The 2024 PWHL Draft took place on Tuesday, with Princeton and Canadian national team forward Sarah Fillier going first overall to PWHL New York. 

New York also added two defenders and a goaltender, as well as three forwards to make seven solid additions to next season's roster. 

But it was first-ever PWHL champions Minnesota that created the most buzz, with the draft happening just three days after they announced the abrupt departure of general manager Natalie Darwitz following a league review. 

With the 9th overall pick, PWHL Minnesota took Team USA forward Britta Curl. Fans immediately took to the internet to voice their concerns, citing Curl's social media activity. In the past, Curl had "liked" posts on X that targeted the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly transgender individuals. Her activity also showed support for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Wisconsin man who shot three unarmed people, two fatally, during a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest.

When asked about the pick — and whether or not he had consulted with any members of the LGBTQIA+ community prior to making the pick — PWHL Minnesota coach Ken Klee opted to defend Curl.

"Did I speak to anyone from the community? I talk with players, with coaches. That’s tough to answer for me," Klee said. "I spoke with a lot of different people. I mean, at the end of the day, I was told she’s a great teammate, a great person. She’s obviously a great player."

The team also had PWHL Minnesota assistant coach Mira Jalosuo, who is married to a woman, announce the pick.

"We have people in that community and obviously Mira making that selection for us, I think that speaks volumes for us," Klee added. "We were just trying to pick the best players available. I wouldn’t want anything to take away from any of those players' experience. It’s unfortunate a little bit at the beginning, but again, it’s okay. People are entitled to their opinion."

Women's hockey history was made on Wednesday, with PWHL Minnesota taking home the inaugural league championship Walter Cup.

After Boston forced a Game 5 in double-overtime on Sunday, Minnesota went on to notch a decisive victory with a final score of 3-0. Liz Schepers, Michela Cava, and Kendall Coyne Schofield all found the back of the net for Minnesota, with Schofield’s coming on an empty-netter to end the game. 

The win came after a disappointing Game 4 loss at home that saw a game-winning — and possibly championship-winning — Minnesota goal waived off. But back in Boston, Minnesota was determined not to leave without that Cup. 

"I just think to have something so good taken away, like last game, I just think we knew we had to have it," Taylor Heise, who was named Playoffs MVP after posting a league-leading eight postseason points, told the Athletic. "Like that feeling [of winning] — you had it and you want it back."

The captain and oldest member of the roster, Coyne Schofield had the honors of taking the first lap on the ice with the Walter Cup in hand. 

"It makes me want to tear up thinking about it. She's done so much for this sport," Heise said about the captain. "She's definitely one of the people that's helped this sport grow and one of the reasons why this arena is sold out here tonight."

Minnesota goalie Nicole Hensley relayed that Coyne Schofield, who helped to found the PWHL, was more than worthy of the win.

"There’s so much about this day that she deserves," said goalie Nicole Hensley. “She has obviously done so much for this sport and for this professional league. It’s completely fitting that she’s the first one to touch the Walter Cup.”

Perhaps fittingly, Minnesota began the season with a win over Boston and ended it the same way. And yet as they entered the playoffs, the odds were stacked against them,

Minnesota started postseason play as the lowest seed after ending a regular season that saw record-breaking attendance numbers on a five-game losing streak. Then, on the brink of elimination against top-seeded Toronto — who started the first round on a 2-0 series lead — Minnesota won three straight to advance to the Finals.

"It’s honestly hard to put into words," said Coyne Schofield. "As soon as we got in, we never looked back. There were times we were down, but we weren’t out. Some people may have counted us out, but we believed in us, the entire way."

Toronto’s Professional Women's Hockey League team skated to victory Wednesday night, kicking off the league's first playoff match with a 4-0 win over visiting Minnesota.

Natalie Spooner — the league's leading regular season goalscorer with 20 goals in 24 games — opened things up with the first playoff goal in PWSHL history at 9:47 of the first period, later notching an assist in front of Coca-Cola Coliseum's 8,473 fans. Captain Blayre Turnbull followed up Spooner's efforts with two goals of her own, securing the game's final point with just 38 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

In the defensive end, goalie Kristen Campbell put a stop to all 26 shots fired her way. With game one behind them, Toronto has pulled ahead of Minnesota 1-0 in the best-of-five series.

"It's what I believe I expect and I think what the group expects as well," head coach Troy Ryan said in postgame remarks. "Being everything we thought it would be, I think the atmosphere was incredible. I think our performance was pretty good and I think it's a great stepping-stone for us to continue to build on for this series and hopefully moving forward.

For Turnbull, the win came as a result of weeks of regular season preparation, adding that the team was "proud" of its execution throughout their first playoff game. 

"The whole season we’ve been building and building waiting to get into playoffs and trying to find our game every week and get better so that when players arrived, we are ready to go," Turnbull said. "I think there’s still a few areas that we can keep improving on, but overall, we’re pretty happy with where we’re at, so we’re excited to get back on the ice for game two."

The postseason outing continues a record-breaking regular season for the young league. In total, the PWHL set six attendance records for women’s hockey this year, with nearly 400,000 fans showing up to watch the inaugural teams take the ice over the 72-game season.

Toronto will face Minnesota at home once more in Game 2 of the series on Friday, before the teams move to Minnesota for Monday's Game 3. 

Canada got its revenge on Sunday, winning the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship and taking down the U.S. in a 6-5 overtime classic.

Marie-Philip Poulin, a longtime star for Canada, got her first two goals of the tournament, while Danielle Serdachny had the game-winner. 

"I hate to say you're not trying to rely on it, expect it, but I know I've grown to expect it," Canada coach Troy Ryan said of Philip-Poulin. "Tonight was just a whole other level. I could see in her eyes every time we called her name that she was ready to go. It's just special."

The win came after Canada lost 1-0 to the U.S. in the group stage of the tournament. On Sunday, the two teams met for the 22nd time in 23 tournaments in the gold medal game – and the action between the two teams delivered. 

Among those scoring for the U.S. were Megan Keller, Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight, Laila Edwards and Caroline Harvey. Julia Gosling, Emily Clark and Erin Ambrose had the other three goals for Canada, giving them their 13th World title after falling to the U.S. in last year’s title game in Toronto. 

This year’s game was held in New York, and it was the second-highest scoring final between the two teams. The U.S. won a world championship 7-5 in 2015. 

"Oh man, that feels good to win it on U.S. soil," Canada goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens said after the game. "We owed it to them and owed it to ourselves to win that one."

Canada also denied Knight a record 10th World Championship win, although she did become the most decorated player in women’s world championship history with 14 medals. After the game, Poulin gave Knight a hug on the ice. 

"We just said 'that was unbelievable,'" Poulin said.

U.S. coach John Wroblewski echoed the sentiment that it was an outstanding game after being asked about ending the game on a power-play after leaving too many players on the ice. 

"Instead of talking about the isolated events of tonight's game, I think that normally that's an interesting storyline,” he said. “But I think the entity of an amazing 6-5 game is an amazing hockey game that took place."

Ohio State women’s hockey won its second national title in three years on Sunday.

They beat Wisconsin 1-0 on a goal from freshman Joy Dunne, avenging a loss to the Badgers in the Frozen Four final last season and a 6-3 loss to them earlier this season. 

“Yes, I scored the goal, but there was so much in that game," Dunne said. "Blocks, great saves – it took a team. It took behind-the-scenes work. It took everything. This is what we worked for. I’m so thankful because this is an amazing team to win a national championship with.

“As freshmen, we didn't play in that game last year but we felt that chip on the shoulder. We felt that hunger for it.”

Goalie Raygan Kirk called it a revenge tour but also said she made sure to have fun.

“I just tried to treat it like any other game and give it my all and just stay focused," Kirk said. "I was having the time of my life out there. I think you have to remember it is just a hockey game. You have to have fun.”

Coach Nadine Muzerall was proud of her team’s win, and said that while winning a second title in three seasons is a great goal, she wants to win another to prove the Buckeyes are building a legacy.

“Legacies obviously take time," Muzerall said. "Two is fantastic. I want to push to obviously three and more. It's going to take continued time and effort. ... Because you don't want to be part of history, you want to continue to push and be the future, as well.”

The PWHL is set to break the women’s hockey attendance record after selling out the Bell Centre in Montreal. 

The game has been billed as the Duel at the Top, taking place between Montreal and Toronto.

“Quebecers and Montrealers have shown an outpouring of support for our team this season, regardless of where we have played our games,”  said Danièle Sauvageau, GM of the Montreal team, when the game was announced.

“Our fans have been asking us for this and we are happy to be able to give them what they want. It’s exciting to know that we will be playing in the largest hockey venue in North America, and I am certain that our supporters will be louder than ever.”

Tickets sold out in less than 20 minutes for the largest hockey arena in North America at a capacity of 21,105. Re-sale tickets are up to almost $450. 

The previous attendance record had been set in Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, with 19,285 turning out earlier this season. Earlier this month, Detroit set a new American record for professional women’s hockey, with 13,736 fans in attendance to watch PWHL Boston face PWHL Ottawa.

“To have the opportunity to play at the Bell Centre would be historical, I think, is the best word to say,” Monreal’s Erin Ambrose said last month. “We’ve talked about how great our fans have been, the way they’ve showed up in Laval, the way they’ve showed up at Verdun, the way they showed up on the road, too, in Toronto. 

“We would love that opportunity and hopefully it can happen. I know that I’m crossing my fingers that we can be here. I mean, it would be pretty unbelievable to walk out there and kind of hear the crowd erupt. It would be something pretty monumental.”

The U.S. field hockey team is returning to the Olympic Games for the first time since 2016.

The team defeated Japan 2-1 in the semifinals of a last-chance qualification tournament in India on Thursday. The top three finishers in the event will all book tickets to compete in Paris at the Olympics this summer.

The team put up three back-to-back shutouts to advance to the semifinals. That winning streak was at stake against Japan, when the U.S. went down 1-0 in the third quarter. But they equalized seven minutes into the fourth quarter before winning the game.

Had the U.S. lost, they would have had one more chance to qualify in a third-place game against India or Germany. Instead, they finished with a silver medal after a 2-0 loss to Germany.

The U.S. has won just one Olympic medal in field hockey, a bronze medal back in 1984. They placed eighth in the 1988 Seoul Games and didn’t qualify for an Olympics again until 2008 (they automatically qualified as a host nation in 1996).

Three consecutive Olympic Games from 2008 through 2016 featured a best finish of fifth place.

This summer’s Olympic roster will be up to 16 players, with up to three alternates.

PWHL Minnesota made history on Saturday, as a record-breaking crowd of 13,361 fans turned out to watch their team beat Montreal 3-0 at Xcel Energy Center. The crowd shattered the attendance record of 8,318 that had previously been set by Ottawa in their debut a mere three days earlier.

Grace Zumwinkle led Minnesota with the league’s first hat trick.

“It was obviously super exciting. I think what was more exciting was just the atmosphere at the Xcel,” Zumwinkle told MPR News. “And I think breaking the attendance record of having roughly 14,000 fans was just as special as the hat trick in and of itself. It’s just huge that the league is getting to this point. And obviously super exciting for our team, especially with a lot of players from Minnesota.”

“Living in the State of Hockey, I knew our fans would show up for us, but today they have taken it to a whole new level,” said Natalie Darwitz, PWHL Minnesota General Manager. “I feel tremendously proud and inspired by our fan support.”

The only team in the league to play on NHL ice, they proved that they belonged on Saturday both with fan attendance and performance on the ice.

It helped that Team Minnesota houses a number of hometown players, from Lee Stecklein and Kelly Pannek, to No. 1 overall pick Taylor Heise. And then there’s Zumwinkle, an Excelsior native who scored the game’s only goals.

Zumwinkle told MPR News that playing at home in front of a Minnesota crowd was “surreal.”

“I think, especially playing for the Gophers, I got a taste of it, but nothing quite like having maybe 10,000 more fans than I was used to,” she said. “But I think it’s just the first word that comes to my mind is ‘pride.’ And I think that was evident in the fans that showed up.”

New York won the first-ever PWHL game on Monday, dominating Toronto in a 4-0 win.

It was a historic moment for women’s hockey, with Ella Shelton getting the first goal in PWHL history.

It was a monumental day for the new women’s hockey league, with lines for the sellout crowd out the doors and wrapped around the block to get in to watch New York win the first game in PWHL history.

New York followed up with three third-period goals from Alex Carpenter, Jill Saulnier and Kayla Vespa. New York goaltender Corinne Schroeder made 29 saves to get the league’s first shutout.

Billie Jean King, who helped to found the league, was present to witness history and give Toronto their starting lineup.

“Today was one for the history books, as the Professional Women’s Hockey League (@thepwhlofficial) played their 1st game in Toronto,” she wrote on social media. “@PWHL_Toronto took on @PWHL_NewYork, the game was action-packed, & the arena was full of terrific fans.”

Minnesota’s PWHL team will enter the inaugural season with a new head coach after Charlie Burggraf stepped down from the post. With less than a week before the puck drops on the new professional league, former NHL defensemen and U.S. women’s national team coach Ken Klee has taken over the role.

General manager Natalie Darwitz said that Burggraf told her on Tuesday that he would be stepping away from the job. He cited the decision as the right move for himself and his family.

“We thank Charlie Burggraf for all he did for our franchise, and we wish him only the best in the future,” Darwitz said. “Ken Klee brings a proven record of success to our coaching staff, and we are extremely pleased — for our players, our fans and our organization — that he has joined us.”

Klee was hired “within hours,” according to the Star Tribune. He previously coached PWHL Minnesota players Kendall Coyne, Lee Stecklein, Nicole Hensley and Kelly Pannek with the USWNT.

The former NHLer had been a finalist for the job in the initial search, but at the time Darwitz opted to hire her former Gophers assistant coach. But the familiarity with Klee helped to make the decision easy on Tuesday to offer him the job.

“I went through the interview process, but at the time it wasn’t meant to be,” Klee said. “Now it’s a little later and the time is right. I’m excited. I think super highly of these players.”

The PWHL begins its first season next week with six inaugural franchises. Minnesota will open its season on Jan. 3 in Boston.