Abby Roque proving to be a force as Minnesota falls to New Hampshire at MSG

Check out all the best moments from the PWHPA's historic Dream Gap Tour from Madison Square Gardens.

Professional women’s hockey took the ice at Madison Square Garden for the first time ever on Sunday in a 4-3 New Hampshire win over Minnesota on the second night of the 2021 Dream Gap Tour.

The squads faced off after a 5-2 win for Minnesota in New Jersey the night prior, the tour’s opener. Abby Roque was a standout performer Saturday with two goals and two assists, while forward Ryleigh Houston added a tally and two assists of her own.

The PWHPA scoring system is a bit different than several other hockey leagues, earning points from team performances in addition to results. Minnesota earned two points for a regulation win and an additional point for putting up five goals on opening night. Four of those tallies came in the third period against New Hampshire’s Katie Burt and on a five-goal run starting in the second frame.

New Hampshire added two standings points of their own with the win. They were either a goal away from an extra point by reaching a five-goal total, or if Brianna Decker had nabbed one more for the hat trick.

Sunday’s showing looked a little bit different on the MSG ice, with a dominant showing from Decker and an impressive night from Haley Skarupa.

But, maybe most of all, Roque had a second consecutive stellar outing, which could be a sign of things to come for Team USA and made it a big night for women’s hockey.

New Hampshire 4, Minnesota 3

Key takeaway: Roque is a force

Roque was one of the most electrifying players in the 2019-20 Rivalry Series and looked tremendous again in New Jersey on Saturday night.

On Sunday, she continued to show why she should be one of the most dangerous players on the ice when Team USA heads to Beijing for the 2022 Olympics.

“I think she’s going to be the best player in the world,” said Hilary Knight. “Plain and simple.”

The Wisconsin grad has been a rising star for some time, and this was a terrific first look for fans who might’ve not seen her before as she vies for an Olympic spot.

She tallied the first goal for Minnesota at MSG, and though they couldn’t complete the comeback, she added an assist on Kendall Coyne Schofield’s third-period tally.

The future for Team USA is super bright, and Roque is at the top of the list of reasons why.

Player of the game: Decker

It’s a night that ends with “y” that Brianna Decker is on the ice, so it’s a night where Brianna Decker dominated.

The Team USA stalwart played Sunday night the way she always does — like one of the best players in the world.

Decker netted two goals with two assists to lead New Hampshire to a stronger offensive showing than the night prior. She opened the scoring, but her best play might have come on her primary assist on Skarupa’s goal where she kept the puck in the offensive end.

Not that anyone doubted she would be, but good for USA fans to see Decker still at the top of her game.

Highlights

Knight and Coyne Schofield had a lot of chemistry together for Minnesota, which should be enough to scare any opponent.

In particular, Coyne Schofield’s third-period goal where Knight found her from behind the net is worth a highlight.

Alex Cavallini picked up the win in net in our first look at her preparing for the Olympics. Maddie Rooney surrendered the four goals opposite her.

What’s next

The next stop on the Dream Gap Tour is in Chicago on March 7 at the United Center, in partnership with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.

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