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Toronto 6ix Opening Weekend Recap

A pair of 3-2 wins over Minnesota gives Toronto a sweep to start their third season in the PHF.

Toronto 6ix players celebrate the win in overtime (Photo credit: Lori Bolliger)

Game 1 - Minnesota 2, Toronto 3 (OT)

Brittany Howard scores two, guiding T6 to big win to remain undefeated on home ice

On Saturday at Canlan Sports - York, the Toronto Six defeated the Minnesota Whitecaps in overtime by a final score of 3-2 in their Power of She home opener powered by Athleta.

“The energy was amazing, I was on the edge of my seat,” said Sami Jo Small, President of the Toronto Six.

“Winning in overtime was really special, but equally exciting was having the team together, it was incredible to watch them play. They’re fast and they’re fun, and the crowd was electric today!” - Sami Jo Small, Toronto 6ix President

In front of a sold out crowd, Brittany Howard scored the first goal of the PHF season for the Toronto Six in the opening period, which was also her first tally as a member of the franchise. “We’re definitely happy,” said Howard after the game.

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“It was a sold out crowd today at Canlan, so we’re thrilled to give them a great performance. It just shows the adversity our team has, and it was great to get on the board for the season.” - Brittany Howard, Toronto 6ix Forward

Captain Shiann Darkangelo scored the game-tying goal 12 minutes into the third period, sending the game into three-on-three overtime, which made way for Howard to score her second of the game, handing Toronto their first victory of the 2022-23 PHF season.

“Brittany has that spark,” said defender Alexis Woloschuk.

“It’s awesome to see. Obviously, any time your friend does big things, you love to support them and love to see it. I’m super happy for her with the hot start she’s had so far, and hopefully it keeps going!” - Alexis Woloschuk, Toronto 6ix Defender

“I think we just didn’t give up,” said starting goaltender Elaine Chuli after the game.

“After the second period, we were down one, and I said ‘we’re going to win this game’, and we just kept it coming. I thought we had a good showing there in the third and then got the job done.” - Elaine Chuli, Toronto 6ix Goaltender

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Sealing the deal for the Six in her first start of the regular season, Chuli made 27 saves between the pipes in the winning effort. “Elaine’s awesome,” Woloschuk said of her club’s starting backstop. “She’s a goalie that’s super consistent, which is exactly what you want behind you. Not only that, but she’s a great player and a great person off the ice too. She’s a leader, that goes without saying, and she’s been around on this squad for a bit now too, so that’s always nice to have a goalie that’s a veteran out there doing her thing behind you.”

6ix players celebrate Saroya Tinker's winning goal

Game 2 - Minnesota 2, Toronto 3

Saroya Tinker scores go-ahead goal, leading T6 to 3-2 win to close out opening weekend

On Sunday, the Toronto Six defeated the Minnesota Whitecaps by a final score of 3-2 to sweep their first homestand series of the 2022-23 PHF season. “It was a great opening weekend,” said captain Shiann Darkangelo.

“I think we fought for both of those wins this weekend, but I’m proud of the girls and effort that we brought, even with some of the bounces that didn’t go our way. We were able to persevere and pull out two wins, so that’s exciting.” - Shiann Darkangelo, Toronto 6ix Captain and Forward

Celebrating Herb Carnegie’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction during Sunday’s contest, Brittany Howard continued her early hot streak, tallying her third goal of the season to break the ice in the opening period. “We have a lot of great depth on offence this year, as long as we keep the energy and have fun, hopefully we see a lot of goals in the back of the net, and I think Howard will be a contributor to that,” said captain Shiann Darkangelo.

Just under one minute later, forward Leah Lum scored her first goal in the PHF, which doubled Toronto’s lead to 2-0 over Minnesota. After Ashleigh Brykaliuk knotted the game at two apiece with her first of the season, defender Saroya Tinker tallied the go-ahead goal three minutes into the third period, ultimately sealing the victory for the Six and handing Toronto their first homestand sweep of the 2022-23 campaign. “We have a family atmosphere here at the Toronto Six,” Tinker said after the game.

“Being undefeated at home is obviously a big thing for us, and we take pride in that.” - Saroya Tinker, Toronto 6ix Defender

“I think we just stuck with it,” said starting goaltender Elaine Chuli after the game. “If the team scores three, I’m going to do what I can to keep it at two, so I’m just glad we came out on top.”

Sealing the deal for the Six in her second start of the regular season, Chuli made 27 saves between the pipes in the winning effort.

Toronto 6ix Goaltender, Elaine Chuli

“Chuli is a brick wall,” Tinker said of her club’s starting backstop. “I’m always happy to have her behind me in that sense, especially as a defenceman, I know that I can trust in my goalie. She communicates with us, and that’s what we want. That’s what we need from our starting goalie, and that’s exactly what she gives us. Being that brick wall is going to be her role, so we appreciate it and I definitely appreciate it as a defenceman.”

Toronto remain undefeated at Canlan Sports, since they started playing home games there in 2021. Despite a number of personnel changes in the offseason, the team has maintained it's physical approach when it comes to defending home ice. In particular, newcomer Dominika Laskova was not afraid to get stuck in and make her presence felt defending the final third, even if it resulted in a two minute penalty for slashing, during the third period.

Sunday also marked the first time in team history that someone had served a suspension, as Head Coach Geraldine Heaney served a one game ban for dressing 21 players on Saturday, one more than the league maximum of 20.

"So Kevin Greco and Jess Turi, our assistants, are both very qualified coaches so we knew that they could get the job done but it's never easy with your head coach not in the building. We had to set her (Heaney) up on TSN Direct to be able to have her watch it from her home and I know it was probably nerve wracking for her but she's had a month with the girls so it prepared her well for this moment. That's a true testament of a quality team - that it can execute even when the coach is not behind the bench." - Sami Jo Small, Toronto 6ix President

The Toronto 6ix will head to New Jersey for a two game series against the Metropolitan Riveters. Matches will be streamed live on ESPN+ and TSN Direct in Canada. For this homestand though, we'll leave the last word with Carly Jackson:

"I love it, I just love the energy. I love the entire character of the team. I'm just really happy to be a part of this and be here. I'm having so much fun and getting two wins on opening weekend at home, it doesn't get much better.... (On home games at Canlan York) Come watch, you will not regret it. Just come see a game. We're fun, we're fast, and you're going to enjoy the game so get your butt in a seat and come see the 6ix play." - Toronto 6ix Goaltender, Carly Jackson

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