Unifor Showcase: Toronto • Weekend Recap

PWHPAEvents, News

The Dream Gap Tour is off to a spectacular start after selling out seating across all four games with over 1,100 attendees during game 2 of Toronto’s Unifor Women’s Hockey Showcase! Westwood Arena was bursting at the seams as fans gathered to watch four teams of the PWHPA face-off. 

40 media members attended throughout the weekend representing top-tier outlets including, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, TSN, Sportsnet and CBC Sports.

GAME 1: Team Johnston vs Team Jenner

Team Johnston and Team Jenner battled in the first game, after welcoming Unifor’s Naureen Rizvi, Gord Currie, and Terry Farrell, along with the PWHPA Operations Consultant, Jayna Hefford, and Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, and Tara Sloan, from Rogers Hometown Hockey, to drop the puck. The first ever PWHPA goal came off the stick of Nicole Kosta, giving Team Jenner the lead, but Brigette Lacquette would tie the game before the end of the first period. The second saw Jenna McParland re-take the lead, but Team Johnston would once again answer right back with Erica Kromm and Kaitlin Willoughby lighting the lamp. Team Jenner would kick it into high-gear as Katelyn Rae and McParland pushed their team to the win. 

Tim Hortons 3 Stars of the Game:
1. Jenna McParland (Team Jenner)
2. Kacey Bellamy (Team Johnston)
3. Laura Fortino (Team Jenner)


Budweiser Goal of the Game:
Kaitlin Willoughby (Team Johnston)



GAME 2: Team Poulin vs Team Knox

We welcomed former Leafs GM, Brian Burke and the NHLPA’s Maria Dennis to centre ice for the second game’s ceremonial face-off between Team Poulin and Team Knox. This game had the most attendees hitting over 1,100. The game stayed tight thanks to a strong performance from Team Knox’s Amanda Makela, but Melodie Daoust would break through for Team Poulin before the end of the opening frame. Carolyne Prevost would answer back in the second, and it took until the final minutes of the game for Team Poulin to pull ahead and take the win thanks to Ann-Sophie Bettez.  

Tim Hortons 3 Stars of the Game:
1. Ann-Sophie Bettez (Team Poulin)
2. Amanda Makela (Team Knox)
3. Erin Ambrose (Team Poulin)


Budweiser Goal of the Game:
Carolyne Prevost (Team Knox)



With the first day of the Dream Gap Tour under wraps, Budweiser hosted players, staff and sponsors at the Rec Room for a VIP Kick Off Party. The competition never stopped as players battled off against each other in the arcade game area. We’d like to thank both Budweiser and the Rec Room for hosting PWHPA and putting on a great celebration kick off.

GAME 3: Team Johnston vs Team Knox

PWHPA members Shannon Szabados and Brianna Decker, along with Fran Ryder, of the OWHA, were up early on the second day to meet the captains of Team Johnston and Team Knox at centre ice for the ceremonial puck drop. The early call time did not hinder this game, as fans were taken on a wild ride that began with the teams trading goals in the first – Josiane Pozzebon for Team Knox, and Blayre Turnbull for Team Johnston. Hanna Bunton and Rebecca Johnston would quickly add to their team’s total in the second frame, but Team Knox answered back. Goals from Natalie Spooner, Brittany Howard, and Loren Gabel gave them the lead going into the third period. Prevost would add to her weekend total, widening Team Knox’s lead, but Turnbull had another plan. She brought Team Johnston within one, and then completed the hat trick with a stunning buzzer beater to tie the game. Overtime would solve nothing, and in the shootout Johnston would score and her goalie Marlene Boissonault stopped all shots to secure the win.

Tim Hortons 3 Stars of the Game:
1. Blayre Turnbull (Team Johnston)
2. Rebecca Johnston (Team Johnston)
3. Loren Gabel (Team Knox)


Budweiser Goal of the Game:
Natalie Spooner (Team Knox)



GAME 4: Team Poulin vs Team Jenner

Team Canada alumni Vicky Sunohara, and Team Poulin sponsor Crissy Degen and her son, Jaxson Dietrich, dropped the puck on the final game of the weekend against Team Jenner. Daoust and Laura Stacey gave Team Poulin the early lead after the opening frame. Rae would cut it in half, but Stacey would get the two-goal lead back with her second marker of the game. In the third, Daoust also potted her second of the game, and Emily Clark would finish off Team Jenner, giving Team Poulin the 5-1 win. 

Tim Hortons 3 Stars of the Game:
1. Melodie Daoust (Team Poulin)
2. Marie-Philip Poulin (Team Poulin)
3. Megan Bozek (Team Jenner)


Budweiser Goal of the Game:
Laura Stacey (Team Poulin)



Thank you to every fan in the stands and at home, every volunteer, the coaching, medical, training and equipment staff, and the staff at Westwood Arena for making this weekend special.

Special thanks to Tessa Bonhomme, Gerry Dee and Vicky Sunohara for guest coaching over the weekend.

A huge thank you to our partners who made this weekend possible: Unifor, Adidas, NHLPA, Budweiser, Secret, Bauer, Toronto Maple Leafs, Biosteel and Tim Hortons. A big thanks to our local supporters and media partners: C&C Events, Graham Alarm Monitoring, Grote Industries, OWHA, CBC Sports, Globe & Mail, IDS Media and Sports Marketing All Stars.

Don’t forget, if you missed the game or want to watch it again, games are viewable on our channel at YouTube.com/PWHPA.

Video courtesy of: THE DREAM GAP