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PWHPA releases exhibition games, two more Dream Gap Tour stops

‘PWHPA Live!’ brings intra-squad tilts to four cities

Michelle Jay

While the PWHPA may be taking a break from the Dream Gap Tour for the rest of 2019, the organization has released at least five intra-squad games under the name ‘PWHPA Live!’. Two of those games will be in Minnesota and three will take place in Ontario.

On Nov. 22, the Minnesota region of the PWHPA will play Forest Lake High School. The next day, they’ll take on Minnesota Mullets of the USPHL at Ridder Arena. PWHPA rosters for both games are the same and feature both of the Lamoureuxs. Ann-Renee Desbiens will make her first PWHPA appearance as well.

Farther north, “Team Fortino” will take on “Team Larocque” at York University on Nov. 23. Team Fortino’s roster is largely Team Knox from the Toronto Dream Gap tour stop, featuring stars Natalie Spooner, Loren Gabel, Sarah Nurse, and Brittany Howard. Team Larocque is mostly Toronto’s Team Jenner with the additions of Hayley Scamurra and Erica Howe, who is making her PWHPA debut.

A “Team Jenner” will take on a “Team Spooner” on Nov. 30 in Orangeville, and on Jan. 4, 2020, “Team Hefford” will play “Team Lacasse” in Kingston. No rosters were listed for either matchup.

The PWHPA also teased the next round of Dream Gap Tour stop for 2020 on Twitter — confirming Toronto and Philadelphia while leaving the third stop as a mystery.

Doubling back to Toronto, the site of the first Dream Gap Tour stop, as the fourth stop is a bit odd considering other cities have been clamoring for a stop. But it also makes sense from an organizational standpoint. The GTA is the home to two training groups in Toronto and Markham, meaning less players will have to travel. The PWHPA also presumably has a large amount of contacts in the area as the CWHL was based in Toronto. They can also capitalize on the success from the first stop to draw attention to this one.

The Lamoureuxs were in Philadelphia previously to promote the stop back in October, so we knew this location was going to see some PWHPA action. It is an interesting stop in that they don’t have a training group there, nor many obvious ties to the city. The city and region also doesn’t have an women’s hockey team near them, a departure from previous stops. This will be a good test for the marketing of the PWHPA — and women’s hockey — in a new city.