TORONTO (August 3, 2021) – The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association today announced plans for the upcoming 2021-2022 season, which includes details surrounding training hubs, player registration, as well as the third iteration of the Dream Gap Tour. After a challenging 2020-2021 season due to COVID-19 restrictions, the PWHPA is looking to build momentum, increase on-ice opportunities for players and continue its mission of creating a professional league where players – and the game – are set up to succeed through infrastructure, resources and financial compensation, now and for years to come.
The 2021-2022 player registration period has already begun, with several key players from last season already committed, including: Olympic gold and silver medalists Laura Fortino and Geneviève Lacasse; National Team players Annie Pankowski, Ann-Sophie Bettez and Erica Howe; and impressive rookies Loren Gabel and Sarah Potomak. Players who have played at least one year at the collegiate level, and who share the PWHPA’s mission, can register online now.
There will once again be five training hubs for the upcoming season, with Minnesota, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal all set to return. Boston will replace New Hampshire as the fifth PWHPA training location.
“I’m really looking forward to another great opportunity this year playing with the PWHPA and Team Sonnet,” said Laura Fortino, who is based out of the Toronto region. “I am excited to continue building off the incredible growth that has been generated thus far as an association and to continue inspiring the next generation of female hockey players. It is imperative that as a group we continue pushing to create a sustainable league.”
Sophia Shaver, who will return to the PWHPA’s Minnesota region for a third season added, “I’m so excited to be playing in another season with the PWHPA. Especially in an Olympic year when many national team players won’t be able to represent the PWHPA on the ice, I think it’s more important than ever to show young girls that you don’t have to be on a National Team member to play hockey after college. Building a path for those young girls to become professional hockey players is something I’m looking forward to continuing this year.”
The upcoming season will feature the latest installment of the Dream Gap Tour, which will once again allow players to compete for prize pots and event championships. The opportunity for cross-border games and events will continue to be assessed as COVID-19 restrictions ease.
“The PWPHA is looking forward to maintaining the momentum created coming out of the 2021 season, and our Secret Dream Gap Tour success,” said PWHPA Operations Consultant Jayna Hefford. “Last season presented challenges we could have never imagined, but our members continued to use their collective voice to advance the conversation around the future of professional women’s hockey. We will continue to provide professional training environments, opportunities to compete at the highest level and bring back a new Dream Gap Tour. I am extremely excited to see our members back on the ice soon for our third season.”
Along with Dream Gap Tour stops, the 2021-2022 PWHPA season will feature inter-region games, exhibition play against local teams, as well as the possibility for additional unique opportunities, such as overseas play.
- Although a large number of PWHPA players have been centralized for the upcoming Olympic cycle, many will remain involved as supporting members
- The PWHPA will continue to adhere to local and federal COVID-19 guidelines in order to ensure the safety of all players and staff
- Player registration will remain open until September—interested players can register here
- Tryouts to determine active rosters for each region will take place after registration closes in September 2021
About Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA)
The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association’s (PWHPA) mission is to promote, advance and support a single, viable professional women’s ice hockey league in North America that showcases the greatest product of women’s professional ice hockey in the world. The organization aims to prove a united voice to players advocating for the creation of a sustainable professional league. Comprised of the world’s best female hockey players including 38 Olympians, 60+ members of Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, and National Champions for Canada, USA, Finland and Russia. PWHPA is working to accomplish its mission by coordinating training needs and programming opportunities during the 2021-2022 season and collaborating with like-minded organizations to make hockey more inclusive for women today and for future generations. To learn more about PWHPA and the Dream Gap tour visit www.pwhpa.com.
PWHPA Media Consultant