Toronto takes Isobel Cup at Mullett Arena

Toronto captured their first title in the franchise’s three year history


Northeast Valley News

The Toronto Six and the Minnesota Whitecaps battled at Mullett Arena for the PHF’s top prize, the Isobel Cup

James Mackey, Reporter

The Toronto Six won the Isobel Cup Sunday when the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) capped off season eight at Mullett Arena in Tempe.

The Minnesota Whitecaps and Toronto Six battled for the Isobel Cup.

Named after Lord Stanley’s daughter, Lady Isobel Gathorne – Hardy, the Isobel Cup is the top prize in the PHF.

Toronto forward Tereza Vanisova and Whitecaps forward Amanda Boulier, as well as Whitecaps goaltender Amanda Leveille, were in search of their third title, a feat only accomplished by one other PHF player, Jillian Dempsey of the Boston Pride, who the Whitecaps swept in the semifinals.

Toronto opened the scoring 7:22 into the first period, when Whitecaps defender Sidney Morin turned the puck over in the neutral zone, and Michela Cava skated along the left side boards with the puck, passing it to Vanisova, for the quick put back past Leveille, Vanisova’s first point of the night, and Toronto’s first goal on their first shot, 1-0 Toronto.

Three seconds later, Vanisova sat in the penalty box with two minutes for tripping.

Toronto’s strong 84% penalty kill percentage, and 67% in the playoffs continued.

Two minutes later, Minnesota’s 83% (PK) in both the regular season and playoffs was tested, as Olivia Knowles sat two minutes for checking.

Minnesota was able to kill the penalty and the remainder of the frame was uneventful.

Toronto took a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room.

In second period play, Minnestoa struck back 4:02 in, as Brittyn Fleming scored an unassisted goal, Toronto coughed up the puck in their own zone and Fleming snapped the equalizer past goaltender of the year nominee, Elaine Chuli, 1-1.

Denisa Krizova looked to grab the lead for the Whitecaps, as the Six committed a neutral zone turnover and were caught in a line change. Krizova grabbed the loose puck, broke into the zone, but Chuli shut the proverbial door.

Breanne Wilson-Bennett got the lead back for the Six, as the assistant captain scored at 10:27, assisted by fellow assistant captain Emma Woods and after the Whitecaps goaltender of the year nominee, Leveille, mishandled the puck behind her own net while Woods connected with Wilson-Bennett for the go-ahead goal, 2-1 Toronto.

The Whitecaps knotted the game back up, after a three on one chance was presented, and Natalie Snodgrass centered the puck after Emma Greco blocked the shooting lane, and Brooke Madsen was able to tip it past Chuli, 2-2.

With a minute and a half to play in the period, the Six were caught for a bench minor, too many players and the frame ended with the Whitecaps on the power play—tied at two.

Jonna Albers continued her playoff hot streak, after scoring two shorthanded goals in the semifinal sweep of the Boston Pride.

Albers got the Whitecaps their first lead of the game, 20 seconds into the final regulation period, as Snodgrass picked up a second point after skating from the red line into the offensive zone—found Albers in front of the net, and who was able to get it past Chuli, 3-2 Whitecaps.

With Albers goal, she tied the postseason record of 15 points for one player.

Woods and Cava both got on the board for the Six again, as Minnesota commit another bad turn over in their defensive zone, on a weak pass off the boards, and Cava backhand the puck to the net, where Woods poked the rebound in past Leveille at 7:56, 3-3.

The regulation time clocked ticked down, and both teams went back to their locker rooms for a 3-on-3, 20 minute overtime period.

Leveille cut her teeth for the goaltender of the year award with huge saves for the Whitecaps, one with the glove on a two on one chance for the Six.

Watts missed her chance to end the game, after she came short on a shot on net wide to the left.

Chuli was able to win a one on one with a puck carrier, as she knocked the puck away with her leg pad, subsequently knocking over the carrier.

Ultimately, Vanisova was able to get her second goal of the night, and put the puck high past Leveille at 4:19, cementing her player of the game honor, as the Six claimed their first Isobel Cup in franchise history.

Whitecaps defender Boulier missed the chance to join a short list of three time champions, but said during the post-game press conference, that she was pleased with her team’s resilience to bounce back.

“Really liked the way we kept coming back. Whenever we got scored on, we had a great response, so I was really proud of that.”

Toronto captain Shiann Darkangelo and head coach Geraldine Heaney said they were thrilled with the promotion of women’s hockey, especially in front of the National Championship bound Arizona Kachinas.

“To hear the young girls are all high fiving the girls coming on and off the ice. That’s what we’re here for, we want to promote the game, and grow the sport across the US, across Canada, and actually across the world. It’s great getting the young girls out, and seeing the excitement, and now they have something to dream,” Heaney said.

“It’s super exciting to be able to come here in a different market we haven’t been in before,” Darkangelo said. “Being able to go out there and inspire those girls, and show them what they’re capable of, it’s awesome. I never had that growing up, so it kind of gives me chills thinking about it, and I’m super proud of the women that I do this with, and the girls on the other team to set such a good example for those girls to look up to.”