 the Mastodons beat the Detroit Mercy in the sixth inning. The final score was 9-0.

Grace Hollopeter started the game off with a home run in the first inning. In the fourth inning the Mastodons added three more runs. Two were from wild pitches.

In the fifth Brooke Wintlend gave the Mastodons their second home run of the night bringing the score to six to zero.

Alanah Jones had an amazing performance with 14 K’s. 12 of them were consecutive. Jones was also 2-for-2 from the batters box.

The two teams meet again for a Saturday doubleheader on Apr. 20.