New women’s North American hockey league launched

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New women's North American hockey league launched

Women’s ice hockey started the new year off with the start of a new professional league. On Monday, New York blanked Toronto 4-0 in the Professional Women’s Hockey League’s (PWHL) first game.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King, a leader in the fight for gender equality and social justice, and a PWHL investor dropped the ceremonial first puck in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,537 at Maple Leaf Gardens, which used to be an NHL rink.

There are also teams in Boston, Minnesota, Ottawa, and Montreal in the six-team league. It brings together the best female hockey players from the US and Canada. Many of them have won gold at the Winter Olympics, where their countries’ women have mostly won.

Ella Shelton of New York scored the first goal in the history of the PWHL at 10:43 in the first period. Shelton said, “That sounds pretty strange to hear.” “When I think of it I just think of the group we have and how special it has been.”

The 25-year-old Canadian defender said that players were guessing who would score the historic first goal. She helped her country win the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the 2021 and 2022 world titles.

“I don’t think I was at the top of the list so I think that threw everybody for a loop,” Shelton stated. Four more goals were scored by New York in the third period by Alex Carpenter, Jill Saulnier, and Kayla Vespa. Corinne Schroeder made 29 saves to secure the 1-0 win.

“What I’ll remember is just the atmosphere that came around this first game for women’s hockey,” stated Shelton. “Pretty exciting to see a sold-out crowd and to see little girls that are fans… and hopefully inspire them to want to be a professional player in their future.”

The normal season for the PWHL will end in early May, and then the playoffs will begin.

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