What was supposed to be a celebration of both how far professional women’s hockey has come, as well as its increasingly bright future, the Outdoor Women’s Classic between the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League and Les Canadiennes of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League at Gillette Stadium was overshadowed by game-ending injury suffered by Pride forward Denna Laing.
The 24-year-old Princeton alum collided head-first with the boards after stepping on a stick and losing her footing. Laing, a native of Marblehead, was carried off the ice on a stretcher and taken to Mass. General, where she remains hospitalized. Her family has asked for privacy, and the NWHL has yet to give an update on her condition.
In the meantime, the hockey community is banding together to help pay for Laing’s hospital bills. Sydney Daniels, a junior forward on the Harvard women’s hockey team, started a GoFundMe campaign for her former ECAC rival. In just 17 hours, 245 people raised $22,145 of the campaign’s $50,000 goal.
“Those who’ve been blessed with the opportunity to get to know Denna, know that she is one of the most caring, hard-working, and selfless people on this planet,” the campaign reads. “She always has and will continue to confront adversity with relentless grit that is unparalleled. Our hope is that, in this time where we know Denna would be the one stepping up for you, you find the little piece of Denna in your heart, to help her and her family through this recovery process.”
Pride coach Bobby Jay said Laing’s injury was a “hockey play,” while Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg complained of the ice conditions in the corner where she collided with the boards after a practice skate ahead of Boston’s 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the Winter Classic.
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