After a number of sensational games and fantastic goals, the final stop of the United States leg of the PWHPA Dream Gap Tour is taking place on May 16 and 17 in St. Louis, Miss. In partnership with the St. Louis Blues, the showcase will once again feature Team Adidas taking on Team Women’s Sports Foundation, which consist of the Minnesota region roster and the New Hampshire roster, respectively.
Room for a comeback
Team Adidas currently holds the lead in this year’s Dream Gap Tour, with eight points over the two showcases. Team Women’s Sports Foundation trails with two points, but the battle isn’t over yet. Points in the Dream Gap Tour aren’t limited to just two points for a win; teams can earn additional points for individual successes, such as getting a hat trick in a game, a goaltender getting a shutout, or a player scoring a shorthanded goal. Because of these extra point opportunities, a thrilling comeback is definitely possible for the New Hampshire players.
Although Team Women’s Sports Foundation has a massive battle ahead if they want to catch up to Team Adidas in points, they shouldn’t be counted out of the race. With experienced players like Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel on their side, they have had some fantastic scoring opportunities throughout the Dream Gap Tour so far. Decker is tied for the lead in points per game, and she has posted either a goal or an assist in each game she has played in on this tour.
With their impressive goal scoring skills and their picture perfect passing, Team Women’s Sports Foundation could prove themselves on Sunday and Monday and come out as the winning team. It will be exciting to see the chances they get in this showcase.
The stars of Team Adidas
One player to watch out for (and this may come as no surprise) is Abby Roque of Team Adidas. Roque has proven herself to be one of the best offensive players in the PWHPA, and is currently the scoring leader of the tour. With five goals and five assists, Roque is a tough player to stop when she has the puck. If she can continue with her point streak, these games in St. Louis will have fans watching on the edge of their seat.
Kendall Coyne Schofield and Hilary Knight are also big contributors to Team Adidas’ success. They share the lead in the points per game statistic with one point per game, and their chemistry when playing together is undeniably one of the team’s greatest assets. The teamwork and stellar hand-eye coordination that these two have will be hard to defend against during this showcase.
Goaltender Nicole Hensley is another name that cannot be ignored. Hensley has had an impressive tour so far, posting a 0.953 save percentage in the two games she played. Hensley has been extremely reliable in net for her team, and has helped them keep their lead throughout each showcase. With Hensley in net, Team Adidas has a sturdy goalie that they can depend on in their zone.
Prepare for penalties
This year’s Dream Gap Tour has been electrifying to watch, and all the players have performed incredibly. In addition to all of the mind-blowing goals, dramatic saves, and good sportsmanship, there has been no shortage of penalties for both teams.
The showcases this year have been very physical, and it will be interesting to see if the physicality increases as these players continue to play against each other. Currently, Sydney Brodt of Team Adidas leads the tour in penalty minutes, but both teams have recorded at least two penalties in each game.
In the first game of the New York showcase, there were five penalties between the two teams, and in their last game against each other in Chicago, each team tallied four penalties, making a total of eight penalties for that game. If these statistics are any indication, we are sure to see two very physical games in a couple of days.
Both Team Adidas and Team Women’s Sports Foundation are going to hit the ice strong in St. Louis, and they are sure to show us a hard fought battle. Each game throughout the 2021 Dream Gap Tour has included show stopping saves and goals destined for the highlight reel – it will be exhilarating to see which team comes out as the winner of this year’s US leg of the Secret Dream Gap Tour.
The games are due to take place on Sunday, May 16 and Monday, May 17. Both games can be watched for free on CBC Sports and streamed on the CBC Sports App, in addition to the feed being streamed on Youtube.