From Beijing to the Burgh – The best of women’s hockey is coming to Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Penguins, along with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) announced plans today for ‘Rivalry Rematch’ – a women’s hockey game featuring some of the most elite hockey players from the United States and Canada. The unofficial rematch is set for 4:00 PM on Saturday, March 12 at PPG Paints Arena.
“The Penguins are honored to support the Canadian and USA women’s hockey all stars returning from Beijing and host the Rivalry Rematch at PPG Paints Arena,” said Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse. “Growing the sport of ice hockey at all levels has been at the foundation of our franchise over the past 15 years. There is no doubt these women athletes have influenced and advanced the sport of hockey for girls, not only in Pittsburgh, but across North America. We are thrilled to host some of the best players in the world in front of our fans.”
The 2022 Olympic women’s gold medal hockey game between Team USA and Team Canada in Beijing last month averaged 3.54 million viewers on NBC, surpassing the viewership of any National Hockey League (NHL) game this season. The matchup was the second most watched hockey game in the United States since 2019.
“This rivalry is one of the most storied in all of sports and we’re thrilled that the Pittsburgh Penguins have provided the opportunity for fans to watch these women battle it out, once again,” said Jayna Hefford, PWHPA Operations Consultant. “It’s no secret that the past few years have been difficult for women’s hockey, but these players proved in Beijing that they have the tremendous ability to fight through every challenge and play some of the best hockey the sport has ever seen. This rematch will be a fun experience not only for the players themselves, but for fans, the Pittsburgh community and women’s hockey in general.”
Tickets to Rivalry Rematch are on sale now and available for purchase here. Groups interested in special pricing should contact the Penguins Ticketing Department at 412.642.PENS (7367).
The game will be televised locally on AT&T Sportsnet Pittsburgh and throughout Canada on Sportsnet ONE. AT&T SportsNet’s Steve Mears will serve as the play-by-play voice with special guests and the Penguins’ own Michelle Crechiolo as the rinkside reporter.
The American team is highlighted by PWHPA standouts Kendall Coyne-Schofield, Hilary Knight, Amanda Kessel and Alex Cavallini. Knight holds the all-time record for most Olympic games played by an American female hockey player with 22 and is a four-time medalist, with one gold and three silver medals. The Canadian roster showcases some of the most recent Olympic women’s hockey gold medalists, including Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Nurse, Brianne Jenner and Natalie Spooner. Nurse set an Olympic record this year, recording 18 points (5G, 13A) in a single tournament, while Jenner was named tournament MVP after amassing nine goals, tying the Olympic record. A full roster for both teams can be found below.
Decorated American players Cammie Granato and Emily Matheson will be special guests behind the bench for the game. Granato was one of the first women to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010 and is the current assistant general manager of the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League. Matheson was a member of the 2018 Team USA Olympic gold-medal winning women’s hockey team, and was part of the original iteration of the PWHPA when it launched in 2019. Matt Leitner, a former NCAA and professional hockey player— who has coached Team adidas (Minnesota) of the PWHPA for the last two seasons— will also be behind the American bench.
The Canadian bench will feature distinguished alumni Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Jayna Hefford as guest coaches. Campbell-Pascall is a two-time Olympic champion and the first woman to provide color commentary on Hockey Night in Canada. Hefford – who has four Olympic gold medals – was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018 and currently serves as the PWHPA operations consultant. Laura McIntosh, who was a standout player in the NCAA for Ohio State, and a Clarkson Cup Champion in the CWHL, will round out the Canadian coaching staff. McIntosh has been a coach in the PWHPA for Team Sonnet (Toronto) for the last two seasons.
According to USA Hockey, female hockey is among the fastest-growing youth sports in the United States. During the 2018-19 season, more girls participated in ice hockey than ever before with nearly 83,000 lacing up the skates. Over the past 10 years, girls and women’s hockey participation has grown by 34 percent. The Rivalry Rematch will be a highlight during the Penguins’ month-long celebration of Gender Equality Month in March.
Further details including community initiatives surrounding the game will be announced at a later date.