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Who Won the 2021 Secret Cup?
June 16, 2021

The 2021 Secret Cup came to a head at the end of May, with Montrealís Bauer claiming a 4-2 victory over Torontoís Sonnet in the final of the showpiece tournament. Skates The triumph was the culmination of a weekís double round-robin competition, in which Montreal recorded just one defeat across their seven games.

As the national sport of the country, itís little surprise that much of the sports betting in Canada revolves around ice hockey. But while the NHL and the menís game might occupy the lionís share of media coverage and newspaper column inches, tournaments like the Secret Cup are putting the womenís game firmly on the map.

A well-deserved victory

Montrealís win was thoroughly deserved after a campaign which saw them beat Calgary twice and Toronto once, only slipping up in their last game group game against Sonnet. That result meant that the hosts Calgary missed out on a place in the final, with Montreal and Toronto duking it out at the Saddledome.

The game was a keenly contested affair, with the score locked at 2-2 heading into the final period. Toronto had the better of the early exchanges in the third period, as well, but despite a brace of promising chances from well-executed power plays, they couldnít make it count. Instead it was Montreal who struck, with the national team captain Marie-Philip Poulin striking the decisive goal just over five minutes from time.

Itís fitting that Poulin got the match-winner, given that she led the scoring charts across the tournament with five goals and six assists in her five games. Elsewhere, there were scores for Catherine Debois, Jesse Eldridge and Sarah Lefort, while goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens also played her part in the stunning victory with an impressive 28 saves in the final.

Good for the game

The tournament represented the first time that any female players had taken to the ice in a competitive fixture in well over a year, giving the teams involved and the fans who support them plenty to celebrate. The success of the event has prompted the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to announce that Calgary will also host the upcoming Womenís World Championship in August.

Although it still lags some way behind the prestige and glamor associated with the NHL, the womenís game has been growing in popularity for many years now. That growth is largely due to the efforts of the Professional Womenís Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), who were responsible for organizing and scheduling the Secret Cup this year.

The PWHPA is a replacement for the now defunct Canadian Womenís Hockey League, which disbanded two years ago. At its heart, the PWHPA aims to provide the players involved in it (which include American stars as well as Canadian ones) with a living wage and the same supports that the men receive. The success of the Secret Cup just goes to show what an excellent job they are doing in that role.

Montreal might have been the victors on the night in Mayís Secret Cup finale, but everyone associated with the womenís sport has come out of the extravaganza as a winner.

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