MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Whitecaps and the Premier Hockey Federation announced the 2022-2023 regular-season schedule Monday morning. The State of Hockey's top professional women's hockey league will start the season with a trip north of the border and will play the league's first-ever Friday night game early in the season.
The PHF's eighth season will start on Nov. 5, with a record 84 regular-season matchups being played throughout a 19-week season, the league said in its announcement. All seven teams will play a 24-game regular season, with games split evenly at home and on the road.
“For our sport, for the athletes, our fans, and partners, we are committed to advancing women’s professional ice hockey and building the best home for women’s professional ice hockey," PHF Commissioner Reagan Carey said in a statement.
Minnesota will open the season with a two-game series against the Toronto Six on the road on Nov. 5 and 6. The following week on Nov. 18, the Whitecaps will both play its first-ever home game at Richfield Ice Arena and in the league's first-ever Friday night game when they take on the Boston Pride, the reigning Isobel Cup champions. The Pride and Whitecaps will play in another Friday night game on March 3 in Boston.
The Whitecaps' next trip to Canada will be in February when Minnesota takes on the league's newest expansion team - the Montreal Force. Both road games will be played in Saint-Jérôme on Feb. 4 and 5.
Minnesota will close out the regular season at home on March 12 against the Connecticut Whale.
For the PHF's full regular-season schedule, click or tap here.
"We look forward to strengthening connections with passionate fans in our traditional markets and in new communities across North America, while growing our worldwide broadcast audience through our extended relationship with ESPN," Carey added.
Before the Whitecaps open the regular season, the team will take on the University of Minnesota women's hockey team in an exhibition game on Friday, Sept. 30 at Ridder Arena. With several Gopher alumnae on the roster, the matchup will "definitely be a weird experience being on the other side" of the ice for some Whitecaps.
It was a busy offseason for both the PHF and the Minnesota Whitecaps. Right after last season ended, the league hired Carey to be the next commissioner after Tyler Tumminia stepped down from the helm in March after two seasons. The league then later signed a media contract extension with ESPN+ for the streaming platform to carry every PHF game for the next two seasons. In late August, the PHF launched its seventh franchise - the Montreal Force.
In Minnesota over the summer, the Whitecaps left TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul for the Richfield Ice Arena so players could finally have their own facilities and locker rooms. After making the move to Richfield, the team then announced that it hired a San Jose Sharks team official to be the next general manager.
Right as the team begins preparing for the season, several NHL teams sought the talents of the Whitecaps. Earlier this month, the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL announced that it hired Whitecaps defender Sidney Morin to be a scout for the team, which was followed by the Nashville Predators hiring Whitecaps head coach Ronda Engelhardt to be the team's first female scout.
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