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2021-22 PHF Preview: an overview

And so here we are again

Michelle Jay/NWHL

It’s almost here. The seventh season of PHF — formerly known as the NWHL — and the first since the oddity that was the Lake Placid season. On the horizon is a 20-game season for all six teams, which means 60 regular season games of PHF hockey are on the docket.

The Boston Pride are the reigning Isobel Cup champions but we saw a flurry of activity over the offseason that may very well have shuffled the deck in the power rankings. Each team has both lost and acquired key pieces in their pursuit of the Cup and, as always, there is a new wave of rookies and newcomers who are ready to make their mark on the league.

Now, let’s get you ready for puck drop with some key details heading into the new season.

2020-21 Standings

Toronto was arguably the most impressive team in Lake Placid but it was the Pride who lifted the Cup when the PHF returned to action in Boston. With all of that said, we shouldn’t read too much into any of the small sample sizes we saw last year.

2020-21 PHF regular season

Team GP W L OT/SOL PTS GF GA G Diff PP% PK% PIM Tm Sv% SF/GP SA/GP
Team GP W L OT/SOL PTS GF GA G Diff PP% PK% PIM Tm Sv% SF/GP SA/GP
TOR 6 4 1 1 9 21 14 7 18.5 81.5 75 0.913 41 25.17
BOS 7 3 4 6 22 12 10 19.5 88.9 56 0.938 35.43 27.86
MIN 4 3 1 6 11 10 1 26.3 85.7 48 0.936 28 39.25
CTW 4 2 2 4 8 12 -4 9.1 76.5 34 0.904 35.5 31.25
MET 3 2 1 4 7 4 3 9.1 90 30 0.964 28.33 37.67
BUF 6 1 4 1 3 7 24 -17 10 77.8 71 0.904 25.33 40.67

Note: the Lake Placid season was irregular, hence the different total of games played for each team. The Riveters played just three games before having to shut down operations as a result of a COVID outbreak.

How to Watch

When we first wrote this season preview we were expecting to be watching PHF games on Twitch all season long. Of course, that all changed on Oct. 20 when the league announced that games from the 2021-22 season will be streamed exclusively (in the U.S.) on ESPN+. Note: we are still awaiting details for international streaming, so hang in there fans of the T6 and PHF fans across the globe.

The action kicks off on the league’s opening weekend with all six teams on the ice. On Nov. 6 with a game between the Connecticut Whale and Metropolitan Riveters at Mennen Ice Arena at 1:45 p.m. ET. In Boston, at 6:45 p.m. the Boston Pride will host the Minnesota Whitecaps in a rematch of the 2021 Isobel Cup Final and the league’s remaining two teams — the Toronto Six and the Buffalo Beauts — will play each other for the first time at the Northtown Center at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Where to Go

Boston Pride | Warrior Ice Arena | Boston, MA

Buffalo Beauts | Northtown Center | Amherst, NY

Connecticut Whale | Danbury Ice Arena | Danbury, CT

Metropolitan Riveters | Barnabas Health Hockey House (primary) | Newark, NJ

Minnesota Whitecaps | TRIA Rink | St. Paul, MN

Toronto Six | Canlan Ice Sports | Tork, ON

What You Might Have Missed

It was a long and busy offseason so you may have missed a few things. Have no fear, we’ve got all the important info here.