Toronto Six beat Minnesota Whitecaps in overtime to claim inaugural Isobel Cup
The Toronto Six of the Premier Hockey Federation defeated the Minnesota Whitecaps in overtime 4-3 on Sunday night to claim their first Isobel Cup championship in franchise history.
Tereza Vanisova scored the OT winner at Mullett Arena in Tempe, AZ to seal victory for Toronto, which finished the 2022-23 regular season as the second-best team in the PHF. Six-forward Michela Cava was named playoff MVP after tallying three goals and six points in four games.
Toronto goaltender Elaine Chuli made 21 saves Sunday to guide her team to the championship. Led by first-year head coach Geraldine Heaney, the Six edged the Whitecaps by a margin of 39–24 in the final (and 7–1 in overtime).
It took just 4:23 of overtime for Vanisova to score the Isobel Cup-winning goal. Vanisova was named player of the game and now adds a third PHF championship to her resume after winning with Boston Pride in 2021 and 2022.
Dominika Laskova, Breanne Wilson-Bennett and Taylor Woods all scored in regulation time for the Six. Toronto led by scores of 1–0 and 2–1 before falling behind 3–2 in the first minute of the third period; Woods beat Whitecaps goaltender Amanda Leveille to tie the game at three with 12:04 left in regulation.
Laskova kicked the score for Toronto at 7:22 of the first period, doing it largely against the grain of play: Minnesota controlled the shots on goal 8–4 in the first frame.
The Six outshot Minnesota 27-15 in the final 40 minutes, but the Whitecaps made their opportunities count. Brittyn Fleming tied the game at one for Minnesota with an unassisted goal at 4:02 of the second period.
Then, after Wilson-Bennett restored Toronto’s one-goal lead six minutes later, Brooke Madsen scored her first of the playoffs (and only her third of the entire season) with 3:54 left in the middle. to even the score once more.
The two teams traded goals again in the third period. Jonna Albers gave the Whitecaps their first lead just 20 seconds into the final period, but Woods took advantage of a scramble in front of the net for his first of the playoffs to make it 3–3 at 7:56 .
The Six became the first Canadian team to win the Isobel Cup. They defeated the Connecticut Whale in three games to reach the championship final; Minnesota upset two-time defending champion and No. 1 seed Boston Pride in a two-game series sweep to clinch their tickets to Tempe.