International Hockey

PWHPA ends year with bang

PWHPA ends year with bang

Jessie Eldridge scored with 42.1 seconds remaining in regulation to break a 4-4 tie and give Team Harvey’s a thrilling 5-4 win over Team Scotiabank in the championship final game of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association’s 2022/2023 season. Team Harvey’s received the Secret Cup to cap what was the most successful season to date for the organization, which can boast the top female hockey players from North America. The trophy was presented by PWHPA chairperson Jayna Hefford and tennis legend Billie Jean King.

Players on all four participating PWHPA teams now return to their national teams to prepare for next month’s IIHF Women’s World Championship in Brampton, Canada. Team Canada’s roster consists entirely of PWHPA players, excepting two collegians (Sarah Fillier, Danielle Serdachny), and although Team USA has yet to announce its player selection, it will almost certainly be weighted heavily towards PWHPA players.

While prior years have seen a hodge-podge of teams and players, the PWHPA this year formed four sponsored teams which remained the same throughout games between October and March. These games were spread over weekends in various cities across North America, starting in Montreal, moving to Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario, as well as Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Washington, before ending in California. Midway through the year, the players descended on Ottawa for an All-Star Game weekend at the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL Senators.

The four PWHPA teams formed a veritable who’s who of the world’s best players. 

Team Harvey’s featured Marie-Philip Poulin, the top scorer this season, playing alongside Lee Stecklein and Hayley Scamurra, and goalkeeper Ann-Renee Desbiens.

Team Adidas included Amanda Kessel, Laura Stacey, Sarah Nurse, Sarah Potomak, Jincy Dunne, and Meaghan Mikkelson.

Team Scotiabank had a lineup that included Alex Carpenter, Natalie Spooner, Melodie Daoust, and Rebecca Johnston.

And, Team Sonnet boasted the likes of Hilary Knight, Brianne Jenner, Abby Roque, Claire Thompson, goalie Nicole Hensley, and Russian Iya Gavrilova.

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association was conceived nearly four years ago when the Canadian Women’s Hockey League dissolved and the top North American players in the National Women’s Hockey League left that league in unison, all players vowing not to play again until a new professional league could be created.

This final PWHPA weekend was hosted by arenas in…

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