Toronto Six’s Saroya Tinker on winning Isobel Cup, growth of women’s hockey

Saroya Tinker of the Toronto Six of the Premier Hockey Federation listens to music while prepping her stick before a home game against the Connecticut Whale, at Canlan Sports at York University in Toronto, on Saturday, January 21, 2023. (Tijana Martin/CP Photo)

On Sunday night in Mullett Arena, the Toronto Six defeated the Minnesota Whitecaps in a 4-3 overtime thriller to win the franchise’s first Isobel Cup.

For Six blueliner Saroya Tinker, it was a joyful moment for her club and teammates, but also for reasons off the ice, including her efforts to increase diversity in hockey.

On Friday, Tinker shared her thoughts on winning the PHF championship and the growth of women’s hockey in an interview on The Jeff Marek Show.

“We definitely had some time to celebrate,” said Tinker, the third-year pro. “We’re all just getting back into town, but definitely happy to come back into Toronto as champions.”

The shutdown defender had three points in 24 games this season, aiding the league’s second-best defence in terms of goals against.

Tinker is an advocate for inclusivity in hockey and has witnessed the rapid growth of the league, but even she was surprised about the support for her and the team after the game.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” said Tinker about the response. “As soon as we ended that game, I think all of us were pretty surprised at the amount of people that were texting us and giving us shoutouts as we didn’t realize how many people actually cared, as terrible as that may sound.

“We really want that support on the woman’s side of the game, and we’re seeing that especially now bringing a cup home.”

As much as a Toronto-market team winning the championship boosts the prestige of the PHF and women’s hockey in general, Tinker’s work off the ice as the executive director of the Black Girl Hockey club has been instrumental.

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