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PWHPA Dream Gap Tour make stop in Toronto for Kipling Showcase

Four PWHPA teams will play a showcase in Toronto December 18-19 for the 2021-22 Secret Dream Gap Tour

Kelsey Roberts makes a save at the Tim Horton’s Showcase in November
Heather Pollock/PWHPA

The second Dream Gap Tour stop of the year will be the PWHPA’s third ever trip to Toronto. The weekend, sponsored by The Kipling Group, will be in partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs featuring a final game at the Maple Leafs’ home arena. The Kipling Showcase will feature the three Canadian teams and team adidas from Minnesota. Following the same format as the Tim Horton’s showcase, there will be two initial games followed by consolation and championship games.

The four games will be spread-out across the Toronto area on the weekend of December 18-19. Saturday’s matchups will take place at the Port Credit Memorial Arena in Mississauga. On Sunday, the Consolation game will take place at the Leaside Memorial Arena in Toronto and the Championship Game at Scotiabank Arena downtown.

The two Saturday games as well as the consolation final on Sunday will be broadcast worldwide by the CBC, online at cbcsports.ca or the CBC Gem app. The showcase final at 2:00pm will be shown on the NHL Network in the United States and Sportsnet’s primary network channels in Canada.

Team Harvey’s vs Team adidas, December 18, 1:00pm ET - Cancelled

The PWHPA announced on Friday afternoon that due to Quebec’s new COVID-19 restrictions, Team Harvey from Montreal was pulling out of the weekend’s showcase. Toronto will automatically advance to Sunday’s championship game.

The victors from Truro will face the new kids on the block in the weekend’s opening game. The matchup will pit Harvey’s, the oldest team with an average age of 28, against adidas, the youngest team with an average age of 24.

The game can be expected to be a duel of goaltenders as PWHPA all-star Shea Tiley leads the net for adidas. Harvey’s greatest strength will likely remain their clutch goaltending; Marie-Soleil Deschênes stood on her head in Truro posting a .970 save percentage. They may also be joined by goalie Geneviève Lacasse, an Olympic veteran, who was unable to join the team in Truro.

Adidas will try to catch Harvey’s off guard with quick starts. Slow starts in Truro gave opposing teams prime opportunities early against Harvey’s. The young adidas team has a lot of speed and skill from players like Anne Pankowski who has seen significant PWHPA action already this year. She was loaned to Team Bauer for two games replacing missing players in Truro. Pankowski was also a member of the PWHPA all-star team that faced the Canadian women’s national team in two exhibition games. Her skills were on display then and will pose a challenge now for other teams as she links up with her adidas linemates.

Team Scotiabank vs Team Sonnet, December 18, 4:00pm ET

The teams from Toronto and Calgary will play in an exciting matchup we have yet to see this year. Both are great defensive teams, Scotiabank’s strength coming from a mighty goaltending tandem and Sonnet’s from a talented defensive core. The game will feature flashy forwards on both sides and is an evening spectacle set to wow the fans.

Earlier this year in Truro, Sonnet conceded the fewest number of shots against, limiting the other teams to an average of 24 a game. Unfortunately, their goaltending was subpar with the worst save percentage of the tournament as Sonnet allowed 6 goals in two nights. With better goaltending luck in Toronto, Sonnet will make life hard for teams like Scotiabank. Sonnets offensive weapons in Brittany Howard and Loren Gabel looked strong in Truro, strong in the All-Star games against Canada, and likely will perform well again this weekend.