First-ever women's professional game at the World's Most Famous Arena secures U.S. and Canada broadcast partners; MSG Network to re-air game on March 1 celebrating start of Gender Equality Month
NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Professional Women's Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) continued its momentum today announcing that NHL Network in the U.S. and Sportsnet in Canada will air the first 2021 Secret® Dream Gap Tour game this Sunday, February 28 at 7 p.m. ET, live from Madison Square Garden.
"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. "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."
Team Minnesota will skate against Team New Hampshire in the NHL Network broadcast, which will be produced in conjunction with NBC Sports and MSG Network, and mark the first-ever professional women's hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Following this Sunday's game and to celebrate the start of Gender Equality Month, MSG Network will re-air the game on Monday, March 1, at 8 p.m. ET.
MSG Network will also produce special programming about the PWHPA's mission of advancing equity, fairness and opportunity in women's professional hockey. Hockey superstars, Gold Medal Olympians and IIHF World Champions will be featured in Sunday's game, including Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield and Amanda Kessel.
Sunday's broadcast on NHL Network will be called by NBC Sports play-by-play veteran Kenny Albert and hockey star Blake Bolden, who is a leader in advancing diversity in hockey. MSG Network reporter Michelle Gingras will contribute rink-side throughout the telecast. In Canada, Sportsnet will air the NHL Network broadcast on Sportsnet 360 and SN NOW.
"Playing at Madison Square Garden is a historic moment for the women's game because the exposure elevates our mission," said Mary-Kay Messier, Senior Advisor to the PWHPA. "We're pleased to partner with the NHL Network, MSG Network and Sportsnet so that girls across the United States and Canada can watch the first game of the Secret Dream Gap Tour when PWHPA players step out onto the ice at Madison Square Garden. As much as this by itself gives young girls a dream of playing on a big stage, our goal is to provide the next generation with a pro league that offers a platform every season."
"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."
Comprised of approximately 125 of the world's best hockey players, the PWHPA was formed to advance equity and opportunity in women's professional hockey. Specifically, the group's goal is to create a sustainable league that pays a living wage to players, provides elite-level resources (e.g., ice time, facilities, trainers) and invests in marketing that showcases the player and game. Partnerships with NHL Network, MSG Network, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and NBC Sports advance equity in the game and bring hockey closer to a sustainable pro women's hockey league.
SOURCE Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association