NEW YORK: The Professional Womens Hockey Players Association will play a game on its Dream Gap Tour at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28.
It will be the first professional womens hockey game at the storied arena in New York City.
This is a major milestone for womens hockey and young girls who aspire to play professional hockey but dont have the option to make it a career today, said Hockey Hall of Famer Jayna Hefford, an operations consultant for the PWHPA.
The NHLs New York Rangers are hosting the game. The team is scheduled to play at Buffalo on Feb. 28.
The PWHPAs return to the ice comes on the heels of the National Womens Hockey League holding a brief season and playoffs in a quarantined bubble in Lake Placid. Two of the NWHL’s six teams withdrew from the tournament, with the Metropolitan Riveters citing several coronavirus cases.
U.S. and Canadian national team players are among the roughly 125 members of the PWHPA, which has banded together in the hopes of forcing the creation of a new, sustainable pro league that pays a players a living wage. The game at MSG comes 13 months after PWHPA players took part in NHL All-Star Weekend.
Rangers president John Davidson said the team is excited to play even a small role in helping elevate visibility for the womens game.
The talent level of womens hockey is simply incredible,” Davidson said. We all love this sport so much and any opportunity the Rangers have to participate in its advancement is something we want to be a part of. Its a win for everyone involved.
The game in New York is set to be the first stop on the second Dream Gap Tour, with others around the U.S. and Canada to be determined. The announcement was made on National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Investing in and advancing womens hockey strengthens the game overall and creates a range of professional opportunities for women as coaches, front office executives and athletes, said Mary-Kay Messier, Bauer Hockey vice president of global marketing and an adviser to the PHWPA.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports