PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The National Women’s Hockey League’s biggest stars will put their skills on display during this weekend’s All-Star Game.
This year’s event will be held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township. The skills competition is Saturday afternoon and the sold out main event will be held on Sunday.
One of the captains for this weekend’s contest helps coach women’s hockey at Robert Morris University.
“I think Pittsburgh and Buffalo are pretty similar. Just the people in both cities are so into sports,” Kelley Steadman said.
Steadman knows a lot about both cities. She’s the director of hockey operations at Robert Morris University and plays professionally for the NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much effort goes into us getting to games and playing when we can. For me, I drive three hours at least to a game, six hours sometimes,” Steadman said.
She drives her own car. There’s no hopping on a team charter like the NHL stars. But, just like the boys, the NWHL holds an All-Star game.
“We quickly learned that the fans enjoyed it more when we were actually playing tough and physical and we had more fun with it too — because like you said, we are playing against friends. We obviously want to win, so this year it will be the same I’m sure,” Steadman said.
Steadman is one captain. The other captain is Olympian Amanda Kessel, who is also the sister of Penguins winger Phil Kessel.
“I’ve known her a long time. We played on the national team together, so she’s obviously back and healthy now which is awesome. It’s really good to see. It will be competitive,” Steadman said.
Steadman is thrilled to share women’s hockey with her adopted hometown.
“It’s a huge honor. I’ve been here three years. It’s really turned into my second home so just to be able to play in front of family and people that I’ve gotten to know the last three years is really awesome. I’m really excited,” Steadman said.