The PWHPA announced today that Unifor, a general trade union in Canada, will be the title sponsor of the the Dream Gap Tour’s Women’s Hockey Showcase. The tour will be making its first stop at the Westwood Arena in Toronto later this month.
The weekend showcase promises four games featuring North America’s brightest stars on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22. The tour is also slated to visit Hudson, New Hampshire (October 4 – 6, 2019) and Chicago, Illinois (October 18 – 20, 2019).
“Unifor immediately asked what they can do to help us move this game forward,” said Natalie Spooner in the PWHPA’s release. “Between securing ice facilities and presenting this showcase, we cannot thank them enough for all they they’ve done. My dream of playing hockey began when I was a little girl growing up in the Toronto area and watching women play. I know these games and this tour can be that moment for other young girls and inspire them to chase their dreams.”
The association also announced a sponsorship agreement with Budweiser, which will make Budweiser the official beer of the PWHPA. With Budweiser’s help, the PWHPA’s Dream Gap Tour games will be streamed through the league’s site. The titan of the adult beverage industry will also enhance the festivities by recognizing a Budweiser Fan of the Game, and by hosting a VIP Kickoff Party on Saturday.
“The fact that the world’s greatest female hockey players do not have a league to call home is a wrong we want to help make right,” said Mike D’Agostini, Director of Marketing for Budweiser Canada. “We’re proud to be the official beer sponsor of North America’s premier women’s professional hockey players association and hope to rally all of North America to come together to support these well-deserved athletes.”
It also appears that the PWHPA has partnered with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the OWHA. The Maple Leafs have a long history of supporting women’s hockey in Canada. Both organizations were thanked for their support in the association’s release today.
The four teams competing in Toronto two-and-a-half weeks from now feature some of the biggest names in the game. Marie-Philip Poulin, Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker, Rebecca Johnston, Brianne Jenner, Sarah Nurse, Kacey Bellamy, and many other stars will be competing with and against each other in Toronto. All told, 83 players will be on the ice.
A quick glance at the rosters makes it clear that, for the most part, the teams are reflections of former CWHL clubs; namely the Toronto Furies, the Markham Thunder, the Calgary Inferno, and Les Canadiennes de Montréal. Each team has its own coach(es) and general manager and is named after an iconic member of the PWHPA.
- Sat, Sept. 21, 1:30 p.m. ET: Team Johnston vs Team Jenner
- Sat, Sept. 21, 3:30 p.m. ET: Team Poulin vs Team Knox
- Sun. Sept. 22, 9:30 a.m. ET: Team Johnston vs Team Knox
- Sun. Sept. 22, 12:30 p.m. ET: Team Poulin vs Team Jenner/