Howard's hat trick helps Toronto hurdle past Calgary in Secret Cup
Toronto earns 1st points at latest stop of PWHPA's Dream Gap Tour
Brittany Howard produced a hat trick and Jamie Lee Rattray added a pair of goals as Team Sonnet downed Team Scotiabank 8-3 on Wednesday at the Secret Cup women's hockey tournament in Calgary.
Victoria Bach, Loren Gable and Madison Field also scored for Toronto's Sonnet team (1-1-0), which went ahead 5-0 in the first before Calgary's Scotiabank squad responded with its first goal late in the period.
"I think overall as a team we were just happy with our transition game, middle-net drive, and it obviously paid off on a couple of those," said Howard.
Amanda Makela made 20 saves for the victory.
WATCH | Howard lifts Toronto over Calgary:
Meaghan Mikkelson, Blayre Turnbull and Sarah Potomak found the back of the net for Team Scotiabank (0-2-0). Kassidy Sauve stopped 31-of-39 shots in defeat.
"We're just trying to get our feet under us, get some chemistry. The next couple games we can improve and get better. We've had spurts where we've played well and when we don't play as well they capitalize. We have to minimize the mistakes," said Calgary's Rebecca Johnston.
Team Sonnet returns to the ice Thursday to face Montreal's Team Bauer, which opened the tournament Monday with a 3-2 win over Toronto before topping Calgary 6-1 on Tuesday.
Three teams of 20 players in the Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association's three Canadian hubs of Calgary, Toronto and Montreal are playing to hoist the Secret Cup trophy Sunday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
The PWHPA is a movement arising from the collapse of the Canadian Women's Hockey League two years ago. The PWHPA includes members of the Canadian and U.S. national teams.
Their goal is a sustainable league with a living wage and the competitive supports the men's professional leagues have.
'Showcase our talents'
The last time PWHPA games were played in Canada before Monday was Jan. 11-12, 2020 in Toronto.
"As professional athletes we are training away form the ice," said Howard. "Everyone's working on their game away from the rink and we're just happy to come to the rink and showcase our talents."
Of the 28 players invited to try out for Canada's Olympic team starting this summer, 21 are Secret Cup participants.
The teams play each other twice in a round robin with results augmented by a points system.
A win is worth two points, an overtime win 1.5, a shootout win one point, and half a point for an overtime or shootout loss.
A short-handed goal, hat trick, shutout, or scoring five goals or more in a game is each worth one additional point.
Montreal has six points, Toronto earned four on Wednesday while Calgary is still pointless.
The two teams with the most points at the end of the round robin Saturday advance to Sunday's final.