TORONTO – The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association is teaming up with the Toronto Maple Leafs to host a showcase tournament in this city 18-19. December.
The Kipling Showcase will be held in both Port Credit Memorial Gardens and the Leafs’ home ground Scotiabank Arena.
Host Sonnet, Calgary’s Scotiabank, Montreal’s Harvey’s and Minnesota’s Adidas will compete in the two-day tournament.
PWHPA emerged from the collapse of the Canadian women’s hockey league in 2019 after a dozen years.
The organization, which includes players on the U.S. and Canadian national teams, wants a sustainable, professional league that pays a living wage and offers the competitive support that male professionals receive.
PWHPA has hosted showcase tournaments in both Canada and the United States under the Dream Gap Tour banner to raise support for its goals, but the COVID-19 pandemic severely curtailed its campaign in 2020-21.
PWHPA last held an exhibition event in Toronto in January 2020.
“We acknowledge the efforts of the PWHPA players and incredible sacrifices in their persistent commitment to running a sustainable league that provides the professional infrastructure their players deserve,” Toronto Maple Leaves President Brendan Shanahan said in a statement on Tuesday.
“By announcing our partnership with PWHPA in February 2021, the Maple Leafs are committed to supporting a future Secret Dream Gap Tour game showcasing some of the outstanding talents in women’s hockey today.”
The first two matches of Toronto’s showcase will be played in the Port Credit district of Mississauga, Ont., With the final at Scotiabank.
“PWHPA is excited to finally play in Toronto again and in the Scotiabank Arena,” said PWHPA’s operations consultant Jayna Hefford.
“The Toronto Maple Leafs have been supportive partners, and from the time we announced this partnership, we have been working diligently behind the scenes to make a Secret Dream Gap Tour showcase happen in Toronto.”
PWHPA’s first Dream Gap Tour showcase this season is Friday and Saturday in Truro, NS
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 9, 2021.