Ella Shelton's New York featured in our PWHL takeaways

That's What She Said: PWHL Debut Takeaways

On New Year's Day, the hockey world skated around the corner into a new era. After countless decades of women's hockey fighting to be fairly showcased and given an opportunity, the PWHL debuted in front of a sold-out Maple Leaf Garden. 

pWHL First game of inaugural season recap

2,537 people filled the stands in the historic Maple Leaf Garden to watch the puck drop between Toronto and New York. The energy was high as players were introduced with the rink dimmed and strobe lights sparkling throughout the bleachers. 

Tennis legend Billie Jean King, a lifelong advocate for gender equality in sports, took to the faceoff circle for the ceremonial puck drop between captains Blayre Turnbull and Micah Zandee-Hart. 

Over ten minutes into the opening period, New York got on the board first after winning the draw and Ella Shelton found the five-hole. The Ingersoll, Ontario native will be etched into the history books as netting the PWHL's first-ever goal. 

New York's Corinne Schroeder stood tall between the pipes, stopping 29 shots and not letting any find the back of the net. So, while hopes and dreams for girls in hockey have been changed for the better, the same cannot be said for Toronto hockey fans. Sorry, guys. All is fair in love and chirps, right?

biggest takeaways from pWHL's Opening Game

We've caught a first glimpse at the new league, so let's go through my biggest takeaways from game number one. 

let's get physical

Before the league was created, we always heard the same boring complaints about women's hockey from the naysayers. One common comment was the apparent lack of speed and physicality compared to the NHL. Well, Kendall Coyne Schofield hushed the fast-paced tempo doubters back at the 2019 All-Star competition when her fastest skater 14.3 time came less than a second short of Connor McDavid. 

After the Toronto vs New York matchup, the benches silenced the physicality claims, too. The gals weren't afraid to throw some bodies and display their aggressiveness. 

Not Afraid To Be Different

Perhaps one of my favorite takeaways from the season opener was that the PWHL isn't trying to be an exact copy of men's professional leagues. Instead, they've adjusted some rules to make their game a tad different and more exciting to watch.

For example, a shorthanded goal kills a penalty and the point system awards three points for a regulation win, two points for an overtime/shootout win, one point for an overtime/shootout loss and obviously, no points for a regulation loss. 


Now, I don't want to hear anyone say they can't watch a PWHL game if they have the time. The league has ensured there's no blackouts and that each team's 24 games can be watched on a variety of platforms no matter where you're located. Also, each game will have replays that can be found on YouTube. So technically, you can't ever miss any of the action!

What Is The PWHL?

Here at That's What She Said, there are no stupid questions. We do not judge if you aren't certain about something and we definitely won't be quizzing you on your "knowledge" like those boys you went to high school with. If you're wondering about the format of the league or how it came to be, visit our PWHL page for all your questions asked and answered!

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