3 biggest storylines from the first week of the PWHL season

The Professional Women’s Hockey League kicked off its inaugural season on Jan. 1. Opening week for the PWHL was filled with thrills. 

PWHL Minnesota
PWHL Minnesota / David Berding/GettyImages
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The beginning of the PWHL season marks a new era for women’s hockey. The PWHL currently consists of six original teams: Boston, Minnesota, New York, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal. They do not yet have team names or logos attached to the city name, as the league wanted to get started before those could be determined.

As the season got underway, the PWHL made headlines. Here are three big storylines from the first week of the PWHL season.

3. Minnesota breaks attendance record and wins a shutout

PWHL Minnesota is off to an electrifying start to their first season. Minnesota is known as the State of Hockey, and PWHL Minnesota’s first home game did not disappoint. The team made history with their home opener at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Jan. 6. 

Hockey fans in Minnesota showed up to support the new women’s franchise. The Minnesota vs Montreal game broke the attendance record for women’s professional hockey. The game’s official attendance was 13,316, beating the previous record of 8,318, which was set a few days earlier in Ottawa.

Saturday’s game was packed with excitement, as Minnesota beat Montreal 3-0. Goaltender Maddie Rooney earned the shutout. This was the PWHL’s second shutout. All three goals on Saturday were scored by Grace Zumwinkle, marking the first hat trick in PWHL history.

Minnesota’s strong offense features Zumwinkle, first-overall draft pick Taylor Heise, captain Kendall Coyne Schofield, and more. The top defensive pairing consists of Lee Stecklein and Maggie Flaherty. In addition to Zumwinkle’s shutout, goalie Nicole Hensley posted a .943 SV% in her first start. Minnesota is 2-0 to start the season.