A Manitoba goalie had high hopes as she suited up for the inaugural Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) game, but the outcome was even better than she imagined.
“An incredible experience, just to be a part of the first game, and to have come out with a win and a shutout, which was fantastic,” Corinne Schroeder told CTV News Winnipeg in an interview Tuesday.
“I couldn’t have hoped for anything better.”
Schroeder got between the pipes for New York in Monday’s game against Toronto at that city’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in front of a sellout crowd of 2,537 fans.
It ended with a decisive 4-0 win for Schroeder and the New York squad, with the Elm Creek, Man. goalie making 29 saves.
Schroeder hopes this is just the beginning for the team.
“I think there’s a lot of growth to happen within our team, and I’m excited to be a part of that. Personally, I’m just excited to be a part of this first season of the PWHL and to really start my pro career at the highest level.”
While hoards of fans cheered from the stands in Ontario, Schroeder’s hometown was with her in spirit.
Chris Miller, a board member with the Elm Creek Skating Rink, said Schroeder’s appearance in the inaugural game was huge for the community.
“The whole town was watching. I think we got a bunch of young hockey players and lots of young female players as well that look up to her,” he said in an email to CTV News Winnipeg.
Miller said Schroeder came home in December 2022 and spent a few hours on the ice with young hockey players.
The rink is now planning a display with some of her personal memorabilia and belongings.
“That’s so exciting and heartwarming, just because that’s where I grew up playing hockey, and it’s my favourite rink in the world,” said Schroeder.
Next up, Schroeder has her sights set on a PWHL championship.
She said the league represents a massive moment in women’s hockey.
“I feel like there’s been so many leagues before us that have really worked hard to get us to this point, but now I think this is the real deal.”
– With files from the Canadian Press
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