PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL, in partnership with the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association, announced on Friday that four members of the U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Team will participate in the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic, presented by Toyota, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. The game will air LIVE exclusively on NHL Network.
The participation in the 2020 Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic is part of the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association's barnstorming “Dream Gap Tour” that is visiting several cities in Canada and the United States.
Following the format established last season, the Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. The host Wichita Thunder will make up two of the four teams and face-off against the other two teams made up of All-Star players from the Eastern and Western Conference. These four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament with rally scoring in order to crown a winner. The 2020 Kansas Star Casino/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place in between rounds of the tournament, with results counting towards the cumulative score.
Taking part in the All-Star festivities will be three members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal squad - Dani Cameranesi, Kali Flanagan and Gigi Marvin - along with 3-Time World Champion Annie Pankowski. Each player will be assigned to one of the four All-Star Classic teams, as well as participating in the Kansas Star Casino/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition.
“The Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic is an opportunity for our League to celebrate our player's skill and development, but also to highlight hockey everywhere for our fans to enjoy,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “Having players from the PWHPA/U.S. Women's gold medal team is another great element to an already exciting couple of days of festivities in Wichita.”
“We are excited to join forces with the ECHL to promote and grow the game of hockey” said Jayna Hefford, Operations Consultant, PWHPA. “We truly appreciate the support of the ECHL. By having the women of the PWHPA compete in the ECHL All-Star Classic, the league is supporting the future of women's professional hockey.”
“Our Members welcome this unique opportunity to play alongside Members of the PWHPA, each of whom has significantly contributed to the sport,” said Larry Landon, Executive Director of the Professional Hockey Players' Association. “We look forward to being part of another successful ECHL All-Star Classic, and witnessing the extraordinary talent displayed by both ECHL players and PWHPA Members." For more information on the Warrior/ECHL All-Star Classic and to purchase tickets, please click here.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 26 teams in 19 states and two Canadian provinces for its 32nd season in 2019-20. There have been 666 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including four who have made their NHL debuts in the 2019-20 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 31 NHL teams in 2019-20, marking the 23rd consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com.
About Professional Women's Hockey Players Association (PWHPA)
Professional Women's Hockey Players Association's (PWHPA) mission is to promote, advance, and support a single, viable professional women's ice hockey league in North America that showcases the greatest product of women's professional ice hockey in the world. The organization aims to provide a united voice to players advocating for the creation of a sustainable professional league. PWHPA is working to accomplish its mission by coordinating training needs and programming opportunities during the 2019-20 season and collaborating with like-minded organizations to make hockey more inclusive for women and future generations. To learn more about PWHPA and the Dream Gap tour visit www.pwhpa.com.