The PWHPA ended the 2021-22 Dream Gap tour with a showcase in Montreal this past weekend. On Sunday, wins by Team Scotiabank (Calgary) and Harvey’s (Montreal) awarded Harvey’s the showcase win and Scotiabank the tour win.
Showcase Consolation Final - Scotiabank (Calgary) vs Bauer (Boston)
The penultimate game of the PWHPA season was maybe the most exciting we’ve seen this year. After starting the year with five straight wins, team Scotiabank only needed this one win to put them out of the reach of Harvey’s. Contrasting Scotiabank’s success was Bauer, who failed to win a game all year. The team went into Sunday’s game determined to change that and end the year on a high note.
The teams lined up to begin the game with slightly modified lineups. Scotiabank was playing shorthanded without key players like Iya Gavrilova and Brigette Lacquette. On the other hand, Bauer had their lineup reinforced by players joining from Team Sonnet.
The passion and drive to win the game was clear in Bauer’s plan as they created chances early. Bauer forward Bailey Larson forced a turnover and scored with a hot shot that beat Marlene Boissonnault 20 seconds into the game. Scotiabank looked to respond and sent high pressure back the other way on their first powerplay. A point shot from Megan Grenon bounced off the pads of Terra Lanteigne right to the stick of Amanda Plekey. Her tap-in goal tied the game at one - a score they took into the intermission.
Loren Gabel restored the Bauer lead with a solo effort. The speedy forward turned a one-on-one opportunity into a breakaway as she blew past the defender and closed in on the net. But much like the first, Bauer could not hold the lead, and Scotiabank tied immediately. Then, the team from Calgary pulled themselves into the lead for the first time with a goal from Kaitlin Willoughby, which came off another big rebound in the crease. At the end of the period, Scotiabank added to the lead when Rhianna Kurio sent a sublime breakout pass that hit Poznikoff perfectly at the redline. She skated in and scored with a smooth finish.
In a determined third-period effort, Bauer scored two quick ones to draw even once again. Poznikoff completed the hattrick to reestablish the Scotiabank lead, but Bauer tied it yet again with four minutes to play. The game’s final minutes were end-to-end, with both teams generating chances. It looked like the teams would head to overtime until Scotiabank won it at the last second. Poznikoff returned the favour to Kurio, giving her a breakout pass. Kurio took a shot that fooled Lanteigne ending Boston’s hope of a win and securing Scotiabank’s place at the top of the PWHPA.
Showcase Championship Final - Harvey’s (Montreal) vs adidas (Minnesota)
It took until the last showcase of the year for an American PWHPA team to win a semi-final matchup and make it to a showcase final. Adidas faced a formidable final opponent in Team Harvey’s who is no stranger to showcase finals.
Harvey’s exhibits strength both offensively with weapons like Ann-Sophie Bettez and defensively with the strong backing of Marie-Soleil Deschênes. Adidas this year has relied on strong goaltending from Scobee and Tiley, but additions from team Sonnet this weekend bolstered their offensive power.
Hervey’s took an early 3-0 lead scoring the trio of goals in the first ten minutes of the game. All three goals came as Harvey’s dominated puck movement keeping momentum in the adidas end. Their passing and individual puck protection was clearly superior in the period keeping adidas out of contention.
Score effects slowed the onslaught in the second period, and the chances began to even out. But unrelenting Harvey’s pressure kept adidas from making any real threats. Kim Deschênes forced a turnover in the adidas end and scored on the play extending the lead to 4.
Harvey’s opened the third period with a fifth goal. Adidas responded by rallying and scoring three in quick succession to cut the lead to just two goals. The Americans looked like comeback hopefuls with more than ten minutes to play. That was until Harvey’s put the game to bed with a Bettez goal. On home ice, Harvey’s won it 6-3.
With the PWHPA format somewhat fluid from year to year and speculation about a new league, this could have been the last showcase weekend of this format. Harvey’s success through two games made for a very exciting weekend in Montreal.
PWHPA Standings at season end
Scotiabank (Calgary) – 6W 2L
Harvey’s (Montreal) – 5W 1L
Sonnet (Toronto) – 5W 3L
Adidas (Minnesota) – 3W 4L
Bauer (Boston) – 0W 8L