PWHL Toronto skills competition allows players to show off

Feb 9, 2024 | Sports

Toronto’s Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) team arranged a skill competition at Nathan Phillip’s Square to celebrate their inaugural season.

The team was split in half, one side wearing their blue home jerseys and the other in the white away jerseys.

The competition consisted of a timed target shootout, then a fastest skater race, and finally finished with a three-on-three game.

Along with the competition, there were many carnival-style attractions around the area to keep fan engagement high, like a hockey target shootout, corndog and merchandise stands, and photo booths.

The event was a huge success as more than 19,000 fans from around the city attended. Not words.

Anita Oculoa said this event was something she could not miss.

“I came down all the way from Caledon to see this,” she said.

“I’ve watched every single game this season, and once I heard they were holding a skills competition downtown, I told myself I had to be there,” Anita said.

Rebecca Leslie taking questions from the public after the skills PWHL Toronto skills competition at Nathan Phillips Square.

Rebecca Leslie taking questions from the media after the skills PWHL Toronto skills competition at Nathan Phillips Square on Thursday. Photo credit: Nicholas Prencipe

The skills competition started at 10:30 am and finished at 11:30 a.m. The team then took a break before coming back out at 1 p.m. to sign memorabilia.

The lineup for the signing was continuously growing, as hundreds of people poured in to get their jerseys and pictures signed by their favourite players.

Yanis Krystyn Andino said he enjoyed the entire event from start to end.

“It’s awesome seeing so many people come down to support the team,” he said.

Maude Poulin-Labelle, Lauriane Rougeau, and Kristen Campbell waiving to fans who attended the skills competition.

Maude Poulin-Labelle, Lauriane Rougeau and Kristen Campbell waved to fans who attended the skills competition on Feb. 8 at Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square. Photo credit: Nicholas Prencipe

“Having the opportunity to showcase their skills and then giving back to the community by signing autographs, it was really an amazing experience,” Andino said.

The event was a promotion for a future big PWHL Toronto game, playing in the home of the Maple Leafs. PWHL Toronto will play in the sold-out Battle on Bay Street against Montreal at Scotiabank Arena on Feb.16.