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Sunday, September 22, 2019

{allcanada} Game on: Women's hockey union takes 1st tangible step

 

TORONTO (AP) -- The reality of what the new women's pro hockey union was launching didn't resonate with Brianne Jenner until she came out of the locker room and saw the crowd - many of them young girls - in the stands of the 700-seat arena.

The leap of faith taken by the Canadian national team forward and more than 200 other top players - a pledged in May to not compete professionally in North America this season while demanding a single economically viable league - took its first tangible step in Toronto over the weekend.

The stars played in the inaugural Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association "Dream Gap Tour" stop, which featured some 80 Canadian players split over four teams for a two-day tournament.

"I think going into today I underestimated how special it was going to be, being on the ice and when you felt the crowd," Jenner said after the team named after her defeated Team (Rebecca) Johnston 4-3 in the opening game.

"I think the cheers that we heard were something bigger than just a hockey game. There was a lot of passion in that rink," she added. "Last spring, when we had the announcement of the (Canadian Women's Hockey League) folding, I don't think too many of us thought we'd have this kind of event put together in the short time that we did. So to see the talent out there, to see the fans supporting us, it was a pretty special day."

Historic, perhaps as well, Jenner added, because it provided players validation that they just might be on to something.

"It's knowing what we're doing is something that's bigger than ourselves," said fellow national team member Kacey Bellamy. "And 50 years from now, we're going to look back and say, 'Wow, we started this.'"

Though it might be premature for anyone to get ahead of themselves, the tour got off to a solid start.

The game began with a ceremonial faceoff featuring Hockey Night in Canada television fixtures Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, and PWHPA executive and Hockey Hall of Famer Jayna Hefford. And it ended with Jenna McParland stuffing in a rebound to break a 3-3 tie with 3:20 remaining.

Just as important was the turnout, both games were played in front of a mostly packed arena with single-game tickets costing $15.

More impressive was the large collection of corporate sponsors the union assembled to not only pay for the players' travel, lodging and food, but also outfit them with jerseys and track suits emblazoned with the PWHPA logo.

Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union, served as the title sponsor, and has also committed to paying for the four Canada-based teams' practice times. Adidas provided the clothes. Budweiser was on board, while also offering up a lounge for fans. The NHL Players' Association provided enough of a commitment to have its logo placed on the upper right chest of the jerseys.

Other sponsors included Secret, Bauer, Tim Hortons and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The "Dream Gap" name of the barn-storming tour represents the missing link for young girls who fear being limited to competing in college or the Olympics while never having a shot to play professionally.

The PWHPA is also made up of U.S. and European players and has already scheduled tour stops in New Hampshire and Chicago next month with more in the planning stages. American players also made their union debuts this weekend by playing games against Boston College and San Jose Sharks alumni.

Hefford, who served as the CWHL interim commissioner when it folded last spring, estimated the PWHPA has already attracted more financial support from sponsors than the Canadian league did in its final year.

"Companies are coming on I believe because they've come to understand the current circumstance of the game where you have a player like Marie-Philip Poulin or a Hilary Knight making $3,000 a year. People didn't understand that," Hefford said.

The players' movement was borne out of the CWHL's demise after a 12-year run in which it out-grew its limitations in relying on volunteers and how much it could pay players under Canadian tax laws. Another issue was players accepting the status quo of little-to-no compensation, with players spending their own money on everything from tape to airport parking for away games.

Sarah Nurse was dismayed by the playing conditions during her one CWHL season after completing her four-year college career at Wisconsin. She noted Badgers players were treated far better than the pros.

"When I came to the CWHL and I saw everybody so satisfied with what they had, it shocked me and it made me sad because it was like, 'You guys, we're so much better than this,'" Nurse said. "So when the CWHL folded it was honestly just the kick in the butt we needed to really put this thing in motion."

What remains unclear is what the women's pro hockey landscape will resemble a year from now, and whether the PWHPA can generate enough momentum to gain the attention of the game's stakeholders, in particular Hockey Canada, USA Hockey and the NHL. Another question is the stability of the five-team, U.S.-based National Women's Hockey League, which is embarking on its fifth season without many of its most high-profile players.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said he doesn't want to be viewed as "a bully" in pushing a women's league out of business. He's also said the NHL doesn't believe in either of the league's business models. Though the NHL provides funds to the NWHL, the league is mostly backed by private investors.

The players are pushing for the NHL to step in because it can provide them stability and the necessary infrastructure - from marketing to man-power - to promote and grow women's hockey.

"It's not about them just doing us a favor," Hefford said of the NHL. "We bring content. We bring diversity and inclusion. We bring some entertainment value that people love."

Though Jenner said every option is on the table, the NWHL isn't considered a realistic option with players having already gone through the disappointment of the CWHL folding.

"It's not about someone coming in and saying, 'I have $20 million. I want to start a pro league, beautiful'" Hefford said. "That's not what these players want. They want something that they know in 10 years, 15 years, 20 years down the road is going to be there, and it's going to continue to grow and it's going to be strong. So to me, you need that infrastructure and we never had that with the CWHL."

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

{allcanada} QMJHL Roundup: Kalmikov leads Eagles in win over Titan

 

BATHURST, N.B. — Brooklyn Kalmikov scored two goals and set up another to lead the Cape Breton Eagles to a 6-3 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Saturday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.

Nathan Larose also scored twice for Cape Breton (2-0-0) and Jarrett Baker and Adam McCormick rounded out the offence.

Yan Aucoin, Riley Kidney and Cole Huckins scored for the Titan (0-2-0).

Eagles goaltender William Grimard made 23 saves. Acadie-Bathurst's Tristan Berube stopped 40 shots.

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OCEANIC 5 DRAKKAR 3

BAIE-COMEAU, Que. — Jacob Kelly scored twice and added an assist as Rimouski sank the Drakkar.

Kelly assisted on Nathan Ouellet's second-period winner for the Oceanic (1-0-1), while Adam Raska and Zachary Massicotte added goals.

Feliks Morozov, Raivis Kristians Ansons and Brandon Frattaroli supplied the offence for Baie-Comeau (1-1-0).

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ISLANDERS 5 MOOSEHEADS 2

CHARLOTTETOWN — Cole Edwards scored twice, including the short-handed winner, as the Islanders out-paced Halifax.

Gaetan Jobin, Thomas Casey and Zachary Beauregard rounded out the attack for Charlottetown (1-0-1).

Jeffrey Burridge and Senna Peeters replied for the Mooseheads (0-2-0).

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SEA DOGS 4 WILDCATS 3

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Joshua Roy's power-play goal early in the third period was the winner as the Sea Dogs held off Moncton.

William Villeneuve, Josh Lawrence and Nicolas Guay also scored for Saint John (2-0-0).

Alexandre Parent, Mika Cyr and Christian Huntley had goals for the Wildcats (1-1-0).

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PHOENIX 6 OLYMPIQUES 4

SHERBROOKE, Que. — Felix Robert struck twice as Sherbrooke dispatched Gatineau.

Patrick Guay scored the winner for the Phoenix (2-0-0) at 7:42 of the third period. Julien Anctil, Bailey Peach and Taro Jentzsch chipped in as well.

Charles-Antoine Roy had a pair of goals for the Olympiques (1-1-0), while Matthew Grouchy and Mathieu Bizier also scored.

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HUSKIES 6 CATARACTES 3

ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. — Alex Beaucage struck twice as the Huskies doubled Shawinigan.

Louis-Filip Cote's short-handed goal was the winner for the Rouyn-Noranda (1-1-0). Vincent Marleau, Samuel Johnson and Alex Labbe also scored for the Huskies.

Vasily Ponomarev, Xavier Cormier and William Veillette provided the offence for the Cataractes (0-1-0).

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SAGUENEENS 5 TIGRES 4 (SO)

VICTORIAVILLE, Que. — Christophe Farmer, Hendrix Lapierre and Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored in the shootout as Chicoutimi edged the Tigres.

Farmer also scored in regulation time for the Sagueneens (1-0-1), while Justin Ducharme, Thomas Belgarde and Louis Crevier also found the back of the night.

Egor Serdyuk had a hat trick for Victoriaville (0-0-2) and Felix Pare added a goal.

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{allcanada} OHL Roundup: Rossi, Clarke lift 67's over Attack in 4-3 shootout win

 

OWEN SOUND, Ont. — Marco Rossi and Graeme Clarke scored in regulation time, and again in the shootout as the Ottawa 67's edged the Owen Sound Attack 4-3 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action.

Austen Keating also scored for the 67's (2-0-0) in regulation time.

Stepan Machacek, Carter Robertson and Daylon Groulx replied for the Attack (0-0-1).

Cedrick Andree made 33 saves in net for Ottawa. Mack Guzda stopped 30 shots for Owen Sound.

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OTTERS 8 BULLDOGS 5

HAMILTON — Chad Yetman struck twice as Erie defeated the Bulldogs.

Hayden Fowler's power-play goal near the midway point of the game was the eventual winner for the Otters (2-0-0). Danial Singer, Emmett Sproule, Daniel D'Amato, Maxim Golod and Jamie Drysdale also scored for the Otters.

Avery Hayes had a pair of goals for Hamilton (1-1-0), while Bradey Johnson, Kade Landry and Arthur Kaliyev also found the back of the net.

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SPITFIRES 9 PETES 6

WINDSOR, Ont. — Jean-Luc Foudy, Tyler Angle and Curtis Douglas had two goals apiece as the Spitfires downed Peterborough.

Wyatt Johnston, Daniel D'Amico and Luke Boka also scored for Windsor (1-0-0).

Mason McTavish had a pair of goals for the Petes (1-1-0), while Nick Robertson, Cameron Butler, Liam Kirk and Tucker Robertson chipped in as well.

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FIREBIRDS 4 SPIRIT 1

SAGINAW, Mich. — Jake Durham had a hat trick to guide Flint past the Spirit.

Brennan Othmann had the other goal for the Firebirds (1-1-0).

Cole Coskey was the lone scorer for Saginaw (0-1-1).

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GREYHOUNDS 6 BATTALION 4

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Jaromir Pytlik scored twice, including the third-period winner, as the Greyhounds beat North Bay.

Zack Trott, Rory Kerins, Ryan Roth and Cole MacKay also found the back of the net for Sault Ste. Marie (2-0-0).

Mason Primeau, Mitchell Russell, Alex Christopoulos and Liam Arnsby responded for the Battalion (0-2-0).

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COLTS 6 KNIGHTS 2

BARRIE, Ont. — Matej Pekar's hat trick powered the Colts past London.

Tyson Foerster had the game-winning goal for Barrie (2-0-0) at 7:50 of the third period. Jason Willms and Luke Bignell also scored for the Colts.

Antonio Stranges and Connor McMichael scored for the Knights (0-2-0).

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{allcanada} WHL Roundup: Kiviniemi scores in OT to lift Broncos over Hitmen

 

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — Joona Kiviniemi scored with only one second remaining in overtime as the Swift Current Broncos edged the Calgary Hitmen 3-2 on Saturday in Western Hockey League action.

Carter Chorney and Etah Regnier found the back of the net to give the Broncos (1-0-0) a 2-1 lead entering the third period.

Egor Zamula forced the extra period when he struck at 19:42 of the third for the Hitmen (0-0-1), who also got a goal from Carson Focht.

Isaac Poulter stopped 34 shots for the win as Carl Stankowsi made 19 saves in a losing cause.

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WHEAT KINGS 4 ICE 2

WINNIPEG — Luka Burzan scored twice in a four-minute span as Brandon (1-1-0) beat the Ice (1-1-0) in the first major junior hockey game in Winnipeg since 1984. Wheat Kings winger Ben McCartney was ejected for charging.

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OIL KINGS 4 REBELS 2

RED DEER, Alta. — Scott Atkinson had a pair of goals and Dylan Myskiw made 27 saves as Edmonton (1-0-0) doubled up the Rebels (0-1-0).

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RAIDERS 1 BLADES 0

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — Boston Bilous stopped 26 shots while Cole Fonstad scored the only goal as the Raiders (1-0-1) blanked Saskatoon (1-1-0).

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THUNDERBIRDS 4 BLAZERS 1

KENT, Wash. — Roddy Ross kicked out 50-of-51 shots and Andrej Kukuca had a goal and an assist as Seattle (1-0-0) downed Kamloops (0-2-0).

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WINTERHAWKS 6 AMERICANS 1

PORTLAND, Ore. — Cross Hanas had two goals and an assist and Clay Hanus added a pair of goals as the Winterhawks (1-0-0) got by Tri-Cty (1-1-0).

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HURRICANES 3 TIGERS 1

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — Bryan Thomson made 32 saves and Noah Boyko's goal late in the second proved to be the difference as Lethbridge (1-0-1) got by the Tigers (1-1-0).

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WARRIORS 5 PATS 3

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Carson Denomie scored twice and Bailey Brkin stopped 43 shots as the Warriors (1-1-0) downed Regina (1-1-0).

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SILVERTIPS 6 ROYALS 0

EVERETT, Wash. — Bryce Kindopp had two goals and two assists and Gage Goncalves tacked on four helpers to back Dustin Wolf's 26-save shutout as the Silvertips (1-1-0) blanked Victoria (0-1-0).

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GIANTS 4 COUGARS 1

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Jackson Shepard had two goals and an assist as Vancouver (2-0-0) beat the Cougars (0-2-0).

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ROCKETS 4 CHIEFS 3 (OT)

KELOWNA, B.C. — Dillon Hamaliuk had two goals and two assists, including the game-winning goal in overtime, as the Rockets (1-0-0) slipped past Spokane (1-0-0).

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