PWHPA to end season with California championship tournament

LOS ANGELES — The Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association will wrap its season with a championship tournament March 10-12 in California.

The PWHPA, with an 80-player membership that includes stars Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Nurse, Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield, will ice four teams in a four-game tournament in Irvine, El Segundo and Palm Desert.

The NHL's Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, as well as the Seattle Kraken's AHL affiliate, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, will co-host the event, the PWHPA said Tuesday in a statement.

The tournament is the ninth scheduled event of this season's Dream Gap Tour that is intended to showcase women's hockey talent and help the players establish a sustainable pro league that pays a living wage and offers the competitive supports the male pros get.

The PWHPA rose from the 2019 collapse of the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) after a dozen years of operation.

Membership has so far declined to join the Premier Hockey Federation, which is a seven-team league that pays women under a salary cap that the league intends to double to US$1.5 million next season.

The PWHPA will play a Dream Gap Tour stop Friday in Peterborough and St. Catharines, Ont., and Saturday in Barrie and Kitchener, Ont.

A six-game tournament from Feb. 24-26 will be played in Tampa, Fla., in partnership with the NHL's Lightning.

The PWHPA and Washington Capitals will co-host a four-game tournament March 4-5 at the Capitals' practice arena.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press