New York to Play Inaugural Professional Women’s Hockey League Game
Great news for hockey lovers. The first-ever game of Professional Women’s Hockey League will feature a team from New York.
History in the Making - A New Franchise in Town
The recently-established Professional Women's Hockey League, or PWHL, has set the calendar for the start of its first season. The opening match has been set for January 1, where New York will square off against Toronto.
This is a huge honor as the game will serve as the opener to the NHL Winter Classic, where the Seattle Kraken take on the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Park, the home of MLB's Seattle Mariners.
The PWHL's first-ever puck drop will be held at 12:30 p.m. on January 1 in Toronto's Mattamy Athletic Centre. New York will then host Toronto on January 5 at a game set for 7 at night.
Stan Kasten, PWHL Advisory Board member, celebrated the news in a public statement:
Giving our athletes the opportunity to step onto the ice to compete in front of our passionate fans has been the driving force of our efforts, and it’s going to be an exciting reality on New Year’s Day. It’s time for the best women’s hockey players in the world to lift our game to greater heights.
The game is being hailed as a historic season opener, so you won't want to miss it.
Home Rinks Unveiled
While New York's team nickname has yet to be announced, the PWHL did reveal which rink they will call home. The Empire State ladies will actually not practice in their home state, but rather at a rink located East.
New York's home rink, at least for now, will be the Total Mortgage Arena, which is located in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
As a CT-native, I have a feeling my home state will welcome New York with open arms since we haven't had a professional sports team since we stupidly let the Hartford Whalers relocate to North Carolina in 1997 - and, no, we will never shut up about it. People view it as a bad decision that rivals the Boston Red Sox trading Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.
The PWHL's New York Team
New York's professional women's ice hockey team will be coached by Howie Draper and managed by Pascal Daoust. Draper is a legend in his own right, as he's coached for 26 years and secured eight national titles with 667 victories under his belt when coaching the Pandas at the University of Alberta.
The New York team will feature a mix of Canadian, American and French athletes. However, two members are from the Empire State - such as Abigail Levy, who hails from Congers, and Olivia Zafuto, from Niagara Falls.
You can read more about the ladies of the New York PWHL team HERE.
Other teams include Minnesota, Ottawa, Montreal and Boston.
You can learn more about the season and sign up for tickets HERE.
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