The PWHPA will make stops in Ottawa and Washington D.C. in back-to-back weekends. Both will be presented by professional men’s hockey teams from the NHL.
Sonnet Showcase, Ottawa, Canada
The Sonnet Showcase will take place February 26-27 at the Nepean Sportsplex in Canada’s National Capital Region. The PWHPA also announced that the showcase would partner with the Ottawa Senators, who will provide promotional support for the games. Like every Dream Gap Tour showcase, the weekend will feature four teams who will each first play two semi-final games. On Saturday, Toronto and Minnesota will play at 12 pm eastern, and Boston will face off against Montreal at 3 pm. On Sunday, the losers will play in a consolation final, and the winners will play a championship game.
The preliminary games will be streamed on CBC Sports, and the final game will be streamed in Canada on Sportsnet and internationally on TikTok.
Washington Capitals Showcase
The PWHPA will follow up with the Washington Capitals Showcase. The weekend will again consist of four PWHPA games from four teams in addition to hockey clinics for the community.
Teams Sonnet and Bauer will play at 5:30 pm on Friday, March 4, before adidas and Scotiabank play on Saturday, March 5 at 1:30 pm. Both the consolation and championship games will be on Sunday, March 6, the consolation at 10:30 am and Championship at 1:30 pm.
The games will be available for streaming on Twitter and Facebook.
The showcase announcement comes not long after the Washington Capitals announced ALL CAPS ALL HER, an initiative in the D.C. area to help develop women and girls’ hockey programs. They run learn-to-play programs, skills camps, and information sessions for parents, coaches, and officials. The Washington Capitals showcase will feature three clinics put on by the Capitals’ youth development team and PWHPA players and coaches.
Team Scotiabank (Calgary) 4-0-0
The Sonnet Showcase in Ottawa will be the first of the year that Scotiabank does not attend. The showcase will allow other teams the opportunity to close the gap they built over the first two showcases. Scotiabank will attend the showcase in Washington and face a rematch with adidas. It will be a battle of two solid teams, both with offensive weapons at their disposal backed up by strong goaltending. Though I think they will face significant opposition, I think Calgary stands a chance at remaining undefeated.
Team Sonnet (Toronto) 1-2-0
Although they have lost to both Scotiabank and Harvey’s, Sonnet currently sits as the second-ranked steam as a result of Their one regulation win. Toronto has had some goaltending issues, mainly stemming from the unavailability of key players. They have allowed nine goals in three games, more than any other team. The addition of Victoria Bach from the Canadian Olympic centralization roster will make Sonnet significantly more threatening in the offensive zone, hopefully balancing some of their goals against issues. Liz Knox, a valuable goaltender, is coming out of retirement and will add much-needed depth at that position. Toronto, poised to have success over both weekends, will be looking to move itself to the top of the PWHPA rankings.
Team Harvey’s (Montreal) 1-0-1
The team has only played two games thus far after pulling out at the last minute of the showcase in December. Through two games, the team has been as strong as Calgary defensively. Harvey’s net is guarded by goaltender Marie-Soleil Deschênes who, through both games, has only allowed two goals. Her strong performances will continue to backstop an already powerful team Harvey’s. The team will also be boosted with the return of certain players from the Team Canada Olympic Centralization. Jamie Bourbonnais will further add to their defence, and Kristin O’Neill and Jessie Eldridge will be a spark for the Montreal offence. Their one loss came in a shootout with Calgary, so the added offensive power will help them in hard-to-score-in games.
Team adidas (Minnesota) 0-0-1
Team adidas has only had one opportunity to hit the ice this season, and it was a 4-3 loss to team Scotiabank. Minnesota has some serious offensive weapons and players like Sophia Shaver and Annie Pankowski, plus a solid back end led by PWHPA All-Star goalie Shae Tilley. Extracting anything further from their only game is slightly pointless; they barely had any chance to shake off the rust as they faced the red-hot team Scotiabank. Over two weekends, I think they’re poised to win their first game and show us the real talent that is on this team
Team Bauer (Boston) 0-2-0
Team Bauer has some strong players who have played great individual performances, but the team has yet to put all the moving pieces together in the right way. Alexa Gruschow has had a few moments of brilliance and will continue to lead the Boston offence going into the next two weekends. Boston has split their crease time evenly between goalies Terra Lanteigne and Brittany Ott with the absence of Kimberly Sass in their only games. Brittany Ott has clearly been the better performer. I expect them to play her and Kimberly Sass in a more dedicated goaltender role in an attempt to win their first game.