Nova Scotia to host first stop of PWHPA’s 2021-22 Secret Dream Gap tour

Team Bauer's Erin Ambrose (23) and Alexandra Labelle (13) battle with Team Sonnet forward Natalie Spooner (24) during Professional Women's Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) Secret Dream Gap Tour action at the Seven Chiefs Arena on the Tsuut'ina Nation near Calgary, Alta. in this Thursday, May 27, 2021 handout photo. (Dave Holland/PWHPA)

The first stop of the Secret Dream Gap tour’s 2021-22 season will take place in Truro, Nova Scotia, the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) announced Thursday.

The showcase will take place from Nov. 12-13 at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, current home of the Truro Junior A Bearcats, and will mark the first professional women’s hockey game to be hosted in Atlantic Canada.

“We are so excited to welcome the PWHPA Dream Gap Tour to our province and provide this platform for women’s hockey,” Amy Walsh, the executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia, said in a statement. “This is an incredible opportunity for Nova Scotians to watch some of the best players in the world play the sport they love. We believe this showcase will inspire girls in our province to chase their own hockey dreams because if you can see her, you can be her.”

Four teams will compete in the event, Toronto (Team Sonnet), Calgary (Team Scotiabank), Montreal (sponsor TBA) and the PWHPA’s newest hub, Boston (sponsor TBA).

Each team will play one game on the first day of competition, with the winners from each moving on to play in the championship game the following day. The losers will face off in a consolation game. Cash prizes and season ranking points will be up for grabs.

The event will not only be the first time professional women’s hockey has been hosted in Atlantic Canada, but it will be the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that Canadian and American women’s teams will compete in the new showcase.

During the pandemic-altered 2020-21 season, Minnesota (Team Adidas) and New Hampshire (Team Women’s Sports Foundation) competed in New York, Chicago and St. Louis. The Canadian teams, Calgary (Team Scotiabank), Toronto (Team Sonnet) and Montreal (Team Bauer), faced off in a week-long event in Calgary. Minnesota and Montreal were respectively crowned American and Canadian Secret Cup Champions.

In addition to competition this year, players from the four teams will take part in skills clinics and speaking engagements with local girl’s hockey players and organizations.

“I am thrilled that the PWHPA is finally making its way to Atlantic Canada,” Jayna Hefford, the PWHPA’s operations consultant, said in a statement. “The opportunity to expand our reach and make an impact in local communities across North America is exciting and we’re thankful for everyone who’s been involved in making this event come to fruition. I know the players are looking forward to playing in Nova Scotia and continuing the momentum from last season.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.