Roque, Coyne Schofield lead Minnesota to PWHPA win (video)

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After Abby Roque made her PWHPA debut last weekend, Hilary Knight said the 23-year-old will someday be “the best player in the world.”

Today, Roque continued to make strides towards that prediction. She scored the first goal in Adidas-sponsored Minnesota’s 4-1 win over New Hampshire (sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation). The game – played at the United Center and hosted by the Chicago Blackhawks – marked the third game of the 2021 PWHPA Dream Gap Tour.

In the second period, Kendall Coyne Schofield made it 3-0 with this power-play goal:

The PWHPA’s showcase-style scoring system became the story of the final minutes of the third period.

Quick refresher on the PWHPA Scoring System:

    • Regulation Win = 2.0 points
    • OT Win = 1.5 points
    • Shootout Win = 1.0 points
    • OT/Shootout Loss = 0.5 points
    • Regulation Loss = 0 points

Additional team points that can be earned in each game: 

    • a player scores a hat trick = 1 team point
    • a goalie records a shutout = 1 team point
    • a short handed goal is scored = 1 team point
    • team scores 5 or more goals in a game = 1 team point

Down 3-0, New Hampshire pulled goalie Alex Cavallini (nee Rigsby) in an attempt to prevent Minnesota from earning the extra point for the shutout.

When Roque scored an empty-netter, Cavallini then returned to the net in order to prevent Minnesota from gaining an additional point for 1) scoring 5 goals and 2) Roque from earning a team point with a hat trick.

Ultimately, though, Minnesota only skated away with two points thanks to this goal from New Hampshire’s Brianna Decker with ten seconds left:

So what exactly is the PWHPA?

The PWHPA was launched in 2019 after over 200 female hockey players – including every post-grad member of the U.S. team that won Olympic gold in 2018 – announced via twitter that they would not play in any North American professional league during the 2019-20 season, essentially boycotting the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).

That said, the PWHPA is not a league or a union. Instead, it a stop gap solution (hence the name “Dream Gap”). It exists to help players advocate for a viable North American professional women’s hockey league, in addition to coordinating training and competitive opportunities in the interim.

The PWHPA currently includes around 125 players (including nearly 40 Olympians) and is organized around five hub cities: two in the United States (Minnesota and New Hampshire) and three in Canada (Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto).

While some of the PWHPA’s biggest stars are able to make ends meet through hockey – thanks to a combination of national team funding and outside sponsors – other players aren’t in the same financial position.

“I’m lucky enough to obviously be a national team member and get financial support through that,” Brianna Decker explained in an interview last week. “And obviously [I have] some sponsors as well. But a lot of players in the PWHPA have a normal job where they work 9-to-5; they go to practice at night and have to get up to work out in the morning… [As] national team players, we’re trying to pave the way, but the girls [who aren’t on the national team], they are stuck in the position of trying to do a lot of different things at once. I’ve always been inspired by [those] girls.”

[RELATED: Overcoming inequity in women’s hockey, explained by Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux]

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