The Professional Women’s Player’s Association (PWHPA) has saved women’s hockey and picked up where the NWHL left off. Over the weekend they reprised their Dream Gap Tour. A traveling player showcase comprised of five teams, each with a corporate sponsor as official team partners. The teams will compete for a rather coveted prize. Something that’s been seemingly unattainable for years…national recognition and an outpouring of commercial partnerships.
Honestly, the sport has gotten much notoriety through its players and the Olympics. However, there needed to be something to fill the void between the Olympic games every four years. As we’ve seen in the past two years, the Dream Gap tour was the best idea yet. Secret deodorant has spearheaded the Dream Gap tour as the leading sponsor of the PWHPA. The first stop on the Tour: Madison Square Garden in New York City. With MSG as the host of the first leg of the tournament, the New York Rangers and Chase served as the presenting sponsor.
“NHL teams are uniquely positioned to elevate women’s hockey to the next level. They bring major brand strength, corporate relationships and access to a fan base. I want to thank the New York Rangers and Bauer Hockey for helping us reach this achievement. We’re even more excited to celebrate this milestone on National Girls and Women in Sports Day.”Jayna Hefford, PWHPA Operations Consultant
Don’t Dream It, Be It
The PWHPA has been actively promoting women’s ice hockey since its inception in 2019. Olympic medalists and NCAA standouts alike have come together yet again to put on a performance guaranteed to impress and inspire. Sunday’s Dream Gap matchup featured Team Adidas (Minnesota) vs. Team Women’s Sports Foundation (New Hampshire).
Sunday’s tilt saw New Hampshire defeat Minnesota 4-3 in regulation. It seems that the Olympic veterans on Team NH haven’t skipped a beat since last year’s Tour. Brianna Decker put on a clinic with two goals and Amanda Kessel netted a goal of her own. Team Adidas’ Abby Roque made an impact with her very first hat trick. As a first-year player, all eyes are on her to perform at an elite level for the remainder of the Tour. Something tells me that won’t be a problem.
In addition to team partnerships, Sunday’s game was aired in primetime on the NHL Network and SportsNet. An opportunity such as this is almost unprecedented. Giving women’s hockey the national spotlight (aside from the Olympics) is imperative to growing the game. As a result, the dream has become a reality.
“This partnership with the New York Rangers, NHL Network and Sportsnet is so much more than that. It provides us with a platform to demonstrate just how exciting women’s hockey can be. The visibility it provides is why we launched the Dream Gap Tour in 2019.”Hilary Knight, Olympic Gold Medalist
The PWHPA has officially partnered with three NHL teams: New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Toronto Maple Leafs. By partnering with the NHL, the large-market media outlets will have no choice but to acknowledge these elite athletes.
Welcome to the Windy City
On Saturday, March 6, the Dream Gap Tour rolls through the Midwest as it heads to the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Home of the Chicago Blackhawks. Team Adidas (Minnesota) will take on Team Women’s Sports Foundation (New Hampshire) at 2 PM CST/3 ET on the NBC Sports Network. Chicago is the only city to host a Dream Gap tour on multiple occasions.
“We are extremely proud for Chicago to be the only U.S. city to host the Secret® Dream Gap Tour games twice since PWHPA’s inception. Chicago is the greatest sports town in the country, and we commend the many athletes who are breaking barriers and inspiring the next generation of young women who take the game and the athletic world to even greater heights.”Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
Additional showcases for the PWHPA Dream Gap Tour will be added in the United States and Canada, and all games and logistics will adhere to local guidelines. Source: PWHPA.
(Featured image: credit PWHPA)