NEW YORK – Madison Square Garden hosted its first-ever professional women’s hockey game and it was the first-ever professional women’s hockey game to be broadcast live on television.
The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) held game two of their Secret® Dream Gap Tour New York showcase at Madison Square Garden. The Minnesota Region team versus New Hampshire Region team match-up was carried by the NHL Network and Sportsnet.
Four-time Canadian Olympian and PWHPA Operations Consultant Jayna Hefford said the organization never planned to make history this way.
“It was the pinnacle of being able to play in the most famous arena in the world,” Hefford said. “Our goal as a group and our mission with the PWHPA is to advocate for the creation of a professional league that provides the resources and the infrastructure that the best players in the world need.”
Tennis star and founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation Billie Jean King spoke directly to the players before the game.
“As you are about to take the ice on one of the biggest stages in the world, take a moment to look up at the most iconic ceiling in all of sports and entertainment because you’re about to bust through it,” King said.
She has been a PWHPA advisor since the beginning and is a part of the PWHPA’s Stick In The Ground campaign. King can be seen in a promotional video with NHL players, professional women’s hockey players and others asking everyone to “put a stick in the ground in the fight for the future of women’s hockey.”
The PWHPA’s partnership with the New York Rangers made Sunday’s game possible. The first game of the two-game Dream Gap Tour showcase was played at Protec Ponds Training Center.
The games played on February 27 and February 28 had a special point structure to ensure a winner in only two games. Minnesota won 5-2 on Saturday. On Sunday, New Hampshire won 4-3, but it was Minnesota’s additional point for scoring 5 or more goals that won them the weekend.
Win/Loss Point Structure:
- Regulation Win – 2 points
- OT Win – 1.5 points
- Shootout Win – 1 point
- OT/Shootout Loss – 0.5 points
- Regulation Loss – 0 points
Additional Point Structure:
- Hat Trick – 1 point
- Shutout – 1 point
- Short Handed Goal – 1 point
- OT/Shootout Loss – 1 point
- 5+ Goals in 1 Game – 1 point
The Secret® Dream Gap Tour Chicago showcase begins Saturday, March 6 with Minnesota and New Hampshire facing off at 2:00 p.m. in Chicago at the United Center. The PWHPA’s partnership with the Blackhawks made this possible. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports. The showcase continues Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Fifth Third Arena.
The Chicago showcase takes place on the anniversary weekend of the first-ever all-female crew broadcast of an NHL game. It was presented by NBC Sports at the United Center on International Women’s Day 2020.