The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association wrapped up on the weekend, with the final stop on the 2021-22 Secret Dream Gap Tour.
After the PWPHA hosting weekend showcase tournaments in Truro, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Ontario and Ottawa, Ontario, the PWHPA’s second-last stop was the Washington Capitals Showcase as the association swapped the Canadian national capital for the American one. As named, the tourney was hosted in conjunction with the NHL’s Washington Capitals as part of a few other events in the city to help spread awareness for women’s hockey.
That was where Calgary’s Team Scotiabank returned to tournament action after a bye in the previous showcase, and where their season took a slight skid. After a streak of five straight wins, it was there they suffered the first loss of the season in a 10-2 drubbing at the hands of Toronto’s Team Sonnet in that tourney’s final. The good news remained that, because of only suffering that single loss, Calgary only need a single point third-place finish last weekend to take home the Secret Cup as overall standings champion!
Montreal’s Team Harvey’s was hosting the Quartexx Showcase, and they drew in as Team Scotiabank’s first opponent!
Team Harvey’s (MTL) 5 vs Team Scotiabank (CAL) 2
Calgary came flying out of the gate, grabbing an early first period lead on goals from Kaitlyn Willoughby and Hannah Bunton. But the host squad buckled down after that, and ran Team Scotiabank outta the rink powered by a Jessie Eldridge hat-trick. Hannah Bunton was named Third Star of the Game in the losing effort. Calgary would move on to the consolation bracket, and need a win to grab the Secret Cup Championship.
Team Scotiabank (CAL) 6 vs Team Bauer (BOS) 5
Calgary made a goaltending change, giving Marlene Boissonnault the start in game two swapping out for Kelsey Roberts. Boston’s Team Bauer was the opponent, falling to the consolation bracket after losing to Minnesota’s Team Adidas. Boston was actually coming in winless on the season, and looked to make a statement by spoiling Calgary’s Championship Chase.
Team Bauer got after that idea early (only 20 seconds after the opening face-off), and opened the scoring off a Bailey Larson unassisted goal.
A powerplay marker at six minutes in by Team Scotiabank would change that, as Sarah Pelkey would score to tie things at ones.
That tie got broken in the middle frame. On loan from Team Sonnet, Erica Gabel made it 2-1 with 13:49 left in the second period. Gabel scored one in the previously mentioned 10-2 beat down last time she met Team Scotiabank.
Calgary would fire back again, and this time take their first lead of the contest. A pair of goals from Alexandra Poznikoff and one from Kaitlyn Willoughby made it 4-2 at the end of the second stanza. Poznikoff’s first tally was a thing of beauty, and was named Budweiser Goal of the Game!
The @BudweiserCanada Goal of the Game belongs to @AlexPoznikoff!— PWHPA (@PWHPA) April 3, 2022
Le but du match @BudweiserCanada a été compté par Alexandra Poznikoff!@QuartexxHockey | @SecretDeodorant | #SDGT pic.twitter.com/UxvIcxheIH
The final twenty minutes saw the intensity ratchet up even further! Team Bauer rallied early off another Boston goal from Larson, and one from Spurling, and teams were tied at four. Poznikoff completed her hat trick to bring Calgary the 5-4 lead, but with just under four minutes left Boston responded again. A Meghan Turner goal made it a 5-5 tie in the ten-goal gong show.
High drama was on, but a hero emerged for Team Scotiabank in the final minute as Rhianna Kurio stepped up:
Kurio’s heroics earned her third star of the game, while Alexandra Poznikoff’s offensive showcase earned her first star.
Here’s how the final standings shook down, with last weekend’s third place finish after winning the consolation bracket becoming the all-important single point needed to capture the season title.
It was an exciting and action packed Secret Dream Gap Tour this year, and we at Matchsticks & Gasoline congratulate Team Scotiabank on their awesome performance. Check back with M&G down the line, as we cover more exciting women’s hockey action in Calgary!