The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association is back for their second season! With showcase stops on the 2021-22 Secret Dream Gap Tour scheduled for November and December this year, we take a look ahead at Calgary’s Team Scotiabank upcoming campaign. SB Nation’s Michelle Joy of The Ice Garden Women’s Hockey Page (@TheIceGarden on Twitter) also stopped by to give her insights on our queries for Calgary this year. But before we get to our chat with Michelle, let’s check out the specifics!
PLAYERS AND PERSONNEL:
General Manager: Becky McGee
Assistant General Manager: Shonn Hilliard
Head Coach: Dean Seymour
Assistant Coaches: Katie Greenway, Brian Purdy
Staff: Charley Hasselaar, Joe Fisher
Team Scotiabank only won a single game of Round Robin play at the Secret Dream Gap Tour in Calgary last season (find our coverage here ), finishing 1-3-0 and losing out on the chance to host the finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome. They were doubled up in goals, scoring 10 but allowing 20 as they got blown out in back to back in their first two games against Montreal and Toronto before pulling out their only W in the final round Round Robin contest. There were some individual standouts, including a dominant run from Sarah Potomak who had five goals in four games giving her the final goals lead for the Round Robin portion of the tournament.
Team Scotiabank started three different netminders last season, but only Marlene Boisonnault will return in the blue paint. Boisonnault started only one game in the Calgary showcase and allowed six goals, so she’ll look to rebound. Kelsey Roberts from U of C will also strap on the pads for the squad.
CHATTING WITH THE ICE GARDEN
Matchsticks & Gasoline: What can Team Scotiabank take away from their disappointing performance as the host team in the Calgary showcase?
The Ice Garden: I’d attribute a lot of last season’s issues to the fact that Calgary could not practice together frequently due to COVID protocols whereas Montreal and Toronto had markedly more time together. That said, better defending and goaltending would help give up less goals (they allowed 20 last season), which they didn’t exactly add too. A top defender in Halli Krzyzaniak won’t be there and they didn’t add any goaltending. Hopefully with more practice time they’ll be more coherent, especially since they’re bringing back largely the same forwards.
Matchsticks & Gasoline: Can we expect Sarah Potomak to maintain her high scoring pace?
The Ice Garden: I hope so! She was outstanding at Minnesota, and typically, a player of her level will only excel here. She’s still probably the one to watch for Calgary.
Matchsticks & Gasoline: Of the returning names on the Team Scotiabank roster, what can we expect long-standing veterans like Laura Dostaler or Brigitte Lacquette to provide the team?
The Ice Garden: The toughest part of the PWHPA is lack of traditional schedule. You’re not playing every weekend, practices might be different schedule too. I’d almost equate it to your freshman year of college after the rigid structure of high school. Veteran players can help keep a team together when they may not have a ton of in-game experience together. Lacquette was also a mainstay on the National Team for so long that she brings a whole different level of experience as well. She’s the type of players I’d imagine a coach could lean with the younger players.
The second stop on the Dream Gap Tour is the Kipling Showcase set for Toronto on December 18th and 19th, but we kick things off this weekend with the Tim Horton’s Showcase. Check back in with Matchsticks & Gasoline for all the results on this weekend’s first PWHPA showcase from Truro, Nova Scotia to see how Team Scotiabank fares!