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A Week of Historic Firsts: The PWHL is Finally Here

Courtesy of @thepwhlofficial on IG

On New Year’s Day, the puck was dropped on the first game of the Professional Women’s Hockey League’s first game ever and since then, nothing but history has been made. The PWHL’s first week was beyond successful and set the precedent for what fans can expect for the rest of the inaugural season.

She Shoots, She Scores!

Every goal scored in the PWHL’s first week was one for the history books either for each individual franchise or the league as a whole. In the inaugural contest, New York’s Ella Shelton scored the first goal ever in the PWHL and the first for the New York franchise. Hayley Scamurra (OTT) and Claire Dalton (MTL) each became the first goal scorers for their respective teams as well. Fittingly, it was Taylor Heise, the PWHL’s first overall pick, who scored the first goal in Minnesota’s franchise history. Theresa Schafzahl became the first goal scorer for PWHL Boston and Natalie Spooner found the back of the net to record the first tally in Toronto’s franchise history. Grace Zumwinkle didn’t just get one, she picked up three goals in Courtesy of @thepwhlofficial on IG Minnesota’s home opener to record the first ever hat trick in PWHL history!

“No One Watches Women’s Sports”

The PWHL’s first week was a rough one for the people who think “no one watches women’s sports” because the numbers don’t lie. The inaugural game between New York and Toronto was watched by an impressive 2.9 million viewers across three different national Canadian networks. Every game that has been broadcast on YouTube so far for free has been watched by over 100 thousand viewers! But it wasn’t just the viewership that was stunning. The in-person attendance for PWHL games in the first week brought records multiple times. When Ottawa hosted Montreal for their home opener, 8,318 people attended the game which set the highest attendance ever for a professional women’s hockey game. But not for long because when Minnesota hosted Montreal just four days later, the crowd in attendance was a record-breaking 13,316! The crowds and viewership are only bound to go up from here which is very promising for the new league.

Courtesy of @thepwhlofficial on IG

Home is (Not) Where the Heart Is

While usually there is a home ice advantage in the sport of hockey, that didn’t seem to be the case during the PWHL’s first week as road teams won all but one game! Minnesota was the only team to win their home opener as the visitors dominated. Montreal also recorded the first ever overtime win in league history by defeating Ottawa in their home opener. Plus the inaugural contest saw New York goaltender Corinne Schroeder stop all 29 shots faced to mark the first shutout in PWHL history!

The PWHL had an incredibly exciting first week full of memories and moments fans and athletes alike will remember for many years to come. The good thing is, this is just the beginning and the league isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Who knows the next historic first will be in the PWHL, but we can’t wait to see what happens next!

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