New York @ Toronto
12:30 pm at Mattamy Athletic Centre
Watch on CBC, SN, TSN, MSG, NESN, Sportsnet Pittsburgh
Stream on CBC Gem, CBC.ca and Youtube
French broadcasts on ICI TOU.TV
Note: Free Youtube streams are available outside Canada only, CBC Gem is inside Canada only. Paid steaming is also possible from broadcasters online or mobile apps.
Pregame show starts at noon on most broadcast options.
New York is coached by Howie Draper with his assistants Laura Brennan, Colton Orr and Mike Sommer.
If you want to read about Orr's coaching career, this has you covered:
New York, who actually play in Connecticut and on Long Island will be looking to build off the fanbase created by the Whale and Riveters of the NWHL/PHF.
Starting in net, New York has direct-from-the-NCAA, star goalie Abbey Levy as well as Corinne Schroeder, also young and out of the NCAA with one year in the PHF as pro experience. Lindsey Post, who has been in Sweden for years rounds out the group, but the young pair are expected to take the bulk of the starts.
The strength of New York is on defence. Their captain is Micah Zandee-Hart with Ella Shelton and forward Alex Carpenter wearing the A. Zandee-Hart and Shelton are the young Team Canada defenders of note, and they are both excellent. Carpenter is a top player on Team USA, and has played years in China, meaning she has more pro-like competitive game experience than most players her age.
Beyond Carpenter, the team doesn't lack for name forwards. Élizabeth Giguère, Abby Roque, Jill Saulnier and Madison Packer each bring something to the team. Packer played for six years, most as captain, for the Metropolitan Riveters of the NWHL/PHF, and she is the veteran leader on the team.
The team has a mix of talented youth, strong defence, good forwards, but likely will lack some elite scoring talent. Built to defend, they are one way to counter the champagne pop of the Montréal and Minnesota offences.
Toronto named 1C Blayre Turnbull as captain with the top two defenders, Renata Fast and Jocelyn Laroque as the alternates. With Turnbull at centre, expect Sarah Nurse to line up on the wing.
As Nurse herself said on HNIC, Toronto has big and annoying players that aim to be tough to play against. They are built to be aggressive, physical and also skilled at the top end.
Kristen Campbell gets the net but no respect. As Canada's third goalie behind Ottawa's Emerance Maschmeyer and Montréal's Ann-Renée Desbiens in the Olympics and World Championships, she's done a lot of travelling and not much playing. Lack of opportunity has been taken by fans to mean lack of talent, which is the lot of the third-best goalie in Canada. She has something to prove, and her biggest hurdle will be the lack of recent competitive play. Her last full season was 2019-2020, as the PWHPA games didn't allow for much action. A problem shared by Maschmeyer and Desbiens. Expect Campbell to start today and Erica Howe to be the number two until someone proves otherwise.
Toronto have a lot of youth, a lot of players who aren't known very well because they aren't more than one year out of college, but that can give them an unexpected speed advantage. They aren't a champagne pop of fizz though, more a top shelf whiskey that packs a punch and isn't for the faint of heart.
We've covered the Toronto roster extensively, but for some other in-depth looks:
This opener pits hot defence and young goalie talent against the Toronto offence that disgruntled a lot of fans as the team was formed. The goalie isn't the best in the world, the forwards aren't all stars and the top defender isn't a modern, puck-moving, offensive threat.
Instead the team is tough, even nasty, strong, forceful, aggressive and full of youthful enthusiasm as well as veterans who can still play at a high level. In the middle are years of top national team and league play experience. I like top-shelf whiskey and will take it over champagne any day, so I'm biased. I think Team Toronto is a really interesting build for a new league.
Toronto is built to counter punch, New York to defend. Those aren't the same thing, and the opening game will be the first test of how the teams have been built.
Go Toronto Go!
Consider this your GDT for this early afternoon game.
This is the official gamecentre link:
And if we get lines before puckdrop, we'll update you!
Update! The rulebook. See comments for a discussion of the meaningful rules for today:
Go Toronto Go!