PWHPA Dream Gap Tour Secret Deodorant Showcase
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, January 13, 2020
NORTH YORK, ONTARIO – The women’s hockey movement continues to inch closer to their goal of a sustainable league for female hockey players.
Over 120 of the top athletes in women’s hockey gathered in North York, Vaughn, and downtown Toronto on January 11th and 12th for the fourth stop on the Dream Gap Tour in their continued push for the same hockey opportunities as men.
The event battled some major weather issues, with Environment Canada calling for dangerous driving conditions throughout the weekend.
Regardless, hundreds of people braved the elements to gather at Herbert Carnegie Arena and take in three thrilling games on Saturday between some of the most decorated women in sports.
Six teams played two games each over the two days, five of which we streamed live on YouTube and CBC Gem for viewers to follow their favourite players. Teams seemed to be formed mostly based on region or former CWHL team for this showcase.
Team Larocque was comprised mostly of former Markham Thunder players living closer to downtown Toronto, with Team Spooner taking up former Toronto Furies and players living in the GTA and Golden Horseshoe regions. Team Bellamy was represented by former Calgary Inferno and those residing in more Western Canada, while Team Daoust had former Canadiennes de Montreal and folks living out East. The two more American teams captained by Kendall Coyne and Amanda Kessel were based on the Minnesota and Tri-State areas, respectively.
The weekend opened with a tight battle between Team Larocque sponsored by Graham Alarm Monitoring and Team Kessel sponsored by the Whitby Wolves. Featured on the ice for Game 1 were notable members of the American National team Gigi Marvin, Katie Burt, and Emily Matheson (formerly Pfalzer) for the Kessel Wolves, and Canadian standouts Jocelyn Larocque, Laura Stacey, and Brianne Jenner.
Annie Pankowski led the way for the Kessel Wolves with two goals but, Team Larocque battled back from a 3-1 deficit and a sharp-angle shot from Nicole Brown tied it before Jamie Lee Rattray finished off a 2-on-1 in 3-on-3 overtime to win it 5-4.
Game 2 featured a soft rematch of the 2019 Clarkson Cup with Team Bellamy sponsored by the Oakville Hornets taking on Team Daoust sponsored by the Leaside Wildcats. This game showcased big-name players like Americans Kacey Bellamy, and Brianna Decker, and Canadians Meaghan Mikkelson and Rebecca Johnston for the Bellamy Hornets, and the two most recognizable names currently active, Marie-Philip Poulin and Hilary Knight for the Daoust Wildcats.
The Wildcats held a 3-1 lead later in the 3rd when Decker and Johnston connected for quick goals, both scored by Johnston, to tie the game heading into the 3rd. An unfortunate bounce off the glass behind Hornets’ goaltender Marlene Boissonnault came back and deflected in off the netminder and gave the Wildcats what would be the game-winner. A couple of empty-netters made it a 6-3 final, with a hattrick for Knight and two goals for Emily Clark.
The offence continued into Game 3 between Team Coyne sponsored by Greenwin and Team Spooner sponsored by the Scarborough Sharks. Another 3-1 lead was erased once again, this time by the Spooner Sharks in just 25 seconds. Loren Gable poked it past Alex Cavallini before Sarah Nurse found a gift in the high slot and whistled it into the net.
Jocelyn Lamoureaux-Davidson took control in the 3rd for Team Coyne and completed a hattrick of her own, while Coyne had a pair of goals for a 6-3 victory. Despite the loss, Amanda Makela made some spectacular saves early on in the 3rd to keep the Spooner Sharks in it.
Saturday night also saw the premiere of a documentary produced by former player Ailish Forfar. She and her crew took a deep dive on the PWHPA, what goes on behind the scenes, and how their work has progressed thus far. A panel of Jayna Hefford, Liz Knox, Poulin, and Knight was also hosted at the screening.
Sunday morning was an early 9:30AM start for Game 4 and another tight game between the Bellamy Hornets and Kessel Wolves. Lots of familiar faces on the American national team facing off in a chippy 1-0 victory for the Hornets. 22-year-old Katelyn Rae potted the game-winner on a breakaway and made no mistake, flipping it high over the glove of Lauren Dahm.
Game 5 from the Al Palladini Community Centre in Vaughn couldn’t officially be streamed but, a live feed was broadcast on the PWHPA twitter account to make sure fans could still watch Team Coyne take on Team Larocque. Fans saw more offence again in a 5-2 victory for Team Coyne. Kelly Pannek notched a pair and Lamoureaux-Davidson had a goal and an assist for 6 points in 2 games.
The final game of the showcase took place at the Mattamy Centre in Downtown Toronto with a classic ‘Montreal vs. Toronto’ between the Daoust Wildcats and the Spooner Sharks. Elaine Chuli did her best in net but, the Sharks got lit up by the Wildcats’ incredible offensive power for 8 goals.
Emerance Maschmeyer meanwhile had a 43-save shutout for the Wildcats in an incredible performance. Multi-point afternoons across the board for the Wildcats, Poulin with a goal and two assists, Clark with a goal and an assist, Kim Deschene with four assists in a complete offensive clinic to close out the tour.
Notable members of the injured reserve included Amanda Kessel, Monique Lamoureaux-Morando, Ann-Sophie Bettez, and Marie-Soleil Deschenes, all of whom were unfortunately unable to participate.
Keep up to date on the Dream Gap Tour and the PWHPA by following their twitter accounts @thedreamgap and @PWHPA. The next Showcase returns to Philadelphia February 29th and March 1st.