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The PHF All-Star Weekend A Hit among Players and Fans

J.J. Pavlick


The PHF All-Star weekend in Toronto, Canada was a big win for the league and its players. They hosted clinics for the local youth, they had their ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame where Toronto Six coach Geraldine Heaney has her name immortalized for all. Saroya Tinker held events for Black Girl Hockey Club and seeing the players from the club getting the chance to be on the glass soaking it all in and seeing their role models live was priceless. Every player you speak to about their experience can't hide the joy in their eyes and express fully how much the All-Star game meant to them especially with it being held in Toronto. (Photo Credit: Nathan Fernandes)

This all-star weekend will hopefully set the bar and grow from it year after year. The event was well attended and on ESPN 2 which was a nice step forward for the league. Allowing some of its best players to shine on a huge stage. The player's faces said everything you needed to know about how the weekend went. We saw the first game which was between heated rivals Team USA and Team Canada and what a game it was. Corinne Schroeder (Boston Pride) and Abbie Ives (Connecticut Whale) put on a goalie battle during the 14-minute game. The game was tied at the end of 14 hard-fought minutes and went to a shootout 1 round winner takes all. Rookie sensation Brittany Howard of the Toronto Six won the game for Team Canada. (Photo Credit: Nathan Fernandes)

In Game 2 Team Canada ran into Team World, Loren Gabel got things started for Team Canada with a beaut of an assist from Brittany Howard. The Toronto Six to Boston Pride connection was a running theme throughout the all-star games. Team Canada held the 1-0 lead till the final minutes when Leah Lum (Toronto Six) broke ankles and souls on her breakaway attempt to tie the game with a great feed by Ebba Berglund (Metropolitan Riveters). With the game tied at 1 - 1 and just over a minute to play Denisa Krizova of the Minnesota Whitecap gave team World the victory. Team World would automatically play in the finals as it was the only team to secure a regulation win.

Team World would play Team USA in Game 3 the final game of the Round Robin. It was the Fanni Garat-Gasparics (Metropolitan Riveters) show, she put her home country of Hungary on the map for women's hockey tonight. She netted her first hat trick, and it was at her first PHF all-star game. Her first goal was unassisted as she just beat Ives cleanly, her 2nd goal was assisted by Leah Lum of the Toronto Six and her hat trick goal was assisted by Aneta Teejralova of the Boston Pride and Leah Lum (Toronto Six). Team World would win the game 3 - 2 over the USA and eliminate Team USA from the tournament. Evelina Makinen (Riveters) played amazingly in goal and showed the world why she is one of the best in the world. The US goals came from Taylor Girard (Connecticut Whale) assisted by Jillian Dempsey (Boston Pride) and Jillian Dempsey with assists from Natalie Snodgrass (Minnesota Whitecap) and Kali Flanagan (Boston Pride). (Video Credits: Lori Bolliger, ESPN, PHF)

The Finals saw team World with netminder Evelina Makinen (Metropolitan Riveters) face team Canada with netminder Corinne Schroeder (Boston Pride). The two battled for 16 minutes in the final and it took some amazing shots to beat them. Team World jumped out to an early lead when Fanni Garat-Gasparics (Metropolitan Riveters) netted her 4th goal of the all-star games, which was assisted by Talor Baker (Montreal Force). Brittany Howard the rookie standout beat her teammate Chuli to tie the game at 1-1 off an assist from Loren Gabel (Boston Pride). Ana Kilponen (Metropolitan Riveters) would break the tie less than a minute later with an assist credited to Teresa Vanisova (Boston Pride). Unfortunately for team World, their immaculate run would end after Loren Gabel (Boston Pride) scored the game-tying goal assisted by Brittany Howard (Toronto Six) and Kati Tabin (Toronto Six). The last goal would come from Jade Downie- Landry (Montreal Force) unassisted. The final score would be 3 - 2 for Team Canada. You have to tip your cap to team World's players they were the only team to play 3 straight games in the tournament. Everyone else had one game off due to losses during the round-robin. (Photo Credit: Lori Bolliger)

Let's just say everyone is looking forward to next year's all-star game and what it will bring to build off this season's success. I will post the post-all-star press conference reactions tomorrow. I will keep them in their full audio so you can get everything the players had to say about the event and hear the excitement in their voices.

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