PWHPA and the Japan Ice Hockey Federation Announces Dream Gap Tour Visit to Tokyo, Japan

PWHPAEvents, News, Press Release

UPDATE (February 24th, 2020): After careful consideration, the Japan Ice Hockey Federation felt compelled to cancel this event in light of the worsening of the coronavirus outbreak in the region. While both the JIHF and PWHPA were excited for the games, the health and safety of the players and supporters is their primary concern at this time. The organizations will be working to reschedule the tournament in the 2020-2021 season.

TOKYO (February 18th, 2020) –  The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) today announced a three game series against the Japanese National Women’s Hockey team to support its mission to promote, and advance a single, viable professional women’s ice hockey league in North America.  This series is part of a bigger “Dream Gap Tour” and will take place at Tokyo’s Shin-Yokohama Skate Center.  

The Tokyo Series will be a week long tour and will feature players from Japan as well as PWHPA members from across North America. This international match up will be a chance for the Japanese National Women’s Hockey team, nicknamed, “Smile Japan” to prepare for the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Championships that will be held at the end of March in Nova Scotia.  

Jayna Hefford, head of operations for the association says, “The PWHPA is excited to be able to help grow the women’s game in Japan, and be a part of the preparation plan for the Japanese national team, leading into the world championships.  This is a great opportunity for hockey fans in Japan to see some of the top players in the world.  We are very proud of this partnership and look forward to working with Japanese federation to continue to build the game for women worldwide.”

The game times are Wednesday, March 4th, 19:00-21:30, Thursday March 5th, 19:00-21:30 and Saturday March 7th, 14:00-16:30 (Japan Standard Time – JST).

The full roster is as follows: 

  • Nicole Hensley 
  • Kimberly Sass  
  • Alex Cavallini 
  • Blake Bolden  
  • Jacquie Greco  
  • Katelyn Gosling  
  • Savannah Harmon  
  • Olivia Zafuto  
  • Ella Matteucci  
  • Amanda Kessel 
  • Haley Skarupa  
  • Reagan Haley  
  • Genevieve Bannon 
  • Dakota Woodworth  
  • Anissa Gamble  
  • Shae Labbe  
  • Catherine Quirion   
  • Gigi Marvin  

Coaches for the series will be: 

  • PJ Michael 
  • Laura McIntosh 
  • Lauren Jukes  

The PWHPA Dream Gap Tour was created to draw attention to the fact that there currently is not a league that consistently showcases the best product of women’s hockey in the world, pays its players a living wage and has the infrastructure to set the game up to succeed. Such a league would represent an important step in closing the dream gap between young boys and girls. A young boy can lace up his skates and imagine himself circling the ice in his favorite professional team’s jersey as the crowd chants his name. He dreams it, because he’s seen it countless times. There is no realistic equivalent for aspiring female hockey players to imagine their futures. 

About Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA):
Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association’s (PWHPA) mission is to promote, advance, and support a single, viable professional women’s ice hockey league in North America that showcases the greatest product of women’s professional ice hockey in the world. The organization aims to provide a united voice to players advocating for the creation of a sustainable professional league. PWHPA is working to accomplish its mission by coordinating training needs and programming opportunities during the 2019-2020 season and collaborating with like-minded organizations to make hockey more inclusive for women today and for future generations. To learn more about PWHPA and the Dream Gap tour visit

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