Formed by over 200 women’s hockey stars in their efforts to build a sustainable hockey league, the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association took Etobicoke’s Westwood Arena this weekend for the first leg of their Dream Gap Tour — a series of tournaments designed to showcase the best of the women’s game.
Fans were treated to some quality action, including even a buzzer-beating goal to force overtime by Blayre Turnbull (completing a hat trick, to boot). Stars such as Marie-Philip Poulin, Hilary Knight, Natalie Spooner and Sarah Nurse were all in action this weekend.
Of course, this experience is all for the fans, and especially for the younger girls in the crowd who want to see what professional women’s hockey is all about. On that front, it was a rousing success. Players stayed late to engage with fans and sign autographs.
This is definitely heartening to see. While the immediate future of pro women’s hockey in North America may seem murky at the moment, the turnout for events such as these is reflective of the support that these women have from hockey fans, and it bodes well for the state of the sport going forward.
The Dream Gap Tour moves on to Hudson, New Hampshire next on October 4-6.