PWHL Announces Six Home Openers
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PWHL Announces Six Home Openers

PWHL Announces Six Home Openers by Zoë Hayden

On Tuesday, November 28, each PWHL team announced its home opener for the 2024 inaugural season. This also serves as confirmation for the primary home rinks for each team, though they may utilize other facilities for home games throughout the season, including neutral sites outside of a current market.

  • Monday, January 1, 2024 at 12:30 PM Eastern @ Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ontario – New York @ Toronto
  • Tuesday, January 2, 2024 at 7:00 PM Eastern @ The Arena at TD Place in Ottawa, Ontario – Montreal @ Ottawa
  • Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 7:00 PM Eastern @ Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell in Lowell, Massachusetts – Minnesota @ Boston
  • Friday, January 5, 2024 at 7:00 PM Eastern @ Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut – Toronto @ New York
  • Saturday, January 6, 2024 at at 2:30 PM Central @ Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota – Montreal @ Minnesota
  • Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM Eastern @ Verdun Auditorium in Montreal, Quebec – Boston @ Montreal

Montreal, New York, and Minnesota begin their seasons on the road, with Montreal notably starting with what could be a more extended slate of away games.

There is a wide variation in the capacities of each PWHL home opener rink, as pointed out by Melissa:

Montreal and Toronto have the smallest rinks for their home openers, but these are still world-class facilities in great locations which could lead to sell-out crowds. Verdun Auditorium was slated to be the home of Les Canadiennes de Montreal before the CWHL folded in 2019 and has continued to host the Centre 21.02 training hub for elite women's hockey players in Quebec. Mattamy Athletic Centre is home to the Toronto Metropolitan University men's ice hockey team, and is located at the historic Maple Leaf Gardens.

Minnesota will play at the same facility as the Minnesota Wild of the NHL. Ottawa will play at the home rink of the Ottawa 67's of the OHL.

New York and Boston, as expected, will not actually play in the cities whose names they bear. Boston will primarily be at UMass Lowell and New York will be in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport is home to the Bridgeport Islanders of the AHL. The Tsongas Center in Lowell is home to the UMass Lowell River Hawks men's ice hockey team which competes in NCAA Division I.

Montreal and Ottawa have somewhat of an advantage in that they will play many home games and practice at the same facility.

The home openers are staggered, with no concurrent games announced so far, but it's likely we'll see some additional games in the schedule between January 1 and the Montreal home opener on January 13.

Broadcasting and streaming details about the inaugural season have yet to be announced. The full press release from the PWHL about the 2024 home openers is available here.

According to the individual press releases prepared for each team's home market and venue, "a full season schedule will be announced in the coming days."

(Image: PWHL)