Masterfully assembling one of the greatest seasons in PHF history, Loren Gabel joins a group of acclaimed performers belonging to a pantheon of brilliance. Becoming the fourth skater in Boston Pride lore to capture the scoring title, joining the likes of Brianna Decker, Jillian Dempsey and Hilary Knight, Gabel also added the league’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Such a magical season, highlighted by 20 goals and 40 points, plus an incredible 146 shots on goal, also included the league’s Newcomer of the Year Award and the Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by members of the PHF Players Association. Additional recognition as one of the league’s Three Stars of the Season, served as the exclamation point on one of the most acclaimed seasons in professional women’s ice hockey.
Scoring twice in her PHF debut, finding the back of the net versus All-Star goalie Abbie Ives in a convincing 4-0 victory versus the Connecticut Whale, the results saw eventual Goaltender of the Year Corinne Schroeder record a shutout in her professional debut. Undoubtedly, the brilliance on display foreshadowed an unforgettable season, which saw Boston win a league best 19 games.
Fittingly Schroeder and Gabel were named the First and Second Stars of the Game. Adding an aspect of serendipity was Elizabeth Giguere. Also in her first season for the Pride, earning the Third Star honors, she scored the game winning goal while logging on Gabel’s first goal of the third period. Worth noting, Gabel and Giguere won the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four as teammates with the Clarkson Golden Knights.
“I was honoured about being voted as one of the Three Stars. It is truly amazing how much support not only myself, but other players and the league as a whole gets in general. The fans are the best supporters out there and we could not be where we are today without them.”
Providing both, the Pride and the PHF, with tremendous star power, Gabel quickly emerged as its premier scorer. With the number 36 adorning the back of her golden jersey, Gabel logged points in 22 out of 24 regular season games. Through her first 10 games of PHF play, Gabel impressed with nine goals and nine assists, supplying the Pride with a prime time performer capable of dominating any game.
In a season defined by Gabel and Schroeder propelling the Pride to the top of the standings, their most compelling performance took place on January 21, 2023. With Gabel enjoying a quartet of goals versus the Montreal Force, including the game winning tally in a 5-0 victory, the box score revealed a more interesting story.
From the outset, Schroeder earned an asset on Gabel’s first goal of the game, capitalizing on a power play opportunity. Each period, including a scoreless second, saw the Force outshot the Pride. Recording an astonishing total of 50 saves for the shutout, while Gabel scored four times with a team best nine shots on net, the outcome not only served as a defining moment for both, but demonstrated their value throughout the season.
With an impressive haul of hockey hardware, plus the prestigious achievement of the scoring title, the hallmarks of Gabel’s inaugural season in the PHF represent more than just achievement. Graciously acknowledging the presence of an incredible support system, from friends and family, to the culture that defines the Pride, Gabel finds inspiration. As professional sport moves on from pandemic concerns, the opportunity to focus on hockey and work towards constantly giving her team a chance to win provided its own rewards.
“This was obviously my first season playing for The Boston Pride and playing in the PHF and it was truly an amazing experience. Everyone was super welcoming and the league as a whole is so great.
Winning three major awards, the scoring title, and having one of the greatest seasons in league history is definitely one of the biggest accomplishments I have had this far in my career. To me, these are not individual awards, I could not have won any of them without my family, teammates, coaches, and support staff who helped me better myself both on and off the ice every single day and for that I am very grateful.”
Beyond the astounding accolades and honors in PHF circles, the aftermath of the season allowed for further acclaim. With the Kitchener Waterloo Titans of the National Basketball League of Canada hosting a Local Legends of Sport night on April 14, Gabel was among a celebrated group.. Including Grey Cup champion Ronnie Pfeffer, plus boxing Greats Mandy Bujold and Fitz Vanderpool, among others, the event provided a proud feeling of homecoming.
Having already established herself as the finest female hockey player to emerge from Kitchener, the potential to add on an already lasting legacy knows no bounds. Considering that the city has hosted multiple IIHF women’s events, it is only fitting that Gabel has also enjoyed the prestige of wearing the Maple Leaf internationally. Having first developed her skills with the local Junior Rangers club, debuting with its PWHL roster at the age of 15, the opportunity to be recognized, and celebrated, as a Local Legend, speaks volumes to her talents. Reflecting upon the event with a residual warmth, Gabel is an iconic role model for her hometown, destined to inspire a new generation of Junior Rangers to grace the ice and emulate her heroics.
“It was truly an honour to be recognized at the KW Titans game during their Local Legends night. It is amazing how much support and recognition myself and the other athletes receive in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. To be recognized by my hometown in such high regard is something that I will never forget and that night is definitely a night I will remember forever.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated“