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In this 12th edition, we learn more about PWHL Toronto’s historic “Battle on Bay Street” game, including Kaitlyn’s game highlights and wishes for hopefully future PWHL games hosted at Scotiabank Arena again. We also learn about PWHL hockey player Sarah Nurse’s new initiative, called “Nursey Night,” and the women & girls mentor/mentee program created by Coach New Brunswick.

The stories of the week show young girls in sport and physical activity that:

     1. A sold-out women’s hockey game at Scotiabank Arena further reinforces that Toronto is at a place in the sports industry where the fan demand is evident for women’s hockey and women’s sports. Fans are eager to put their money into women’s hockey, between games, merchandise, etc. 

     2. An initiative like “Nursey Night” will no doubt help positively impact more Black girls and women playing hockey. With participants Canada-wide being able to apply and the opportunity to hang out with Sarah Nurse privately, the initiative has considered limiting factors that may be preventing girls from being exposed to hockey and is working to combat those limitations.

     3. The opportunity for sports avenues like coaching to be made more available for girls and women is impactful. Beyond that, a smaller sports market such as New Brunswick opens up the potential for Canada to advance as a whole for more coaching positions held by Canadian women.   

Photos from Kaitlyn Lehbert

PWHL Toronto’s “Battle on Bay Street” marks historic night at Scotiabank Arena

This past Friday, PWHL Toronto hosted the “Battle on Bay Street” against PWHL Montréal at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario. It was hosted at an alternative “home” arena other than its regular home arena of the 2024 season, Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Some highlights of the game included:

  • PWHL Toronto took the win with a 3-0 final score.
  • The 19,825 fans in attendance marked a new record-high number for professional women’s hockey. 
  • Canadian professional basketball player, WNBA player, and Canada women’s basketball national team member Kia Nurse was in attendance to do the puck drop.
  • The “Battle on Bay Street” game-specific merchandise available, including t-shirts in English and French, jerseys, coffee mugs, and hockey pucks.
  • The GO train was full of PWHL fans and women’s hockey fans, all heading in for the game.
  • Lots of girls’ hockey teams in the arena watching the game.
  • The multiple merchandise stands with substantial stock set up around the arena. 
  • The mention of Barbie being a PWHL sponsor was followed by a Barbie audience dance cam shown on the jumbotron.
  • The cheers were so loud in the arena that PWHL Toronto coaches kept getting notifications from their watches that the environment was “too loud.”
  • The rally towels were given out to all fans.
  • The quality of the on-ice projection during the beginning of the game, see the video here.
  • The first “Nursey Night” took place during the game, and there was a $50,000 donation from Rogers made out to Black Girl Hockey Club Canada (read more about “Nursey Night” in the following story below).
  • Fans had the option to pre-purchase and pick up their merchandise at the arena.

Wishes for upcoming games:

  • Merchandise being sold in retail stores (for example, SportChek, Pro Hockey Life, Sporting Life, Real Sports Apparel, Peace Collective, etc.). There were about three physical stores during the five-minute walk from Union Station into Scotiabank Arena, where I felt it would have been such a convenient location to have PWHL merchandise available. Additionally, it serves as a great exposure opportunity for sports fans not familiar with the PWHL or for fans who haven’t been able to have access to a game yet to have a chance to buy merchandise in person.
  • With the 19,825 fans in attendance and the amazing atmosphere for the game, it would have been a perfect opportunity to introduce a new cheer/chant, teach a new clap, or do something creative with the rally towels given out. Having more than one cheer/chant can help contribute to a growing brand identity during PWHL Toronto’s first season.
  • There were leftover NHL 2024 Toronto All-Star drink cups and popcorn buckets to buy at the concessions stand. Having PWHL-branded drink cups and popcorn buckets available could have been a popular selection for fans attending the game.
  • The influx of 19,000+ fans made for a backed-up and slower process to get into the arena at specific points, which, to a certain extent, is natural. One Scotiabank Arena employee near the Union Station doors leading into the arena was trying her best (with no megaphone or sign) to direct the crowd to go left or right, depending on their Gate number. Granted, part of the busy crowd in that area included people who were walking in the opposite direction, heading into Union Station, but this would be a common occurrence for Scotiabank Arena. Given how often men’s basketball and men’s hockey games occur at Scotiabank, I was surprised there weren’t better logistics to help the employees direct the crowd more efficiently.

Photo from Black Girl Hockey Club Canada

Sarah Nurse & Black Girl Hockey Club Canada launch “Nursey Night” initiative

Canadian professional hockey player, PWHL Toronto player, and Canada women’s hockey national team member Sarah Nurse has started “Nursey Night,” an initiative to introduce girls from Black Girl Hockey Club Canada to hockey and help grow their participation in the sport. A select number of girls will be able to attend a PWHL Toronto home or away game and hang out with Nurse post-game. More information and the sign-up can be viewed here.

Photo from Coach NB

Coach New Brunswick launches “Women and Girls Mentorship Program”

Coach New Brunswick’s applications for their “Women and Girls Mentorship Program” are currently open. Learn more about the coaching program and mentee/mentor application process here. The deadline to apply is February 29, 2024.


Kaitlyn’s Sport Stories Recap
 are written by Kaitlyn Lehbert, a passionate and driven sport advocate for girls and women. Kaitlyn holds her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from Brock University. Learn more about Kaitlyn by clicking here!


Have a sport story you want to share? Contact and it may get featured in Kaitlyn’s next feature.