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Canadian Women's Hockey League folds

TORONTO – The Canadian Women’s Hockey League is no more.

The CWHL‘s board of directors have decided to discontinue operations as of May 1, 2019, the league has announced.

“Unfortunately, while the on-ice hockey is exceptional, the business model has proven to be economically unsustainable,” the league said in a statement.

The news comes a week after the 12th edition of the Clarkson Cup, and despite putting in place new management led by former Canadian women’s star Jayna Hefford, and a new board last summer and fall.

Sandra Prusina, play-by-play announcer for the Calgary Inferno, said she’s been blindsided.

“I’m shocked, to be honest with you. It was not news that I was expecting to hear on a Sunday morning and I’m still coming to grips with what’s happened because, as you know, Calgary had such a successful season, they won the Clarkson Cup just a week ago,” said Prusina.

“It’s the one week anniversary of Calgary bringing another Clarkson Cup home, their second one in four years. Season-wise, they had statistically the best season they had ever had and the league as a whole was growing with a team based out of Asia and it just seemed like the league itself was on the road to something really special.”

The CWHL was founded in 2007 with a mandate to grow women’s hockey. It had six clubs throughout North America and China.

A record 175,000 fans tuned in to watch last week’s championship game.