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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Professional women’s hockey league inspires young girls

The formation of the Professional Women’s Hockey League inspires thousands of girls to pursue hockey in college and beyond.
The+stadium+is+packed+as+the+Professional+Womens+Hockey+League+plays+against+Ottawa+at+Xcel+Energy+Center%2C+winning+with+a+score+of+2-1.
Gloria Liu
The stadium is packed as the Professional Women’s Hockey League plays against Ottawa at Xcel Energy Center, winning with a score of 2-1.

In 2019, members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), the union for players in the National Women’s Hockey League, began to boycott the league due to inadequate salaries. In 2021, the NWHL rebranded and became the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF). Members of the union, still on strike, considered starting their own league.

The PHF and the PWHPA finally came to an agreement last August and joined together to form the Professional Women’s Hockey League. This league includes six teams from Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, New York and Minnesota. Team Minnesota consists of many well-established players including some from the former Minnesota Whitecaps of the NWHL. 

The formation of the PWHL brings more representation for female hockey players who now have an opportunity to pursue hockey professionally. “Just seeing how girls can play after college. […] gives this hope that they can keep playing the sport that they love,” said Paige Friedman, junior hockey player. 

Just seeing how girls can play after college. […] gives this hope that they can keep playing the sport that they love.

— Paige Friedman, '25

The opportunity to make a career of their passion also serves as motivation for young players to continue playing hockey. “I think it’s really good that they get to play after college and there’s an option for them to make money playing hockey,” said Gabrielle Bullert, senior hockey player. 

Empowering women to overcome obstacles and stick with their passions begins early on when young girls have role models to look up to in their areas of interest. “I feel like this league is a big step in the right direction for younger girls growing up, and now we can have those people that we can look up to,” said Lydia Vanderbilt, sophomore hockey player. “The younger generation is really going to thrive on having leaders.”

In the past, male domination has been very apparent when it comes to engagement, support and success for their professional teams and leagues. “I think it kind of shows what roles society puts women and men in and the differences there. Hopefully, there’ll be more women in sports in the future,” said Bullert. The creation of new spaces for women to succeed, such as the PWHL, brings hope for a future where women can have equal opportunities for success in doing things they are passionate about. 

In the short amount of time since its establishment, the PWHL has served as a source of inspiration for young hockey players in a time where girls hockey sees more participation than ever before. Breaking the world record, Minnesota’s hockey fans became the largest crowd to ever attend a professional women’s hockey game, with more than 13,000 fans packing the Xcel Energy Center Stadium for Team Minnesota’s first game. Groups of young girls showed up wearing their own team jerseys and fans of all ages showed up to games, cheering for players and showing their support for the new league.

About the Contributors
Sinim Dhuguma
Sinim Dhuguma, Staff Reporter
Sinim is a junior staff reporter, and this year is her first year on The Viewer. Awards: Best of SNO - Prince of Peace Church combats homelessness with tiny home settlement
Gloria Liu
Gloria Liu, Sports Editor
Hi, my name is Gloria, and I'm the debates and sports editor for the Viewer! I'm currently a junior. In my free time, I love listening to music, photography and watching horror movies. I love being a part of the Viewer because it's a very unique class compared to other classes and also allows me to improve my writing skills. I love being with my peers and hope to inspire younger students to join the Viewer.
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