Record: 17-5-2, 51 points
Final Standings: 2nd overall (of 7)
Playoffs: Won Isobel Cup (1st in franchise history)
Ownership: BTM Partners
Head Coach: Geraldine Heaney
General Manager: Angela James
Leading Scorer: Brittany Howard - 26 points (16G, 10A) in 20 games
Top Goalie: Elaine Chuli, 12-5-0-2, .917 sv% and 2.61 GAA
The Toronto Six looked like a strong team all season long, so it came as no surprise when they made it all the way to the Isobel Cup and won the championship. This made PHF history, as the Six became the first Canadian franchise to win the title.
The regular season had its losses sprinkled throughout, but the Six never lost consecutive games. While they sometimes had a tough go in the first game of a weekend, they'd rally in the second game – like coming back after a 3-2 loss in Boston to pull off a huge 7-3 win the following day. At one point, they strung together an impressive six-game winning streak from December 11 to January 21.
All throughout the regular season, Toronto and Boston were fighting for the top spot in the league. In the end, the Six were just three points back from the first-place Pride in the standings. Their 87 goals scored were second-most, behind only Boston (92), while their 62 goals-against were second-fewest. They were also one of the more penalized teams in the PHF, with 206 penalty minutes.
With how good the Six looked in the regular season, it came as a bit of a surprise when they dropped their first playoff game to the Connecticut Whale 5-3. Their season could have easily ended in game two, but instead, the Six kept things going with a 3-2 win. They then took care of the series with a 3-0 victory in game three. Their ability to rebound after losses and missteps translated well into the playoffs.
In the Isobel Cup Final, the Six found themselves evenly matched against the Whitecaps – a team they had dominated in the regular season – through 60 minutes. While they had a significant edge in shots, Amanda Leveille kept Minnesota in the game. However, in the overtime period, Tereza Vanišová scored the championship-winning goal in Tempe, Arizona, giving the Six a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Whitecaps for their first ever Isobel Cup championship.
The Six were pretty even-keeled regardless of where they played this season. During the regular season, they went 8-3-1 at their home rink. They were 9-2-1 on the road.
Here's a little proof that while math can be fun, it isn't everything in sports: based on the amount of points the Six earned, compared to the total amount of points possible, this was technically, mathematically the 'worst' season in franchise history. They snagged 51 of a possible 72 points (just shy of 71%).
But of course... they won the championship, and that's likely what matters most in the end. The Six had a lot to be proud of throughout the season, and topping that off with the championship on top is the perfect finish.
- vs. Boston: 2-1-1 (outscored opp. 16-13)
- vs. Buffalo: 4-0-0 (outscored opp. 18-7)
- vs. Connecticut: 2-2-0 (tied in goals 17-17)
- vs. Metropolitan: 2-1-1 (outscored opp. 15-13)
- vs. Minnesota: 4-0-0 (outscored opp. 14-5)
- vs. Montreal: 3-1-0 (tied in goals 8-8)
To no surprise, Six captain Shiann Darkangelo has re-signed with the team on a two-year contract. Darkangelo was second on the team in scoring during the regular season, with 12 goals and 12 assists for 25 points in 24 games. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Daryl Watts is also signed with the Six for the upcoming season, as she signed a two-year deal back in January. As of writing, Darkangelo and Watts are the only players officially announced as signed with Toronto for the 2023-24 season, so the team presumably has a lot of work to do in the months ahead.
(Dan Rice from The Ice Garden has reported that Michela Cava is unlikely to return to the Six, while a deal between Brittany Howard and the Boston Pride is allegedly done, or close to it.)
I'm curious to see how Toronto handles goaltending going forward. The Six relied heavily on Elaine Chuli this past season, with Carly Jackson appearing in just six games. Chuli is certainly an outstanding starting goaltender – she went 12-5-0-2 with a 2.61 GAA and .917 save percentage. At the same time, however, Jackson is a stellar choice for a starting goaltender, too, and she could easily sign elsewhere and get that starting spot if she wanted to. In six games, she had a 1.90 GAA and a .926 save percentage.
Until or unless we hear otherwise, I presume that Geraldine Heaney will return as Toronto's head coach, with Angela James as the team's general manager and Sami-Jo Small as president.
(Photo: Kayla Franz)