PWHPA to end season with California championship tournament

Team Sonnet defender Katherine Bailey, right, and Team Bauer forward Meghan Grieves reach for the puck during the second period of a hockey game as part of the Secret Dream Gap Tour, Friday, March 4, 2022, in Arlington, Va. The Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association and the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning will co-host a four-game Dream Gap Tour event in February. (Nick Wass/AP)

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association will wrap its season with a championship tournament March 10-12 in California.

The PWHPA, with an 80-player membership that includes stars Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Nurse, Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield, will ice four teams in a four-game tournament in Irvine, El Segundo and Palm Desert.

The NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, as well as the Seattle Kraken’s AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, will co-host the event, the PWHPA said Tuesday in a statement.

The tournament is the ninth scheduled event of this season’s Dream Gap Tour that is intended to showcase women’s hockey talent and help the players establish a sustainable pro league that pays a living wage and offers the competitive supports the male pros get.

The PWHPA rose from the 2019 collapse of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) after a dozen years of operation.

Membership has so far declined to join the Premier Hockey Federation, which is a seven-team league that pays women under a salary cap that the league intends to double to US$1.5 million next season.

The PWHPA will play a Dream Gap Tour stop Friday in Peterborough and St. Catharines, Ont., and Saturday in Barrie and Kitchener, Ont.

A six-game tournament from Feb. 24-26 will be played in Tampa, Fla., in partnership with the NHL’s Lightning.

The PWHPA and Washington Capitals will co-host a four-game tournament March 4-5 at the Capitals’ practice arena.

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