Hello! Hamilton here! So yesterday was Day 1 of the Magellan Corp. Women’s Hockey Showcase aka Dream Gap Tour Chicago. I was lucky enough to attend both games last night as well as the Championship game today. Now before I get into gameplay and results, I want to talk about the atmosphere of this event.
I’ve been to quite a few games in my day and I’m averaging watching 2 hockey games a day (my blog is my life at this point) but I don’t think I have ever seen such intense games of hockey before this event. You can tell in every stride, in every shift, that these women are fighting for something bigger than themselves. They are battling for the chance to build a league that is going to change professional women’s hockey forever. Every single one of these players is willing to sacrifice everything to make this dream come true. They are some of the leaders of our generation.
And even if you didn’t know that, if you had no idea what #ForTheGame meant, the energy this group of women has on the ice is contagious and it catches fire throughout the entire Fifth Third Arena here on Chicago’s West Side. You begin to feel apart of something big.
The first game had barely even begun when the whole building was breathing in something new and inspiring. Hope.
Okay, I’ll stop waxing poetry about it (even though I can do it all day). I’ll start off with the big-ticket. Here are the lineups for Game 1 and Game 2 from last night before I jump into the details.
Game 1: Team Hefford vs Team Dupuis
Team Hefford had a 2nd-period comeback victory over Team Dupuis with a final score of 5-4.
Things swiftly shifted in the 2nd period when 5 members of Team Hefford put up goals in those 20 minutes alone. Scoring for team Hefford, in order, was: Marie-Philip Poulin, Rebecca Leslie, Emily Clark, Brigette Lacquette, and Hanna Bunton. In the 2nd period, Team Dupuis only scored one more goal from Loren Gabel, which was an absolute laser shot.
Team Dupuis picked up one more goal, scored by Brianne Jenner in the 3rd to get the team within one. With 6 seconds left Team Dupuis did have a goal that was reviewed and determined there was no goal on the play, thus leaving Team Hefford to victory.
Blayre Turnbull (Team Dupuis) and Emily Clark (Team Hefford) were named the Players of the Game and rightfully so. Clark was a very mature player on the ice, even when the team was down she didn’t panic or act rash. I noted that I liked Turnbull’s gameplay quite a bit. She’s a fast player with soft hands, her skill was notable and she was alight out there. Another player that stuck out in this game for me was Laura Stacey. Stacey had some stellar shots on net and was tough out there. She had two rough hits but every time she got back up and kept giving it her all.
Here is the full thread:
Game 2: Team Granato vs Team Ruggiero
In the 2nd game of the evening, Team Granato beat Team Ruggiero with a 4-2 final.
To start the game, Kendall Coyne Schofield put up a goal in 24 seconds, setting Team Granato into the early lead. It was the only goal in the first period but Granato was absolutely dominating throughout the first, their passes were connecting, they were driving clean through the zone. It’s a slight shock they only had 1 in that period.
In the 2nd, Team Ruggiero woke up. Amanda Pelkey got the game tied at 1 before Hilary Knight added another goal in Team Ruggiero’s favor. There were better shots on net for both teams in this frame. Knight and teammate Hannah Brandt were pelting Granato’s goalie, Nicole Hensley, with all kinds of shots. Meanwhile, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (#17 Granato) was making silk spin-o-rama moves towards Katie Fitzgerald, Team Ruggiero’s goaltender. Kendall Coyne put up one more in the 2nd to tie it headed into the 3rd.
Kacey Bellemy was injured early in the 3rd and she immediately rushed off the ice holding around her face/neck, it is unclear what happened but the PWHPA updated on Bellemy after the games.
Kali Flanagan (#6 Granato) put Team Granato back into the lead in the early 3rd and that’s where the team remained for the rest of the game. Kendall Goyne finished it all off with another goal, giving the Illinois-native a Hat Trick!
The Players of the Game were Kendall Coyne Schofield (Team Granato) and Amanda Pelkey (Team Ruggiero). Coyne has solidified her place as a Chicago Sports Legend, she’s such an unbelievable puck carrier and her speed is second to none. Pelkey was all over the ice with amazing passes and great takeaways. Another player I personally noticed was #61 on Granato, Bailey Larson. Although a smaller player, Larson was a fireball on the ice. She was buzzin around, taking shots from her knees, and I loved the drive that she kept all game.
It’s sad that there is only one more day of this but I’m so grateful for the experience. Also, I got to meet some of the players (and they were all so sweet) so here are some pictures!
Team Hefford will take on Team Granato in the Championship Game! Meanwhile, Team Dupuis will face Team Ruggiero in the Consolation Game. I will be covering the Championship Game, Live from Fifth Third Arena! Follow Ham Sports on Twitter and Instagram for more photos and information!
Featured Image: Myself