PWHPA Dream Gap Tour hits Madison Square Garden ice for historic women’s game

Professional women's hockey will be hitting the ice for the first time at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The game is part of the Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association (PWHPA) Dream Gap Tour's second season and is hosted by the New York Rangers, a partner of the league. 

The matchup features the PWHPA's two hubs of New Hampshire and Minnesota. The game will be broadcasted on NHL Network in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada at 7 p.m. ET. 

The tour represents the players' association's ongoing efforts to bring visibility to women's hockey. The first game of the New York showcase was played at Protec Ponds Training Centre in Somerset, New Jersey.

Madison Square Garden ice will host a Professional Women's Hockey Players Association game on Sunday night. (Photo: Pool photo, USA TODAY Sports)

“We’re looking forward to taking the ice at Madison Square Garden for the first time in women’s pro hockey history,” said three-time Olympian Hilary Knight in a PWHPA statement. “This partnership with the New York Rangers, NHL Network and Sportsnet is so much more than that. It provides us with a platform to demonstrate just how exciting women’s hockey can be. The visibility it provides is why we launched the Dream Gap Tour in 2019.”

TONIGHT professional women’s hockey hits New York as part of the @PWHPA’s Dream Gap Tour.

Catch the action on @NHLNetwork & @Sportsnet at 7p ET. pic.twitter.com/4gMRoYITE1

Sunday's broadcast on NHL Network will be called by NBC Sports play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert and women's hockey star Blake Bolden. MSG Network reporter Michelle Gingras will be rink-side. 

“NHL Network is excited for the opportunity to showcase this important game in the continued growth of women’s hockey,” said Eric Eisenberg, NHL Network VP of Programming and Operations. “Working alongside NBC Sports and MSG Network, we’re committed to produce a high-quality broadcast on what promises to be a memorable night featuring some of the best women’s hockey players in the world.”

MSG Network will re-air the game on Monday, March 1, at 8 p.m. ET. to celebrate the start of Gender Equality Month. 

The PWHPA is comprised of 125 of the world's top players, founded in May 2019 to "advance equity and opportunity in women's professional hockey." The association has NHL partnerships with the Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The next stop on the tour will be in Chicago.

Instead of collaborating with the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), players emphasized the need to form a more sustainable league backed by the NHL where players can earn livable wages, have access to better resources and health benefits. 

The game at MSG follows the NWHL's attempt to complete a two-week season and playoffs at Lake Placid, New York, an attempt that was sidelined after two of the six teams were unable to continue due to positive COIVD-19 tests. The semifinals and championship game was scheduled to be broadcasted on NBC Sports Network. 

The Associated contributed to this story.

Contact Analis Bailey at [email protected] or on Twitter @analisbailey.

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