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NEW YORK – Madison Square Garden hosted its first-ever professional women’s hockey game and it was the first-ever professional women’s hockey game to be broadcast live on television.
The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) hosted Game 2 of their Secret® Dream Gap Tour New York presentation at Madison Square Garden. The Minnesota Area Team vs. The New Hampshire Area Team was led by the NHL Network and Sportsnet.
Jayna Hefford, four-time Canadian Olympian and PWHPA operations consultant, said the organization never planned to make history in this way.
“It was the height of being able to play in the most famous arena in the world,” said Hefford. “Our goal as a group and our mission with the PWHPA is to advocate for the creation of a professional league that provides the resources and infrastructure that the best players in the world need.”
Tennis star and founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation Billie Jean King spoke directly to the players ahead of the match.
“As you are about to take the ice on one of the world’s greatest stages, take a moment to gaze at the most iconic ceiling in all sports and entertainment, as you are about to walk through it.” , King said.
She has been a PWHPA advisor from the start and is part of the PWHPA Stick In The Ground campaign. King can be seen in a promotional video with NHL players, professional female hockey players and others asking everyone to “put a stick in the ground in the fight for the future of women’s hockey”.
The PWHPA’s partnership with the New York Rangers made Sunday’s game possible. The first match of the two-game presentation of the Dream Gap Tour took place at the Protec Ponds Training Center.
The games played on February 27 and 28 had a special points structure to ensure a winner in just two games. Minnesota won 5-2 on Saturday. On Sunday, New Hampshire won 4-3, but it was Minnesota’s extra point for scoring 5 or more goals that won them over the weekend.
Structure of gain / loss points:
Regulatory victory – 2 points
OT victory – 1.5 points
Shootout victory – 1 point
OT / loss in shootout – 0.5 point
Loss of Regulation – 0 points
Additional point structure:
Hat trick – 1 point
Whitening – 1 point
Short-range goal – 1 point
Loss in overtime / shootout – 1 point
5+ goals in 1 game – 1 point
The Secret® Dream Gap Tour Chicago showcase begins Saturday, March 6 with Minnesota and New Hampshire competing at 2:00 p.m. in Chicago at the United Center. The PWHPA’s partnership with the Blackhawks made this possible. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports. The showcase continues Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Fifth Third Arena.
The Chicago Showcase takes place on the anniversary weekend of the first-ever all-female crew of an NHL game. It was presented by NBC Sports at the United Center on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2020.