Olympian and Shoreline native to act as NWHL to Seattle spokesperson

Monday, May 13, 2019

Shoreline native Kelly Stephens-Tysland
displaying her Olympic Bronze medal
Photo courtesy USA Hockey
Shoreline native and U.S. women’s hockey Olympian bronze medalist from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turino, Italy, Kelly Stephens-Tysland, is acting as the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) to Seattle spokesperson -- a campaign to bring professional women’s hockey to Seattle.

Kelly grew up in Shoreline, attending Echo Lake Elementary, Einstein Middle, and Shorewood High School (9th and 12th grades).

As a child her first strides on the ice were at Highland Ice Arena in Shoreline where she participated in Learn to Skate and Beginner hockey classes.

As she became more passionate about the game of hockey Kelly spent hours playing at Olympic View Ice Arena in Mountlake Terrace for the Seattle Junior Hockey Association until she moved away at the age of fourteen to follow her dream to train and play hockey at the highest level.

Kelly played for the University of Minnesota women's ice hockey team from 2001 to 2005, earning back-to-back National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey titles in 2004 and 2005. In 2004 Kelly was selected to the All-Tournament Team honors as she scored five points in the Frozen Four, and in 2005 the team tallied a near-perfect record of 36-2-2 and were ranked as the top team in the nation for the entire campaign.

Kelly at the University of Minnesota
Photo courtesy UM

She is listed on the team’s Top 10 Career Stats Record Board for: all-time points, goals, assists, as well as points per game, goals per game, power-play goals, shorthanded goals, game-winning goals, and penalty minutes.

During Kelly’s pre-Olympic campaign she would return home to Shoreline from time-to-time to visit family and Highland Ice Arena would provide her with ice so she could continue to train.

Kelly scored the game-winning goal against Sweden for a Bronze medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turino, Italy.

After the 2006 Olympics she moved back to Washington State and started Experience Momentum with her husband Shanon, a fitness training company with locations in Lynnwood and Fremont.

Kelly goal score vs. Sweden
Photo courtesy USA Hockey

Kelly joins the NWHL to Seattle campaign to help unite and amplify the community's interest in bringing a women's professional hockey team to Seattle. NWHL to Seattle will support grassroots efforts, connect segments of the movement, and rally the people of the Pacific Northwest around the shared goal.

The organization also plans to increase awareness and enthusiasm for the game by building relationships with fans and welcoming those new to the sport.

Interest in women’s hockey is at its highest mark in history, both among players and fans.

According to spokesperson Kelly Stephen Tysland, “Whether you see a game in person, online, or on TV, women’s professional hockey provides exciting, fast-paced entertainment, featuring some of the best players in the world.”

Tysland continues, "Followers of women’s hockey in the United States are on the rise thanks to the success of Team USA at the last Winter Olympics, the excitement surrounding women’s collegiate and professional hockey, the exhilaration from female Olympic and professional players participating in the NHL All-Star Game, and now from the World Championships in Finland. 
"These factors, plus the frenzy that the new NHL men’s team is bringing to our city, makes it the perfect time for women's professional hockey to expand into Seattle."

Kelly Stephens-TyslandPhoto courtesy Experience Momentum
NWHL to Seattle points to a tremendous opportunity for synergy with the NHL Seattle team, which will benefit both teams.

Tysland explains, "We believe Seattle can become a hub for training hockey players— both women and men. 
"The professional players will serve as role models for up-and-coming players and the new world-class facilities will provide more access and opportunity to develop future college, professional, and Olympic athletes. ' 
"Fostering a hockey hub in Seattle will keep talent in the Pacific Northwest and enable players to stay in the area to continue their professional careers, both on and off the ice."

A local women’s professional hockey team will inspire a new generation of Seattleites to watch and perhaps even play the sport. Whether at the recreational or elite level, sports teach teamwork, goal-setting and the pursuit of excellence in performance and achievement-oriented behaviors— critical skills necessary for success in the workplace.

Sports also build a lifestyle for more productive, healthy, and happy lives. The Women’s Sports Foundation also notes the direct positive effect on girls: Compared with those who do not play sports, girls participating in sports are more likely to

  • Earn better grades in and graduate from school,
  • Demonstrate higher self-confidence and less depression, and
  • Maintain better body images and psychological states of well-being.

Tysland goes on to say, "Our ultimate goal is to establish a women’s professional hockey team in Seattle with a strong ownership group and media coverage in place. 
"As we work toward that objective, we’re beginning by producing NWHL to Seattle gear that has a dual purpose— helping fans show their support of the campaign while also providing funding for promotional activities. 
"Another intermediate step will be working to bring/host an NWHL All-Star game to the city prior to the NWHL Seattle’s inaugural season.”

NWHL to Seattle
The NWHL to Seattle organization plans to facilitate team ownership conversations with the NWHL in the coming months.

With a strong ownership group, financial backing, and consistent local media coverage, a women’s professional hockey team can be successful in Seattle, both on and off the ice.

There is strong support of women’s professional sports in the Seattle area; coupled with the fanatic hockey fans in the region, it is a great combination for success.

Fans can purchase NWHL to Seattle gear, with all proceeds going toward events and marketing of the campaign, find out how to get involved HERE and and how to join the @NWHLtoSeattle movement on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.




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