In this 11th edition, in honour of February being Black History Month and National Girls…
In this sixth edition, we learn more about the PWHL’s opening week, including its first sellout games, the records that have already been broken, and the impressive viewership numbers. We also learn more about Canada’s most recent victories in women’s skiing and how Team Canada is progressing during the 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.
The stories of the week show young girls in sport and physical activity that:
- The interest and passion of fans who want to follow professional women’s hockey are evident based on the success of the attendance, viewership numbers, and buy-in so far. The beginning of the PWHL season can also serve as a great reminder of a tangible option that can be available to pursue for those who want to play hockey professionally.
- Winter sports like skiing and Canadian women athletes are a great pair. There is apparent talent from our Canadian ski athletes and great potential for others to follow in the same footsteps in competitive skiing.
- Game records are meant to be broken, and it is very likely a surreal feeling for young athletes to realize that it is possible to play at a level of competition where their idols and inspirations were once playing.
Photo from PWHL
The PWHL’s Epic Opening Week: Sellouts, Records Broken (x2), and Viewership Numbers
Buckle up because the PWHL’s opening week was a lot, in all the best ways possible!
January 1st, 2024: The PWHL inaugural 2024 season began on New Year’s Day with the first game where PWHL Toronto played against PWHL New York at Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The sold-out and highly anticipated game brought in a crowd of 2,537 fans. The game’s final score was 4-0 for PWHL New York. Later in the week, the PWHL announced that the New Year’s Day inaugural game brought in 2.9 million Canadian viewers through the PWHL’s Canadian streaming platforms, which include CBC, Sportsnet and TSN.
January 2nd, 2024: The second game of the season was between PWHL Ottawa and PWHL Montréal at TD Place in Ottawa, Ontario. The sold-out match brought in 8,318 fans, breaking a record of becoming the highest attendance for a North American women’s professional hockey game. The final score was 3-2 for PWHL Montréal.
January 6th, 2024: PWHL Minnesota took on PWHL Montréal at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. It was announced before the game that the attendance numbers would once again reach a new record high for a North American women’s professional hockey game- the second time in one week! The new highest attendance record during the game was 13,316 fans. The final score was 3-0 for PWHL Minnesota.
Fast and Female’s Program Manager, Maddy Danford, spoke on Edmonton’s 630 CHED Radio about the launch of the PWHL season and her initial thoughts on the league. Click here to listen.
To view the upcoming schedule of PWHL games, click here.
Photo from AP Photo/Marco Trovati, Photo from Abigail Strate (left to right)
A winning week for women’s skiing
Canadian alpine ski racer Valérie Grenier placed first and received a gold medal for the women’s giant slalom competition during the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Almost a year to the day prior, Grenier also won first place in the same competition in January 2023. Grenier received the title with her 2023 victory as “the first Canadian to win the women’s World Cup giant slalom in 49 years.”
Canadian ski jumper Abigail Strate has won three World Cup medals over five days during the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Villach, Austria. Her most recent bronze medal was during the women’s normal hill competition. This victory now places Strate in seventh place amongst the World Cup rankings.
Photo from Hockey Canada
Team Canada sets two new records during IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship
During the 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championships in Zug, Switzerland, Team Canada set two new records during their game against Team Czechia. The final score of the game was 8-1 for Team Canada. The first record achieved during the game was for short-handed goals. Team Canada set a new record of three short-handed goals during their game. The previous record held for short-handed goals in a single game was two, and four teams had simultaneously shared this record, including Sweden (2009), the United States (2009), Germany (2010), and Finland (2011).
The second record achieved during the game was from Team Canada player Caitlin Kraemer after surpassing four-time Olympian and PWHL Montreal player Marie-Philip Poulin as the new Canadian all-time leading U18 goal scorer at the Women’s Worlds tournament. Poulin previously held the record with 13 goals at the tournament. However, during a January 6th game against Germany, Hockey Canada’s Kraemer matched Poulin’s 13 goals. During the January 7th game against Czechia, Kraemer achieved a new high, a 14-goal record.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and it may get featured in Kaitlyn’s next feature.