The PWHPA officially kicked off their 2021 Secret Dream Gap Tour in New York this past weekend and despite there being no fans due to COVID-19, the excitement level for this long-awaited tour was certainly felt.
Team Adidas and Team Women’s Sports Foundation were ready to go head-to-head in what was the first professional game for many of the players in over a year. Although both teams were ready to hit the ice and come away with a win, the PWHPA as a whole made history as their game at Madison Square Garden was the first ever professional women’s hockey game on that sheet of ice.
Game 1 Breakdown
Team Adidas 5 Team Women’s Sports Foundation 2
Heading into the first game of the season, it was a little hard to guess what could be the outcome, but in the first two periods, there was a lot of back and forth play. Both teams headed into the third period tied 1-1 until the flood gates were opened and Team Adidas consistently found the back of the net. Standout rookie, Abby Roque for Team Adidas scored two goals back to back to and had an assist to help lead her team to their first win.
“Got the rust off today, got our legs moving and I think that’s the most important part, so both will reflect on our game tonight obviously we want to come out and win at MSG tomorrow” Brianna Decker of Team Women’s Sports Foundation told reporters in a press conference.
Game 2 Breakdown
Team Women’s Sports Foundation 4 Team Adidas 3
Team Women’s Sports Foundation came out on top and it was clear that their communication was better, the rust was gone and the team played more cohesively. Brianna Decker opened up the scoring for Team WSF and walked away with another goal and two assists to lead her team to its first win. She also was awarded player of the game. Another standout star on Team WSF was their starting goalie Alex Cavallini who saved 32/35 shots.
“This is the first time I have played with this team, Ive never practiced with them before and Im not totally familiar with it but overall I think we played a great game”, Cavallini stated in a post game press conference.
Her amazing contributions to her team’s win earned her the accolade of Goalie of the Game.
Key Moments Around the Rink
- Billie Jean King speaks at the opening of the game at Madison Square Garden
“Look up at the most iconic ceiling in all of sports and entertainment because you are about to bust through it.” – @BillieJeanKing
— Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative (@BJKLInitiative) March 1, 2021
- Diversity and inclusion specialist and scout for LA Kings, Blake Bolden, was apart of the on air broadcast team for the entire weekend
Best PRODUCERRRRR 🙏🏾❤️ https://t.co/F2qSrQOqTf
— Blake Bolden (@SportBlake) March 1, 2021
- Hilary Knight wore special edition Bauer skates that paid tribute to hockey legend Willie O’ree who was the first black player in the NHL
“I don’t even know how to put it in words, I am ecstatic I had the opportunity to wear the skates, amazing design by the guys and big hand in celebrating Black History Month and I hope we raise a lot of money for Black Girl Hockey Club”, Hilary stated.
Feature Image c/o PWHPA Media